Tories ahead: What's happened?

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
December 14, 2011, 11:11 AM GMT+0

Our latest daily poll puts the Tories ahead of Labour for the first time since December 2010. Anthony Wells explains

Voting intention in our latest daily poll for the Sun shows the Conservatives at 41%, Labour at 39% and the Liberal Democrats at 10%. This is the first time that we have shown the Conservatives ahead of Labour since December 2010.

For the last few months, our daily polling has shown a steady average Labour lead of around five points. In our three polls since David Cameron's veto at the European summit we've shown two one point Labour leads and now a two point Conservative lead, suggesting a boost to Conservative support from the outcome of the summit.

This appears to be partially due to traditional Tory voters returning to the party from UKIP.

The UK Independence party had been gradually increasing its support, getting as high as 7% or 8% immediately after the recent Conservative backbench rebellion over a European referendum. Cameron's veto, however, appears to have convinced those voters to return to the Tory fold: UKIP's support has dropped to 3% in our latest poll.

What remains to be seen is whether the Conservative resurgence can be sustained, or whether it will fade away again once the public's thoughts return to the more bread and butter issues of the economy, health and pensions.

See the survey details and full results here

See all our political trackers, including voting intention, here