First Tory poll lead since 2012

Kate McCann
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DAVID Cameron’s Conservative party is fighting back in the battle to win the 2015 general election, having taken a lead for the first time since 2012, according to two new polls.

Both surveys, one by ICM and the other by Lord Ashcroft, have the Conservatives in front of Labour on 33 and 34 per cent respectively.

The result marks a significant turning point for the Prime Minister, providing a boost just a week and a half ahead of the European elections.

The ICM poll for the Guardian shows Labour support dwindling to 31 per cent, the lowest since 2010. Ashcroft’s puts Labour at 32 per cent.

Labour leader Ed Miliband’s net approval rating is at rock bottom on minus 25, the lowest of any of the main party leaders, worse even than Nick Clegg’s minus 21, ICM finds. In contrast, Cameron scores plus two, as 44 per cent of people think he is doing a good job. He is only beaten by his chancellor George Osborne on plus five. Ukip leader Nigel Farage scores minus eight, but his party is up four points, taking 15 per cent of the vote in the poll, ahead of the Lib Dems.

When directly asked on the European elections, the Tories are also in the lead – the ICM poll puts them on 27 per cent, with UKIP rising four percentage points to come second on 26 per cent. And Labour plunged to 24 per cent.

In Lord Ashcroft’s poll, Cameron is rated more highly than his party.

The result will boost confidence among Conservative MPs, who have been quietly hoping that positive GDP figures will translate into votes in the general election next May.

Conservative MP Rob Wilson told City A.M that the Labour vote is fragile but that his party is not complacent, adding: “Few believe Labour are ready for government. They are haemorrhaging voters, particularly in the south, and are miles away from being an alternative government. Labour are making too many bad decisions, chasing passing bandwagons or driving people apart rather than bringing the country together with their negative campaigning.”

Labour declined to comment.