Exclusive poll:

You can both go hang, say voters

50 per cent say choosing Brown is unthinkable... 51 per cent claim they have no enthusiasm for Tories... 38 per cent would like a hung parliament

People do not want Gordon Brown as their Prime Minister for another five years but have no enthusiasm for the Conservative Party, according to an opinion poll for The Independent.

People do not want Gordon Brown as their Prime Minister for another five years but have no enthusiasm for the Conservative Party, according to an opinion poll for The Independent.

The ComRes survey suggests the mood of the nation is one of "a plague on both your houses" as Labour and the Tories struggle to inspire voters ahead of a general election expected on 6 May. According to the poll, the Tories have halted a recent slip in their fortunes and now enjoy a seven-point lead, up two points on last month. They are on 37 per cent (no change), Labour on 30 per cent (down two points), the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent (up one point) and other parties on 13 per cent (up one).

The result is a blow to the Tories, who are also unlikely to have been boosted by the performance of George Osborne during Channel 4's Chancellors debate last night. Both Alistair Darling and Vince Cable questioned how he could afford to reverse Labour's proposed rise in national insurance contributions. But the shadow Chancellor said that the Government had identified £11bn of waste which could be cut. He told Mr Darling: "Instead of tackling that waste now and stopping wasting people's money, you want to increase the taxes on pretty much every single person here in this room and people watching at home."

Mr Cable said: "George, last week you went round denouncing these government supposed efficiency savings as complete fiction – which, frankly, a lot of them are.

"You are now using these fictional savings to finance your tax cut. That is utterly incredible."

If the figures from the ComRes poll were repeated at an election, it would result in a hung parliament in which David Cameron would be 31 seats short of an overall majority. The Tories would have 295 MPs, Labour 266, the Liberal Democrats 57 and other parties 14.

Fifty per cent of people regard it as "unthinkable" to elect Mr Brown for another five years, while 44 per cent disagree with this statement. Almost one in four Labour supporters believe electing Mr Brown for another term would be "unthinkable". However, 51 per cent say they personally feel no enthusiasm for the Conservative Party, with 42 per cent disagreeing. Remarkably, a quarter (24 per cent) of those people who intend to vote Tory say they have no enthusiasm for the party.

Meanwhile, a strikingly high 38 per cent of people believe the country would be better off with a hung parliament and coalition government, while 53 per cent disagree. One in four Tory supporters would prefer a hung parliament and coalition, as would 36 per cent of Labour and 57 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters.

Although the Tories will be relieved to see their lead increase since last month, they will be alarmed at the apparent lack of enthusiasm for a Cameron government. "The mood is sullen; people have turned against the political class generally," one Tory source said last night. "The anger over MPs' expenses last year had faded a little but has been reignited by the Lobbygate affair."

By a margin of 46 to 41 per cent, people do not agree with Mr Cameron's statement that the lobbying scandal which engulfed Labour last week is worse than the sleaze scandals that affected John Major's Tory government in the 1990s.

The ComRes survey contains some good news for the Tories, whose biggest lead over Labour in any region is the 17-point advantage they enjoy in the Midlands, an area with a clutch of key marginal seats. In the South-east, normally the Tories' strongest region, the party leads Labour by nine points.

Tory strategists will also take comfort from the public's hostility towards the Prime Minister. They have made their attempt to prevent "another five years of Gordon Brown" one of their main campaign themes.

The Tories are 11 points ahead of Labour in the top AB social group but Mr Brown's party enjoys the same advantage in the bottom DE group after winning back some traditional Labour supporters since the turn of the year.

The percentage of people who voted Labour in 2005 and are now returning to the fold has risen to 76 per cent since last month. The number of Labour supporters who are absolutely certain to vote this time has increased to 64 per cent, compared to 71 per cent of Tory and 68 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters.

The Tories enjoy a seven-point lead over Labour amongst both men and women, while the Liberal Democrats are more popular by a margin of four points (22 to 18 per cent) among women than men.

The headline figures will steady Tory nerves and come as Tory party officials express cautious optimism that they have survived the "wobble" in fortunes which began after an uncertain start to 2010. They believe that polls suggesting a much narrower lead over Labour – some as low as two points – were wide of the mark. But they admit their party now needs to "push on" if Mr Cameron is to win an overall majority.

ComRes telephoned 1,001 GB adults between 26-28 March 2010. Data were weighted by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at comres.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower