Labour's lead over Tories cut

Witney Gazette: Only 29% thought Ed Balls would make a better chancellor than George Osborne Only 29% thought Ed Balls would make a better chancellor than George Osborne

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.

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