Conservatives extend lead in latest poll

Party up two points to 41 per cent in new ICM poll with Labour unchanged on 27 per cent

The Conservatives have extended their lead over Labour in the latest ICM/Guardian poll to 14 per cent. Support for the party was put at 41 per cent, up two since the last ICM poll, with Labour unchanged on 27 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent, also up two since the last poll. The surge in support for minority parties during the expenses scandal appears to be fading, with backing for them down three to 12 per cent.

Labour officials are likely to be disappointed that the widespread coverage of alleged phone-hacking by News of the World journalists, reported to have taken place under then editor Andy Coulson, currently director of communications for the Conservatives, appears not to have damaged the Tories. Support for the Conservatives is now at its highest in an ICM poll since March. The voting figures, if repeated at a general election, would give the party a healthy majority of 72 seats.