Confidence in the government continues to fall but Labour has stopped haemorrhaging support, the latest opinion poll suggests.
A Populus poll for the Times shows support for Gordon Brown continued to fall over the last month but at a less dramatic rate than immediately after the bungled snap election.
Moreover, the lead handed to the Conservatives is less dramatic than in other polls, which had placed the Tories 11 points ahead at a level of support reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher's heyday.
The poll shows support for Labour is on 32 per cent, five points down on a month ago but better than the ratings seen in other opinion polls.
The Conservatives can claim an eight-point lead on the government, having risen four points over the month to 40 per cent.
Although maintaining their post-conference momentum, the Conservatives' lead is perhaps less dramatic than could be expected, given the slew of negative headlines that have beset the government.
Similarly, although 63 per cent of voters are now dissatisfied with Labour, just under half still prefer a Labour government.
Labour is still, marginally, seen by voters as more competent at running the NHS and maintaining standards in schools.
Confidence in Mr Brown's abilities is greatest in respect to affordable housing, with 36 per cent backing the government's abilities compared to the Tories' 20 per cent.
Voter confidence in the government's ability to manage the economy has declined dramatically, with a 16-point fall putting faith in Treasury at 35 per cent.
The Conservatives are fast becoming a credible alternative to Mr Brown's fabled economic record, with 34 per cent of voters saying they would manage the economy best, marking a six-point rise.
More voters (31 per cent) say the Conservatives are getting the balance right between taxes and public spending than say Labour (27 per cent).
The poll also notes support for the Liberal Democrats remains unchanged on 16 per cent as they continue selecting a new leader. Support for other parties remains on 11 per cent.