Labour and the Conservatives are tied in the marginal seats that will determine the result of the election, according to a new poll which shows a hung parliament is increasingly likely.
The Times/Populus survey of 100 Labour-held seats found that although the Tories are performing better in the marginals than in the country as a whole, they currently lack the support necessary to guarantee David Cameron an overall majority.
The poll put Labour on 38.2 per cent in the key seats, down from 45.3 per cent in the 2005 election. The Conservatives are on 37.6 per cent, up from 31.4 per cent. The figures mean the Tories could expect to gain 97 Labour-held seats. The party would need to win up to 20 further seats from the Liberal Democrats and others for an overall majority.
The survey excluded the 50 most marginal Labour seats, which the Tories are expected to easily win, but included those Cameron needs to secure a majority.