Labour's growing lead

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
March 18, 2011, 12:14 AM GMT+0

The latest voting intention figures in our daily polling for the Sun have topline figures of Conservative 35%, Labour 43%, Liberal Democrat 10%. Over the past two weeks our regular polling has shown increased Labour leads, often in double figures, with two polls showing Labour 11 points ahead - their biggest lead since the General Election.

There are several possible explanations for this: lately there has been something of a media narrative about the Government not being on top of things, and certainly our polling has shown that British people do not think the Government has handled neither the issue of Libya well nor the controversy over Prince Andrew.

When we asked last week how people saw David Cameron, a majority of people thought he had good presentation skills and a genuine vision for the future of Britain, and on balance (by 44% to 34%), people thought he had the ability to put his policies into practice. However, asked about his managerial skills and whether he had a good grip on the Government, people tended to think he did not (People thought Cameron was a not a good manager by 45% to 33%, and that he did not have a grip on the Government by 43% to 35%).

The drop in support for the Government could also be down to some controversial issues moving up the political agenda. Our tracker on what issues people think are the most important this week showed pensions moving up the agenda, with 38% of people naming pensions as an important issue for their family, second only to the economy. This is presumably a result of the Hutton report into public sector pensions. The Government's reforms of the NHS have also been getting a lot of media attention, and this is an issue where Labour are traditionally more trusted than the Conservatives ‒ our latest poll on the subject showed that 40% of Brits think Labour would handle the issue of the NHS best, compared to 24% for the Conservatives.

See the latest survey details and full results