Liberal Democrats dealt a heavy blow to Tories in the latest council by-elections, taking three seats off them.
But there was also triumph for Labour which made one gain from Lib Dems amid indications supporting recent poll findings of a slip in Conservatives' nationwide lead.
Analysis of eight comparable results this month suggests a 9.4 per cent projected Tory margin over Labour.
A calculation based on five wards fought both times by all three major parties gives a line-up of C 36.4 per cent, Lib Dem 27.5 per cent, Lab 26.1 per cent.
Liberal Democrat Edith Longden gained at Blackbrook, High Peak Borough, Derbyshire.
Party candidate John Oxenham won by 15 votes at St Austell Bay, Cornwall Council.
Lib Dems' third gain came at Alveston, Stratford-on-Avon District, Warwickshire where Anthony Cronin won in a ward where the party had also returned another councillor in the 2008 main polls.
Labour's victor, Allan Harvey, took a Halewood South seat at Knowsley Borough, Merseyside which is next door to Liverpool where Lib Dems head for next May's main council polls with a majority of just two seats.
The city also contains a marginal Labour Commons constituency at WavertreReuse content