Labour recovery faltering as Tory lead rises in new polls

Tory lead rises to nine points in latest ICM poll and eleven points in Opinium survey.

Labour's recovery in the polls appears to have stalled as two new surveys show the Conservatives have opened up a large lead over the government.

The latest monthly ICM poll for the Guardian put the Tories up three points to 40 per cent, with Labour up one to 31 per cent and the Liberal Democrats unchanged on 20 per cent. If repeated at a general election on a uniform swing, the latest result would produce a hung parliament with David Cameron 12 seats short of an overall majority. But if, as expected, the Tories perform disproportionately well in marginal constituencies, it should be enough to give the party a small majority.

Meanwhile, a new Opinium poll for the Daily Express gave the Tories an 11-point lead over Labour. The survey put the Conservatives up two to 39 per cent, Labour down two to 28 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats unchanged on 16 per cent. If repeated at a general election, the latest figures would see David Cameron enter Downing Street with a small majority of 28 seats.

By contrast, the latest daily poll YouGov poll suggests that Britain is still on course for a hung parliament but also shows the Tory lead rising. The Conservatives are unchanged on 37 per cent, with Labour down one to 32 per cent and the Lib Dems up four to 21 per cent.

Nick Clegg will be encouraged by the rise in support for the Lib Dems following the party's spring conference at the weekend. Many pollsters predict that Clegg's presence at the first televised leaders' debate could lead to a surge in support for the Lib Dems as the election campaign progresses.