A new opinion poll puts Labour two points ahead of the Conservatives.
The poll by BMGResearch found 39 per cent of voters said they’d back Jeremy Corbyn’s party if an election was held tomorrow, with 37 per cent supporting the Tories.
Another recent poll, from ICM Research, put the Conservatives one point ahead, with 40 per cent of the vote compared to 39 per cent for Labour.
Opinion polls aren’t always right, and in both these polls the gap between the parties is small enough to be within the margin of error. It means the best you can say is that, if the polls are correct, Labour and the Conservatives appear to be neck and neck.
But what we can be pretty certain about is that both major parties continue to have a significant level of support. Their vote hasn’t collapsed.
Why is Labour continuing to do so well when its leader is mired in a seemingly endless scandal over racism, as well as claims he took part in an event where a wreath was laid for terrorists?
It’s a question his opponents in the Conservative Party and in his own party rarely seem to consider.
Some of the answers are obvious. Mr Corbyn’s supporters tend to dismiss criticism of him as part of a plot by Labour MPs who oppose him or, more recently, as an attempt to stop him supporting the Palestinian people.
But these are Mr Corbyn’s hard-core fans, very vocal on social media such as Twitter but perhaps not representative of 40 per cent of voters.
There’s also the current state of the Conservative Party to consider, divided and lacking strong leadership.
But there’s something else. It’s not rocket science, but it’s rarely commented on.
Mr Corbyn is the only senior politician actually talking about issues that really matter to a lot of people – such as education, housing and jobs.
Theresa May and her government appear almost entirely obsessed with Brexit.
They make the odd foray into other territory. For example, Housing Secretary James Brokenshire set out plans to reduce homelessness this week.
But this Government seems capable of little more than token announcements. The homelessness strategy involves £50 million in funding that had already been announced, and £50 million diverted from other budgets.
And even if the Government found £100 million in all-new money, it wouldn’t come close to solving the UK’s housing issues.
The Government announced a full review of social housing back in September last year. This could, potentially, come up with bold ideas to cut homelessness and ensure everyone has a secure home – including people currently forced to rely on insecure tenancies with private landlords.
But the promised green paper still hasn’t been published.
Brexit has monopolised this government’s time and energy.
We may see attempts to shift attention on to other issues at the Conservative conference in Birmingham at the end of September. But there’s a good chance that event will be dominated by rows about Brexit and Boris Johnson’s transparent attempts to become party leader.
By contrast, Mr Corbyn actually has something to say about issues that directly affect voters.
Speaking in the Walsall North constituency this week, he set out plans to end rough sleeping – and ensure everyone has a home.
He said: “First off we’d purchase 8,000 properties so that all the rough sleepers could get somewhere to live, albeit temporarily but at least a roof over their head.
“And we’d start a house building programme to build half a million council houses during the lifetime of the first Parliament of that Labour government.”
He said this would also create jobs.
“I want to see that house building explosion take place all over,” said Mr Corbyn.
Turning to education, he said too many children are not getting nursery places, or are going to school hungry.
He pledged: “A free nursery place for all two to four-year-olds, proper funding of all our primary schools, a free school meal for every primary school child and music and art education for all children in schools.”
There were also proposals to bring rail, mail and water services into public ownership, and to support jobs by requiring councils to “buy British”.
I’m not suggesting Mr Corbyn has the right answers. I don’t know if they’re right or not.
But he does have some sort of answers to the issues that people worry about. The Conservatives have little to say about most of them (with the odd exception, such as technical education and workplace pensions).
Mr Corbyn’s critics inside the Labour Party also appear to be bereft of ideas.
They are appalled by his failure to deal with the anti-Semitism controversy and his refusal to challenge Brexit, but they don’t have an alternative programme for improving the nation’s schools.
It’s because Mr Corbyn is promising solutions to the concerns of voters that he’s still, despite all the criticism he faces, a potential prime minister.