Labour's lead over the Conservatives has been cut to just one point, according to an opinion poll tonight.

The ComRes poll for The Independent put Labour on 33% - down four points on last month - while the Tories are unchanged on 32%.

The UK Independence Party were the main gainers, rising four points to 14%, while the Liberal Democrats continue to languish in single figures on 9%.

The findings represent Labour's smallest lead over the Conservatives in a ComRes/Independent poll since December 2011 when the two parties were level-pegging on 38%.

They will encourage Conservative strategists they are finally making headway against Labour claims that the country is locked in a "cost of living crisis" with benefits of the recovery failing to filter through to ordinary households.

The poll found 39% believed their family finances would be better off under David Cameron and George Osborne than under Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, as against 28% who thought they would be better off under the Labour duo than under the Tories.

Only 29% thought Mr Balls would make a better chancellor than Mr Osborne as against 47% who thought he would not. Almost a third - 30% - said they would be more likely to vote Labour if Mr Balls were replaced as shadow chancellor.

:: ComRes interviewed 1,002 GB adults by telephone between January 24 and 26.