Labour are up two points to 32 per cent in this week’s Ashcroft National Poll, taking them into a four-point lead over the Tories, who are down four at 28 per cent. After several days in the headlines UKIP are up two points to 19 per cent, equalling their highest share yet in the ANP. The Liberal Democrats are up one point at 8% and the Greens down two at 5 per cent.

Results in other polls published yesterday and today have ranged from a tie to a seven-point Labour lead. The most notable difference between the ANP and other polls continues to be the lower combined score for the two biggest established parties: 60 per cent, compared to 66 per cent with YouGov yesterday and up to 71 per cent with Populus today.

The results suggest the Tories’ post-conference bounce has been short-lived. This underlines the finding from the poll I published yesterday, which found that on the fundamentals, the conference season changed little except to reinforce the parties’ existing strengths and weaknesses: the Conservatives extended their leads on competence, toughness, welfare reform and managing the economy, while Labour consolidated their position on the cost of living, the NHS and being “on the side of people like me”.

Meanwhile, as last week’s by-elections suggest, UKIP continue to have momentum on their side. In the ANP I found 29 per cent of voters saying they were “moving towards” the party, a higher share than for the Tories, Labour or the Lib Dems. This includes 23 per cent of Conservative voters, 12 per cent of Labour voters and 31 per cent of swing voters (those who either do not know how they will vote or say they may change their minds before election day).

Conservative voters were the least enthusiastic about their own party, with 59 per cent saying they were moving towards the Tories and 13 per cent away – a net score of 46 points. This compared to 63 points for Labour among Labour voters, 53 points for the Lib Dems among (the admittedly scarce) Lib Dem voters and 92 points for UKIP among UKIP voters.

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