The Tories have re-established their lead over Labour at the close of the party conference season, according to a poll published tonight.
The ICM survey for The Sunday Telegraph showed David Cameron had regained the initiative, with the Conservatives up three since last week on 38% and Labour down three on 34%.
The Liberal Democrats were unchanged on 18%.
Labour pulled ahead in the polls for the first time in three years during its conference, at which Ed Miliband was unveiled as the new party leader.
But the latest ICM findings suggest that Mr Miliband was the beneficiary of a temporary conference bounce.
The Tories' four-point lead will be some comfort as the coalition Government heads into its most critical period so far.
Tory and Lib Dem MPs alike are braced for a backlash on the doorsteps after Chancellor George Osborne announces the coalition's £83 billion of cuts on October 20.
Mr Cameron endured a bumpy conference after Mr Osborne disclosed that child benefits are to be taken away from higher-rate taxpayers from 2013.
However, a clear majority of respondents to the ICM poll - 53% to 37% - supported the measure.
:: ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1,002 adults by telephone on October 6 and 7, weighting results to the profile of all adults.Reuse content