The “Brown bounce” has come to an end, according to a poll by ComRes for The Independent which shows the Conservative Party’s lead has risen from one to five percentages points since last month. It also reveals strong opposition to Labour’s planned tax rises.
The survey puts the Conservatives on 39 per cent (up two points on last month), Labour on 34 per cent (down two), the Liberal Democrats on 16 per cent (down one point) and other parties 11 per cent (up one). The figures would leave Labour the largest party but 30 seats short of an overall majority if repeated at a general election.
The poll found that, by a clear margin, voters would prefer to avoid tax rises than to preserve spending on public services, suggesting a change in the public mood since the 2001 and 2005 elections.
Asked how they would vote if the Tories committed themselves to a lower level of public spending than Labour and said that they would try not to raise taxes, 49 per cent said Tory and 32 per cent Labour, 11 per cent LibDems and eight per cent others.
There was a similar result when people were asked how they would vote if Labour committed itself to higher public spending than the Conservatives and acknowledged this was likely to mean an increase in some personal taxes. The figures were: Tory 48 per cent, Labour 30 per cent, LibDems 13 per cent, others 10 per cent.