Labour slumps in latest opinion survey

THE Conservatives have extended their lead over Labour to 15% in a poll which suggests a collapse in public confidence in Gordon Brown's ability to deal with the recession.

Graham Dines

THE Conservatives have extended their lead over Labour to 15% in a poll which suggests a collapse in public confidence in Gordon Brown's ability to deal with the recession.

The ComRes survey for today's The Independent will be seen as a strong indication of the ending of the Brown bounce which saw Labour slash the Tory lead in the autumn amid a flurry of major Government announcements to tackle the downturn.

The ComRes survey puts the Conservatives on 43% (up four points on last month), Labour on 28% (down six), the Liberal Democrats on 16% (unchanged) and other parties on 13 per cent (up two).

The figures would give David Cameron an overall majority of 120 if repeated at a General Election, gaining seats such as Ipswich, Waveney, Colchester, Harlow, Thurrock, and Basildon South & East Thurrock.

Labour has not dropped below the 30% in any poll since last September's ComRes survey. Labour's lead over the Tories on economic competence has dropped from 47%-28% to 35%-33%.

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Only a third of people interviewed believe “the Government has put in place the right measures to combat the recession”, while 58%. More than half (55%) believe the temporary cut in VAT is “foolish.”

ComRes telephoned 1,012 adults in Britain on January 21 and 22.