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Conservatives gaining popularity over Labour: Poll

Written by: Staff
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London, Oct 25 (UNI) Support for Labour has dropped to its lowest level in 20 years, with the Conservatives opening up a potentially election-winning 10-point lead, according to an opinion poll.

The ICM poll for The Guardian puts Labour on 29 per cent, 10 points behind the Tories on 39 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats on 22 per cent. Labour's support is the same as it was recorded in May 1987, a month before Margaret Thatcher won a third term.

Support for minor parties, growing in recent months, has dropped back one point to nine per cent. The Green party and the UK Independence party score two per cent each.

The poll, carried out last weekend, follows Conservative party leader David Cameron's attack on the National Health Scheme (NHS) cuts as well as the publication last week of a party report advocating tax cuts of 21 billion pounds.

The results suggest that campaigning on the NHS offers the Tories potential gains, with an overwhelming majority of voters believing that the record sums being spent on health by the government have largely being wasted.

Labour has more than doubled health spending since 1997 to almost 90 billion pounds a year but seems to be gaining little political credit for its efforts. However, most people remained proud of Britain's standard of healthcare with 55 per cent believing in NHS' potential. People also trust it with their lives, with 60 per cent agreeing that they would get excellent treatment if they were unwell while the rest disagree to the fact.

The poll comes after other findings suggesting that Mr Cameron's honeymoon with voters may be over. Even if today's Guardian/ICM result were repeated at a general election, the Conservatives would only end up as the largest party in a hung parliament, or hold only a narrow majority, since Labour gains most from the distribution of parliamentary seats across the country.

The ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1,019 adults on October 20-22 across the country.

UNI XC KD RN1633

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