The latest Opinium/Observer’s poll has revealed a sharp narrowing in Labour’s lead over the Conservatives to just one point. Following last week’s well-received budget statement by George Osborne, the two parties are statistically neck and neck. Labour and the Conservatives have not been so close since the “omnishambles” budget in 2012.

· Labour support falls by 2 points but they remain in the lead with 33%

· Conservatives are up by 2 points with 32%

· UKIP is down 1 point at 15%

· No change for the Lib Dems 10%

This is the lowest share of the vote Opinium have recorded for Labour since September 2010, just a few months after the general election, while the Conservatives were last at this level of support in November 2012, just before a UKIP surge that saw them pull away from the Liberal Democrats in the battle for third place.

Voting intent: January 2012 to March 2014

Voting Intentions 30-03-14

Click Chart to Enlarge

Adam Drummond, Opinium Research comments:

The gap that opened up in 2012 after a poorly received budget appears to have been almost closed by another one although Labour’s lead had been shrinking for several weeks beforehand. George Osborne’s appeal to older voters may also help explain the slight decline UKIP have seen recently given how much support for Nigel Farage’s party comes from the over 55’s. With the economy showing signs of improvement, Ed Miliband has to be hoping that this is a temporary post-budget bounce rather than an enduring trend.

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