Labour's poll gloom continues

Tony Blair returns to more poll gloom for Labour
Tony Blair returns to more poll gloom for Labour

The prime minister is back in Downing Street today but his attempts to draw a line over the government's troubles have been hit by a new poll showing a slump in support.

An Ipsos / Mori survey for The Sun, published the day before David Cameron celebrates 100 days as Conservative leader tomorrow, puts the Tories at 41 per cent of support among people certain to vote.

This is an increase of four per cent on last month, and a ten-point lead on Labour, who fell one percentage point on last month. The Lib Dems fell three to just 18 per cent.

It comes after a week of turmoil in the Labour party about the future of deputy prime minister John Prescott, when he was covering for Tony Blair while he was on holiday in Italy.

A number of backbenchers insisted he should quit, following rows about his affair with his diary secretary and his use of the official estate at Dorneywood, while several cabinet colleagues have begun to express an interest in his job.

Mr Blair is back in London today with a strong message about anti-social behaviour, but the newspaper poll suggests his personal support continues to slide.

A majority of voters (67 per cent) say they are dissatisfied with the way he is running the country, with just 26 per cent giving him their approval, and seven per cent saying they did not know.

Most worryingly for Labour, the issues that people are most concerned about are those in which the Tories traditionally do well.

Two out of five respondents said race relations and immigration were the most important issues facing Britain at the moment - in the last election and in recent polls, Conservative policies on immigration and asylum have squarely beaten those proposed by Labour.

It suggests the row over foreign prisoners and the immigration system has had an effect, while the second most pressing issue, the NHS, again reflects recent concerns about deficits and job cuts in the health service.

However, there is some good news, with just ten per cent of voters in today's poll saying the economy was a major problem facing the UK. This suggests voters still broadly approve of Labour's policies in this area, an important issue in general elections.


Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.