Labour has taken the lead in a new opinion poll amid growing public anxiety over the largest spending cuts since the Second World War.
The latest Populus survey for the Times puts Ed Miliband's party up one point since September to 38 per cent, the first time Labour has led the Conservatives since November 2007. David Cameron's party has dropped two points to 37, with their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, up one point to 15 per cent.
Other findings in the poll suggest that David Cameron's government has failed to convince voters that the spending review was both fair and necessary. 58 per cent of voters think the effect of the cuts will be unfair and a majority believe that the coalition is cutting more than it needs to. Only a third think that the government has managed to protect the most vulnerable members of society.
Two other opinion polls released today also showed Labour narrowing the Conservatives' lead. The YouGov/Sun daily tracker poll put the two parties level on 40 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats on 11 per cent. Meanwhile, an ICM poll for the Guardian put the Conservatives on 39 per cent (-1), Labour on 36 per cent (nc) and the Liberal Democrats on 16 per cent (nc).