Brown wins support for crisis action

Gordon Brown has won a boost in the polls following his intervention in the Lloyds TSB-HBOS merger last week.

The Conservative policy of staying silent while the economic crisis ruled the front pages seems to have backfired, with Tory support dropping significantly.

The combination of these two factors has almost halved the David Cameron’s lead, from 21 points to 12.

Labour are up two per cent to 27 per cent, while the Tories have fallen from 46 per cent to 39 per cent.

The poll, conducted by ComRes for the Independent on Sunday, shows some measure of success for the Liberal Democrats following their party conference. Their support leapt from 16 to 21 per cent.

But the results were dampened by a massive survey of public opinion in marginal constituencies conducted by the PoliticHome.com website.

Polling over 35,000 voters in 238 seats, the survey predicts a Labour wipeout at the next general election, with the Tories gaining a majority of 146.

Several high profile Cabinet secretaries would lose their seat, including justice secretary Jack Straw, home secretary Jacqui Smith, defence secretary Des Browne and chief whip Geoff Hoon.

With the party conference in full swing, Mr Brown is in as strong position as he has been in for some time, given widespread – but still tepid – support for his merger intervention.

But statements made by supposedly loyal Cabinet colleagues such as Alan Johnson, health secretary, and Hazel Blear, local communities secretary, along with a new round of attack from Charles Clarke, are interfering with his come-back.