New poll gives Tories 26-point lead

More bad news for Gordon Brown
More bad news for Gordon Brown

Support for Labour has slumped to just 23 per cent, suggesting last week's local elections were not a low point for Gordon Brown's party.

A poll for the Sun conducted by YouGov puts the Conservatives on 49 per cent, just two points short of an absolute majority among Britain's voters. The Liberal Democrats are on 17 per cent.

That gives the Tories a 26-point lead which according to the Sun is their largest advantage in the polls since 1968.

It contrasts poorly with the situation in September 2007. Then Labour was on 43 per cent and the Tories trailed on 32 per cent, prompting the prime minister to consider an election.

The current collapse in confidence in the government should not prompt Labour supporters to immediately begin seeking an alternative leader, however.

The YouGov poll assessed the impact other leading figures in the party would have on its electoral prospects and found that most would have a negative impact.

Ed Balls and Harriet Harman would cost Labour an additional ten points, while touted future leader David Miliband would have a minus four rating.

Even a return to Downing Street by Tony Blair would not help matters, with the former leader having a three per cent negative effect.

The Sun's editorial is clear in its assessment of the current situation.

"Britain is not just falling out of love with Labour. It is rushing to get a divorce."

But it adds that the "silver lining" of Mr Brown's popularity being higher than other alternatives gives him an opportunity to reverse the decline in the next two years.

"Skipper Brown still has the wheel. He still has time to avoid a shipwreck," it concludes.


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