Wednesday 21 March 2018

Tories widen poll lead over Labour but voters split on Cameron

Daniel Bentley in London

The Conservative Party has re-established its double-digit lead over Labour in Britain, according to the latest opinion poll.

However, Tories will take little comfort from the fact that one of its key findings is that voters remain concerned about what David Cameron "is like underneath".

After a string of polls showing Labour narrowing the gap, the latest ComRes survey for 'The Independent on Sunday' yesterday suggested the Conservatives were pulling away again.

In little more than a week, support for the Tories increased by two percentage points, to 40pc, while backing for Labour fell two, to 29pc. The Liberal Democrats were up two, on 21pc.

That gave the Tories an 11-point lead, a large improvement on the last ComRes poll on February 2, suggesting Labour had closed the gap to just seven points.

But the survey also revealed continued voter scepticism about Conservative leader David Cameron.

Some 56pc agreed with the idea that Mr Cameron was a "slick salesman" but worried about "what he is like underneath". Only 36pc disagreed with that statement.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said there was now a sense of "zest" at all levels of the Labour campaign.

"What we are seeing on the Tory side is that the more they are pushed the weaker they get," he said.

"And that's why there's a sense of zest in the Labour campaign, from the prime minister down, a sense that as the election gets closer we are able to offer hard and clear answers to the questions people are asking, and the Conservatives are unable to do so."

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said the Tories were "getting our message across".


"David Cameron is proving to be a strong leader of a united party and increasingly this election, like all elections, is about the future versus the past," he said.

"People are seeing now that Gordon Brown represents the past and David Cameron represents the future."

Asked whether the Tories would do a deal with the Lib Dems in the event of a hung parliament, Mr Osborne said his party was going for a majority.

He suggested the voting system would be changed by the Conservatives to ensure that, in future, the most popular party won a majority.

"It's Britain's broken electoral system that means that even though an opinion poll puts you 10 or 11 points ahead, people still talk about a hung parliament," he said.

Irish Independent

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