Labour take 7 point lead

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
January 13, 2011, 8:16 PM GMT+0

Our latest voting intention poll for the Sun has the Conservatives on 36%, Labour on 43% and the Liberal Democrats on 9%.

This is the biggest lead we have shown for Labour since the election, and indeed since Gordon Brown's honeymoon as Prime Minister back in 2007 when Labour briefly enjoyed a lead of up to 11 points, only to see it come crashing down. On the present boundaries, if these levels of support were repeated at a general election Labour would be returned to power with a very comfortable majority of 92.

The Labour lead comes after our polls showing public support for the cuts falling. However, it is important to view it in context - all polls have a margin of error of around 3%, and this means that even if levels of party support are not changing much you will sometimes get a result at the fringes of the margin of error. Hence the seven point lead we are showing today and the one point lead we showed yesterday are actually both perfectly compatible with an underlying position where Labour were about 3 points ahead.

One of the strengths of daily polling is that one can look beyond the sort of polling figures that produce exciting headline figures are, and see what longer term trends lie beneath them. Today's figures may very well be the start of a longer term improvement in Labour's position... or tomorrow's figures could go straight back to a more usual 3 point Labour lead. We shall see.

See the survey details and full results