Conservatives lead cut in new poll


London : The ruling Labour party has cut into the main opposition Conservatives lead as voters turn to the Government to protect them from the economic storm, according to a new poll published here Wednesday.

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The “ICM” survey in The Guardian newspaper showed a seven-point drop in Conservative support since last month, narrowing the gap between the two main political parties from 15 points to just five.

Todays poll is in line with other recent surveys, making it clear that the Conservatives have crashed back to reality after a triumphant summer, and its leader David Cameron is not seen as the man to revive the UK economy.

The results will inevitably fuel talk of an early general election next February or in the Spring, although Labour is still well short of the sort of support needed to retain its majority, commentators said.

The Conservatives remain ahead in terms of votes, but can no longer be confident of picking up more seats than Labour, they added.

Conservative support has fallen to 38 percent, from 45 percent in last months poll for The Guardian.

Labour has climbed three points to 33 percent, the highest in polls since last April.

The smaller opposition Liberal Democrats are on 19 percent, up one point.

The five-point Conservative lead is still substantial, wider than the gap between the two big parties in the 2005 general election, the commentators noted.

But the race has not been so close since last Spring.

The fall pushes the Conservative party below the symbolic 40 percent mark, above which the party is all but assured of winning the largest number of seats in the House of Commons.