In Depth

Labour retake the lead as Tories drop three points

And in London, Ed Miliband’s party pulls 12 points ahead of the Tories - best since last May

Columnist Don Brind

Labour finish the week back in the lead by four points, according to YouGov, which had been reporting Tory leads and a tie until now. YouGov’s poll for The Sun today shows: Con 31 (down 3), Lab 35 (up 1), Lib Dems 6 (down 2), Ukip 15 (plus 1), Greens 8 (plus 2).

As well as the three-point Tory drop, the small increase for both Ukip and the Greens runs against the trend of the week. 

That said, with 62 days to go, it’s still basically neck-and-neck, with Labour likely to have a slight lead in terms of Commons seats, and the SNP set to become the third largest party at Westminster – hence Sir John Major’s call for Ed Miliband to rule out in an advance any coalition deal with a party who’s main purpose is to break up the UK.

Miliband, of course, is still hoping Labour can win a Commons majority on their own. While that looks unlikely, a new poll for the London Evening Standard will at least raise his hopes. It shows Labour have extended their margin over the Tories in the capital to 12 percentage points – their biggest lead in London since last May. 

The Standard’s weekly survey conducted by YouGov has: Con 32 (unchanged), Lab 44 (up 2), Lib Dems 7 (u/c), Ukip 10 (u/c),  Greens 5 (down 3).

According to the Standard, it puts Labour on course to take seven of their 12 London targets, with gains from the Tories and the Lib Dems.

The YouGov poll underlines the fact – often masked by the “Scottish nightmare” headlines - that Labour are doing relatively well in England. The 12 London targets are a key element of Labour’s national hit-list of 100-plus Tory and Lib Dem seats.  

As I reported yesterday, Lord Ashcroft’s polling analysis currently points to Labour gaining 40-plus seats in England – not enough to give them a clear majority, but enough to worry John Major.

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