Ed Miliband’s party maintains 10% advantage, with Conservatives on 29% and Liberal Democrats on 8%
Labour is heading into 2013 with a solid 10% point lead over the Conservatives, while Ukip continues to surge and now has more than half the level of support enjoyed by David Cameron’s party, according to the latest Opinium/Observer poll.
Support for all three main parties is unchanged compared with a fortnight ago, with Labour on 39%, the Tories on 29% and the Liberal Democrats stuck on 8%.
While Labour’s lead is comfortable, its score will disappoint party strategists who would have hoped it would be pushing well above 40% as the economy hovers close to a triple-dip recession.
The only clear winner from the survey is Ukip, which is up 1% on two weeks ago at 15%. Having started 2012 at about 4.5% Nigel Farage’s party has seen its support soar as euroscepticism has spread among voters, against the background of the eurozone crisis and arguments over the EU budget.
The Tory, Labour and Lib Dem leaders’ approval ratings have also barely changed, with David Cameron scoring a net -20% (down one percentage point), Ed Miliband staying the same at -16%, while Nick Clegg’s support has dropped three percentage points in two weeks to -49%.
Voters were asked how optimistic they felt about their financial situation as they approached 2013. Forty two per cent said they believed their circumstances would deteriorate over the coming year, while 19% believed they would improve.