Labour failing to make ground as conference season approaches

By Ian Dunt

Labour is still struggling to build its lead on the Conservatives, as conference season brings fresh scrutiny to Ed Miliband's performance.

A strong approach during the phone-hacking crisis quietened some of the murmurs about his leadership on the backbenches, but an Ipsos/Mori poll released today shows Mr Miliband is failing to build on his lead.

Voting intentions still give Labour a slim lead, on 37% to the Tories' 35%, but the party has slipped three points since last month.

The Lib Dems are languishing on 13%, with Nick Clegg only backed by 50% of his own party supporters. Forty-three per cent said they were dissatisfied with his performance.

Forty-seven per cent of the public was dissatisfied with Mr Miliband's performance, meanwhile, while 31% said they were satisfied.

David Cameron fared little better, with over half those polled saying they were dissatisfied with his performance.

Despite opposition to spending cuts, the Tories were still seen as having the most credible economic policy. Thirty-three per cent thought they had the best policies for the economy while 23% backed Labour and eight per cent the Lib Dems.

The public assessment of the UK's economic prospects was suitably dire, with 52% expecting it to worsen.