Two new polls show that David Cameron’s Conservative party could do better than expected at the general election next year, despite the PM telling Scots yesterday that the current government won’t be around forever,
A poll by Lord Ashcroft yesterday put the Tories neck-and-neck with Ed Miliband’s Labour, both on 33 per cent, while a Populus poll showed the Conservatives one point behind on 34 per cent compared to Labour’s 35. The previous Populus poll, taken a few days earlier, had put the Conservatives on 33 per cent and Labour ahead on 37, showing a narrowing of the gap between the two main parties.
The slight swing in favour of the Conservatives will add weight to another worrying poll for Labour, showing the party trailing by 25 percentage points when it comes to credibility on the economy.
Research conducted by Ipsos-Mori shows that Cameron’s party has dramatically increased its lead over Labour on managing the economy, with more than 45 per cent of people saying the Conservatives had the best policies in this area. The party has increased the gap by 10 percentage points over the last six months.
The Ipsos research also highlights a trend which will raise concern among Conservative back-benchers, as Nigel Farage’s Ukip overtook the Tories when it comes to credibility on immigration. For the first time, Ukip polled highest at 20 per cent, with the Conservatives on 19 per cent and Labour third on 18. On healthcare, education and benefits Labour polls much higher, however, showing the vote holding strong in areas where the party has traditional support.
Overall, voters ranked the economy as the most important issue for the general election in 2015, with immigration and the NHS in second and third place respectively.