The Conservatives remain on course for a comfortable majority at the next election according to a new poll which puts the party 13 points ahead of Labour.
The Independent/ComRes poll put the Conservatives up two to 40 per cent, with Labour up four to 27 per cent and the Liberal Democrats down five to 18 per cent. If repeated at a general election, the figures would give the Tories a Commons majority of 58.
There was no sign of a poll bounce for the British National Party following leader Nick Griffin's appearance on BBC1's Question Time, with the party's rating stuck at two per cent. Overall support for minority parties was down one to 15 per cent.
The poll also suggests that David Cameron's anti-state rhetoric is beginning to resonate with voters. Sixty-seven per cent said they agreed with the Conservative leader that "Government has grown too big and needs a major overhaul to make it smaller".
But while a majority of voters believe Cameron could be an effective prime minister they remain sceptical of his party. 45 per cent of voters said they agreed with the comment that David Cameron "seems likeable, but I am not sure I am ready to see a Conservative government", with 49 per cent disagreeing.