New poll reinforces ‘Brown bounce’

Gordon Brown’s relatively successful Labour conference appears to have helped him in the polls, as Labour cuts the Conservatives’ lead by seven points.

A poll carried out by ComRes for the Independent puts the Tories down three points on August’s rating at 41 per cent. Labour has gained four per cent to 29 per cent, while the Liberal Democrats are up one point to 18 per cent.

This represents a cut in the Tory lead from 19 to 12 points, reinforcing the perception that Mr Brown received a bounce after last week’s Labour party conference in Manchester.

In particular the prime minister’s jibe that the current economic crisis is “no time for a novice” appears to have resonated with voters. Forty-three per cent said he was ‘best in a crisis’, compared to 33 per cent for Mr Cameron.

The Conservative leader, who will give his crucial speech to the Tory conference in Birmingham tomorrow, remains in a strong position however. Over half view him as more likeable, compared to just over a quarter for the current prime minister.

But the gap between the two on delivery remains narrow. Mr Cameron has just a two-point lead when it comes to who is most competent to be prime minister, on 40 per cent compared to Mr Brown’s 38 per cent.