Poll gives British Labor 12-point lead

Feb. 13, 2013 at 1:18 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The British Labor Party leads the Conservative Party by 12 percentage points, its biggest advantage in a decade, a poll released Tuesday indicated.

The Guardian/ICM poll found voters are unhappier with the coalition government's economic policies than they were in May. While the share who blame Labor's spending policies and growing debt while the party controlled government remains unchanged at 29 percent, the percentage blaming government spending cuts has grown from 17 percent to 23 percent.

Labor picked up 3 points from January and now has the support of 41 percent of the electorate. Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives lost 4 points and only 29 percent now support the party.

The other party in the coalition, the Liberal Democrats, are now backed by 13 percent, a 2-point loss. The euroskeptic United Kingdom Independence Party picked up 3 points to 9 percent, a record for the party in the Guardian/ICM poll.

The last time Labor made such a strong showing in the poll was in 2003 shortly after the invasion of Iraq.

The poll also found a substantial gender gap with 51 percent of female respondents supporting Labor and only 25 percent the Conservatives. Among men, 36 percent supported Labor and 29 percent Conservatives.

ICM Research interviewed 1,001 adults Feb. 8-10. The company weights its results to account for "shy Tory voters" who vote Conservative but are unwilling to say so. Even with that weighting, the poll gave Labor a bigger lead than polls released during the weekend by The Sunday Times and The Observer, which had the Conservatives 9 and 10 points behind, respectively.

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