Conference factor boosts Tories

The Conservative party has achieved a six-point poll lead over Labour in the wake of their party conference in Bournemouth last week.

An ICM poll published in the Sunday Telegraph puts the Tories on 38 per cent, compared to Labour on 32 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 20 per cent.

A similar poll conducted last weekend prior to the party’s annual conference put David Cameron’s party on 36 per cent, just one point ahead of Labour on 35 per cent.

If repeated in a general election, the result would produce a hung parliament in which the Conservatives would be the largest party with 304 seats, compared to 273 for Labour and 40 for the Lib Democrats, the Sunday Telegraph claims.

The latest survey, which questioned more than 1,000 adults by telephone between October 4th and 5th, also found greater support among voters for Mr Cameron than Gordon Brown, the favourite as Tony Blair’s successor.

Asked who would make the better premier, 45 per cent of respondents chose the Tory leader, compared to 34 per cent who backed chancellor.

Mr Cameron’s pledge last week to make health a key priority for the Conservatives also resonated with voters, as 19 per cent of those questioned said they would trust his party with the NHS, compared to 17 per cent for Labour.

However, 34 per cent trusted neither of the main parties with the NHS and 25 per cent said they thought it made no difference to patients who was in power.

In a further blow to Labour before the start of the next parliamentary session, 54 per cent of people said that they wanted British troops in Iraq to come home by the end of the year, while 52 per cent wanted the country’s soldiers to leave Afghanistan by 2007.