David Cameron laughs off poll as Margaret Thatcher's death puts leadership in spotlight

Tory party rating shot up by 8 points to 40% when people were asked to imagine it was led by a youthful Iron Lady

David Cameron has laughed off a poll suggesting the Tories would win a general election if Baroness Thatcher was still at the helm.

Research by ICM found that the party's rating shot up by 8 points to 40% when people were asked to imagine it was led by a youthful Iron Lady.

Asked about the finding in a BBC interview this morning, Mr Cameron joked: “This is not the day to talk about opinion polls, and as Margaret herself I'm sure would have said, there's only one poll that counts, and that's the one on polling day ... I think I heard her say that a few times.”

The Prime Minister, who has been under pressure from the Conservative right-wing to bring forward more Thatcherite policies, added: “Often in her political life she was further behind the opposition than I am today, so she would recognise the circumstances.”

PA

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