"Elections are shaped by two things: trust in party leaders and trust in their policies. The polls have shown that the Conservatives have done particularly well in the first battle over the last few years, with David Cameron regularly more popular in polls than his party. The reverse has been the case for Gordon Brown - though that may be changed by the TV debates, if anything like the 60% of voters who say they plan to watch actually do so.
"But the policy contest between the two parties has always been more close-fought. Today's poll suggests it remains tight.
"The economy remains a defining issue and one on which the Conservatives retain a narrow upper hand. In total, 45% of voters pick economic issues as the ones that will most affect their decision on how to vote next month. That includes 25% who look at general economic competence, 12% who cite the specific handling of the economic crisis and 8% who pick tax as an issue."