The Conservatives' poll ratings remain fragile, according to a new survey which shows Labour cutting the party's lead to five points. The latest daily Sun/YouGov poll put the Tories down one point to 38 per cent, Labour up one to 33 per cent and the Liberal Democrats down one point to 16 per cent.
If repeated at a general election, the latest figures would leave Gordon Brown 28 seats short of an overall majority in a hung parliament. Labour would have 298 seats, the Tories 287, the Liberal Democrats 36 and others 29.
Conservative support is likely to have been hit by billionaire party donor Lord Ashcroft's admission that he has not paid tax on his overseas fortune since becoming a member of the House of Lords nine years ago.