Labour gains reveal backlash against Coalition in latest polls
Labour has established its biggest opinion poll lead since the general election as Britain's economic woes deepen and coalition tensions intensify, according to the latest poll of polls for The Independent.
With political leaders preparing for their summer break, the latest snapshot of their parties' electoral health underlines the backlash faced by the coalition partners this year.
Labour's support rose to an average of 42 per cent last month, nine points ahead of the Conservatives on 33 per cent. The Liberal Democrats slipped back to 11 per cent.
A nine-point advantage would be enough to secure a convincing overall majority of 86 for Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, in an election fought on the proposed new constituency boundaries, while the Liberal Democrats would face electoral meltdown.
Mr Miliband's margin of victory would be even bigger if – as looks increasingly possible – the next election uses the current boundaries. David Cameron is keen to settle a key coalition flash-point before he leaves for his post-Olympics holiday by announcing that plans for a part-elected House of Lords are being scrapped. The Liberal Democrats are threatening in response to veto plans to cut the number of parliamentary constituencies.
Talks are continuing between the parties over the issue, with the aim of announcing a compromise ahead of moves to give fresh impetus to the Coalition in the autumn. Sources in both parties dismissed suggestions yesterday that Downing Street had begun informal discussions with senior Conservatives over splitting the Coalition early.
According to one report, the Liberal Democrats would pull out a year before the election due in May 2015 and support the Tories on a "confidence and supply" basis – only in a no-confidence vote or over Budget measures. But a senior Liberal Democrat source said: "The Coalition is here to stay until 2015." However, the idea was given credence yesterday by Brian Paddick, the party's candidate in the last two elections for London Mayor.
Mr Paddick said the Liberal Democrats had done "tremendous things" in office, such as bringing in the pupil premium for disadvantaged children and linking pensions to inflation. But he told Sky News: "In the run-up to the next election, the two parties have got to separate themselves to present two different manifestos, two different options to the public."
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...