The Sunday Telegraph/ICM survey shows Labour on 30 per cent, one point higher than last month’s poll. The Conservatives are unchanged on 40 per cent and the Liberal Democrats down one point on 18 per cent. Repeated in an election the figures would give the Conservatives a very small Commons majority of roughly 16 seats.
The poll also reveals voters are divided on whether Labour would do better or worse in the general election, expected on 6 May, if the party replaced Gordon Brown as leader. Some 41 per cent said the party’s fortunes would improve with a new leader while 35 per cent said they would worsen.
Overall, Conservative voters thought Labour would fare better if the party ditched Mr Brown while supporters of Labour and the Lib Dems though he was Labour’s best bet. David Cameron was more likely to be trusted by voters on three key issues than Mr Brown, scoring clear wins on the NHS (by 43 per cent to 35 per cent), schools (46-34) and the economy (43-36). Exactly the same questions were asked by ICM in 2007, just as Mr Brown was preparing to take over from Tony Blair. Then Mr Cameron was narrowly ahead on the NHS and schools while Mr Brown has a large lead on the economy.
Quite how Labour has gone up a point rather defies belief.