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Labour and Tories neck-and-neck in opinion polls but Cameron enjoys big lead over Miliband

Tim Montgomerie

Screen shot 2010-12-18 at 19.27.59 A new poll from ComRes tonight (for the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror):

  • Conservative 37%, Labour 39%, Liberal Democrats 11%

Earlier this week we had a poll from Ipsos MORI. It had a similar result:

  • Conservative 38%, Labour 39%, Liberal Democrats 11%

We'll get another YouGov poll tonight but on Thursday night the tracker had both major parties on 41%:

  • Conservatives 41%, Labour 41%, Liberal Democrats 9%

The numbers suggest the Lib Dems need a miracle to win in Oldham East and Saddleworth.

I had expected the Conservatives to be doing worse by now. I wonder if Ed Miliband's weakness is holding Labour back? This from ComRes shows that voters are far from persuaded that he is the right man to lead Labour:

  • Only 17% agree that Ed Miliband is the right man to lead Labour. 33% disagree. A net rating of MINUS 16%. Although there are still many Don't Knows re Ed Miliband the Ipsos MORI survey from earlier this week found that his "satisfaction ratings have been falling since he was elected: from 41% in October to 35% now".
  • 26% agree that Nick Clegg is the right man to lead the Lib Dems. 49% disagree. A net rating of MINUS 23%.
  • 38% agree that Cameron is turning out to be a good PM. 40% disagree. A net rating of just MINUS 2%.

In the iron triangle of political success - party leader image, economic competence and unity - the Tories are clearly winning on party leader. Other polls show Osborne and Cameron most trusted on the economy. On unity the Lib Dems are probably in most danger.

7.45pm: John Rentoul has more on the IoS/ ComRes poll.

Sunday 8am: Latest YouGov/ Sunday Times (£) poll has Labour on 42%, Conservatives on 39% and Lib Dems on 9%.


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