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Voters 'view UKIP more favourably'

British voters regard the UK Independence Party (Ukip) more favourably than their political rivals, according to a poll.

Nigel Farage's party held a narrow lead over Labour and the Tories when voters were asked whether they had a favourable or unfavourable view of them.

The ComRes study for the Sunday Mirror and Independent on Sunday found 27% viewed Ukip favourably, ahead of 26% for Labour, 25% for the Conservatives and 14% for the Liberal Democrats.

Ukip is also the party regarded least unfavourably: 38% have an "unfavourable view" of it, compared with 45% for Labour, 49% for the Lib Dems and 50% for the Conservatives.

The poll will give a boost to Ukip ahead of May's European elections and provide a further headache for the Tories after a recent poll predicted they could slide into third place in that contest behind Mr Farage's party and Labour.

But there was better news for Prime Minister David Cameron personally, with 27% regarding him favourably, the highest rating of the political leaders.

Mr Farage was regarded favourably by 22%, Ed Miliband by 18% and Nick Clegg by 13%.

The survey showed the Tories narrowing Labour's poll lead to five points, down from seven points last month.

Labour was on 35%, the Conservatives on 30%, Ukip 19%, with the Lib Dems on 8%.

There was a mixed reception for Labour leader Mr Miliband's attempts to woo the middle class.

Some 37% agreed that the middle class had become worse off under the coalition than they would have if Labour had won the 2010 election, compared with 27% who disagreed.

But 33% agreed middle class families would be worse off under Ed Miliband than David Cameron after 2015, compared with 26% who disagreed.

:: ComRes interviewed 2,029 British adults online on 15 and 16 January.

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