Britain is on course for a hung parliament after the general election, according to the latest ComRes poll for The Independent.
It puts the Conservatives on 37 per cent (down three points on last month), Labour on 27 per cent (no change), the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent (up two points) and other parties on 16 per cent (up one point).
The figures would leave the Tories six seats short of an overall majority if repeated at the election. They would have 320 seats, Labour 240, the Liberal Democrats 58 and other parties 14.
According to ComRes, more people are optimistic than pessimistic about the British economy and their own economic prospects. Some 56 per cent say they are optimistic about the economy generally and 41 per cent pessimistic. When asked about their own financial outlook, 71 per cent are optimistic and 26 per cent pessimistic.
Some 61 per cent of people say they will spend about the same on this Christmas as last year, while 30 per cent believe they will spend less and eight per cent more than last year.
ComRes telephoned 1,003 GB adults between November 27-29, 2009. Data were weighted by past vote recall.