Labour has opened up an eight-point lead over the Tories as the coalition’s austerity measures begin to bite, according to a new poll.
Research by ComRes for The Independent put the party on 42%, up three since before Christmas, while the Tories were down three on 34%. The Liberal Democrats’ support was 12%.
However, the bounce for Labour came despite lukewarm ratings for new leader Ed Miliband. Only 36% of those questioned believed he was doing well in the job, compared with 42% who thought the opposite.
There were also signs that the Opposition is struggling to win over voters on the key battleground of the economy. The survey – which was mainly carried out before shadow chancellor Alan Johnson’s embarrassing failure to remember the National Insurance rate during an interview – found only 36% believed Labour would manage UK plc better than the coalition.
ComRes telephoned a random sample of 1,000 adults between January 7-9, 2011. Data were weighted to be representative of all adults and by past vote.