George Osborne and David Cameron are out of touch, say voters

Labour has biggest lead over Tories since the general election, latest opinion poll shows

Nigel Morris@NigelpMorris
Tuesday 30 October 2012 13:00

Labour has its biggest lead over the Conservatives since the general election, according to the latest poll for The Independent.

David Cameron and his Chancellor, George Osborne, are also seen by two-thirds of voters as being out of touch with ordinary people, suggesting that the "plebgate" row over the former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell's confrontation with police in Downing Street has hit Tory support.

The ComRes survey puts Labour on 44 per cent (up six percentage points since last month), the Tories on 33 per cent (down two) and the Liberal Democrats on 12 per cent (down three). Repeated at a general election, a lead of 11 points would propel Ed Miliband into power with a majority of 110 seats. The Tories would lose 100 seats and the Liberal Democrats 36.

Labour's 44 per cent rating is the highest it has achieved since the election. Sixty-seven per cent of voters agreed that the Prime Minister and Mr Osborne were out of touch with ordinary people, with 26 per cent disagreeing. Even 40 per cent of Tory voters viewed the two men as out of touch.

The results will be a setback for both Mr Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, who had hoped they had drawn a line under the Coalition's troubles with well-received conference speeches.

However, since MPs returned to Westminster, Mr Mitchell has been forced to resign as Chief Whip and Mr Osborne faced embarrassment for travelling in a first-class rail compartment on a standard-class ticket.

Mr Cameron's attempt to gain the initiative by pledging that gas and electricity consumers would automatically receive the lowest tariffs backfired when it emerged that the full details had not been worked out.

Opinion was nearly evenly split over the Government's general competence, ComRes found. Forty-six per cent of respondents agreed that "despite some mistakes, overall the current Government is broadly competent", with 48 per cent disagreeing.

After Britain emerged from recession last week and unemployment fell, there were also glimmers of optimism about the economy. By a tiny majority (48 per cent to 47 per cent), voters said they expected the UK's financial situation to improve over the next year.

ComRes interviewed 1,003 GB adults by telephone between 26 and 29 October. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. Data were also weighted by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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