General election: New poll shows big gains for Labour and Tories – at expense of Lib Dems and Ukip

Ukip polling at below 10% for the first time in more than a year

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Indy Politics

A new poll suggests that support for Ukip has fallen below 10 per cent for the first time since November 2013, as Nigel Farage prepared to launch his election campaign.

As the party leader gave a speech in Essex in which he declared that Ukip was “picking up support from across every social spectrum”, an Ipsos Mori poll for the Evening Standard showed the party down two points at nine per cent.

The Lib Dems were also down in the poll at six per cent – its lowest level for 25 years. Nick Clegg admitted to listeners on LBC Radio that his party had “clearly taken a hit in the national polls”.

Gaining from both their losses were the Tories and Labour, with Ed Miliband’s party up two and now firmly leading the way on 36 per cent. The Conservatives gained a single point, up to 34 per cent.

Nigel Farage’s own personal ratings have also received a hit, down five points since the last Ipsos Mori survey – but it is worth noting that half of voters said they could yet change their minds between now and the general election in May.

Also speaking today was Mr Miliband, who launched Labour’s education policy at his old school in north London.

Party sources said he was expected to repeat claims that major Tory donor Lord Fink engaged in tax avoidance as the row over tax allegations against HSBC escalates.

The peer yesterday branded Mr Miliband’s claim “untrue and defamatory”.

A separate poll released today by Comres in association with ITV News showed that the Labour leader has gained some support over his recent disputes with British businesses.

When asked what they thought about his recent criticism of the likes of Boots boss Stefano Pessina and ex-M & S chief Lord Rose, 49 per cent said it showed Mr Miliband was on the side of ordinary people. Just 27 per cent took the other option – that it showed he was a danger to the UK economy.

Labour nonetheless trailed some way behind the Conservatives as the party people would most trust to promote economic growth.