New poll shows Tory lead slipping further

By politics.co.uk staff

The Tory lead has slipped to seven per cent, according to a new poll released today.

The ComRes poll for the Independent puts the Conservatives on 38%, unchanged since last month, while Labour go up two points to 31%. The Liberal Democrats stand unchanged on 19%.

If replicated at a general election, the results would leave David Cameron 24 seats short of an overall majority in a hung parliament.
The poll results suggest a lack of faith in Mr Cameron’s economic plans.

The Tory leader and his shadow chancellor were sharply criticised by business secretary Peter Mandelson yesterday for fluctuating on their plans for public spending cuts.

The Tory leader denied he would make “swingeing cuts” in the financial year 2010/11 over the weekend, leading Lord Mandelson to say they were “bobbing around like a cork in water”.

The ComRes poll found 82% of respondents wanted clearer answers from Mr Cameron about what he intended to do with the economy. Worryingly for the Conservative high command, that figure was exactly replicated when it came to Tory supporters.

Only 24% of people believed the recession would have been less severe if the Conservatives had been in power, while 69% did not.

Mr Cameron remains ahead of Gordon Brown on future handling of the economy, however, with just 40% of people saying they trust Mr Brown more than Mr Cameron on helping Britain’s economy to recover. Fifty-two per cent disagreed.

Few voters were in the mood to credit Labour with the tentative economic recovery either. Only 37% said the party could take credit for dragging the UK out of recession, while 59% disagreed.

Interestingly, Mr Cameron retains his popularity among men, with a 16% lead. But he continues to struggle with the women’s vote, where Labour lead by four per cent.

There are also signs Labour is winning back its traditional core vote. In the bottom DE social group, Labour leads by 44% to 33%.