So what would it take ?
Opinion polls are a useful tool, but they are not perfect. In 1992 they got the result wrong: in 1997 and 2001 they predicted that Labour's percentage lead in votes would be much larger than it actually was. Pollsters in the US have similar problems. (Remember when we all went to bed under the impression that Kerry was winning and woke up to find that Dubya had the last laugh.)
All the pollsters are trying to correct for the bias which understated Conservative (and Lib/Dem) support in the last three elections; they are using different methods to do this, and that's one of the reasons different polls are all over the place. We will only find out whether any of them have got it more or less right on election night.
I very much doubt that those polls suggesting a Labour landslide of the same order as 1997 and 2001 can be right. For one thing, in those two years Tony Blair was still popular and most people accepted his self-evaluation as a "pretty straight kind of guy". If you described him in those terms today the majority of the electorate would either assume you were being ironic or ask you to pass the sick bag. Blair is not liked, respected, or trusted any more except by those with unflinching tribal loyalties. Four years ago many people thought that one term was not enough to make the changes they wanted to see and were willing to stick with New Labour for a second chance. This time they've had eight years - which is about the time that blaming the previous government for everything stops being effective. And whether you like the Conservative campaign or not, from my perspective having been a target seat chairman last time and a target seat candidate this time, the Tory effort in this election is light years more effective than four years ago.
I may be proved wrong in eight days time, but I think this election is close.
However, that raises an interesting question - if I'm admitting that the election is close I am accepting that about eight million people, maybe more, are going to vote Labour. And if this group will still vote Labour in present circumstances, what on earth would the Labour party have to do to stop these people voting for them ?
We have seen this government promise at their first election not to introduce student tuition fees, and do so, then promise at the following election not to introduce top-up fees, and do so. We have seen them try, in a completely shambolic manner, to tear up safeguards against arbitrary arrest which Englishmen have enjoyed for nearly 800 years, seeking the power for ministers to order people put under house arrest on the basis of "reasonable suspicion."
This country has been taken to war on the basis of Tony Blair's claim that the dictator we were overthrowing could deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes. When it became clear that this was nonsense, the Prime minister's defense was that he genuinely thought so at the time - in which case the information he was given was the worst intelligence failure for 20 years. So why was the chairman of the responsible committee promoted ?
We have seen this government provide 75p for existing pensioners and systematically wreck provision for future pensioners through their £5 billion a year raid on pension funds and by destroying incentives to save.
This week we learn that our prime minister, who swore at the time of the inquest into the suicide of Dr David Kelly that he had noting to do with the decision to provide Dr Kelly's name to the media, now admits that he did. We also find that the attorney general's advice on the legality of the war, which Tony Blair had assured us was unequivocal, turns out to be very equivocal indeed.
One cannot help but wonder, if this government announced the slaughter of the first born, how many people would still support them.