Tories retake poll lead after Cameron veto

By Alex Stevenson

David Cameron's refusal to back the EU's fiscal integration plans have sent his party into the lead in two opinion polls.

The Conservatives were up seven points in Ipsos Mori's monthly political monitor for Reuters, reaching 41% in December. Labour slipped two points to 39.

YouGov's poll for the Sun had the same figures for the Conservatives and Labour, while a third poll by ComRes for the Independent newspaper had the two parties neck and neck on 38%.

The Liberal Democrats continued their low poll rating, slipping one point to 11% in Ipsos Mori's poll. YouGov put Nick Clegg's party on just ten per cent, but ComRes had them on 12% – up two per cent.

"The immediate reaction to the way David Cameron has handled the eurozone crisis seems to be positive, with the government and particularly the Conservatives gaining across the board – much more so than many other political events this year," Ipsos Mori's head of political research Gideon Skinner said.

"However, with pessimism about the economy continuing to grow, and with the news changing daily, the question is whether this will be seen as a watershed moment or a short-term shift."

The public remain split on the government's approach to reducing the deficit, according to Ipsos Mori. It found 44% back the coalition's decisions but 46% oppose them.

Only 12% think the economy is going to improve in the next 12 months – the lowest proportion since September 2008.