Blow for Tory party as poll lead crumbles

GORDON Brown is on course to win the general election, according to an opinion poll.

The Conservative lead over Labour has narrowed to just two points, a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times found yesterday.

David Cameron’s Tory party is now on 37 per cent, according to YouGov, with Labour on 25 per cent and the Lib Dems on 17 per cent.

If repeated at a national level, that would give Labour 317 seats – just nine short of an overall majority – with the Tories holding 263 seats.

Such a result would likely give Brown the authority to form a government and stay on as Prime Minister.

The two-point lead is the best showing for Labour since October 2007 and terrible news for the Tories, who have enjoyed double-digit leads for over a year.

In more bad news for the Conservatives, the poll found that voters now trust Labour more on the economy, although the lead is very tight.

Twenty-eight per cent said they trust Brown and chancellor Alistair Darling to raise their family’s standard of living, compared to 27 per cent who trust David Cameron and his shadow chancellor George Osborne.

But Anthony Wells, a YouGov pollster and author of the UK Polling Report blog, cautioned against placing too much emphasis on a single survey.

“All I can say is what I always say when a poll shows sharp movement – until we see some more polls that support or contradict the further narrowing of the polls – be wary,” he said.

Mike Smithson, who runs the influential Political Betting website, echoed Wells’ sentiments but said it was a stunning result for Labour nonetheless.

He said: “This is a fantastic poll for Labour who, almost unbelievably, are now only one per cent down on what they were at the 2005 general election when they got 36 per cent.”