Labour gloom as Conservative lead reaches 19 points

Tories also lead Labour on every policy issue except the NHS

Labour's political woes have deepened as a new poll gives the Conservatives a 19 point lead and shows that voters believe David Cameron's party has the best policies in nine out of ten key areas.

The News of the World/ICM poll put the Conservatives up five points to 45 per cent, with Labour unchanged on 26 per cent and the Liberal Democrats down five to 18 per cent. If repeated at a general election, the numbers would give the Conservatives a three-figure Commons majority.

The Tories now lead Labour on every policy issue with the exception of the National Health Service. Their biggest lead is on law and order, with 41 per cent of voters for the Conservatives against 20 per cent for Labour. The party also leads Labour on the economy (40 per cent to 25 per cent), Afghanistan (34 per cent to 18 per cent), taxation (35 per cent to 26 per cent) and education (35 per cent to 29 per cent).

But in a sign that the Tories' European alliance with right-wing parties accused of homophobia and antisemitism may have damaged their support, their lead on Europe is only six per cent (29 per cent to 23 per cent). Labour are still regarded as the party with the best policies on the health service, with a one point lead over the Conservatives.