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Labour sneak ahead in opinion poll

Labour are more popular than the Tories for the first time in three years, according to a new poll.

Support for Labour has risen to 40% while that for the Conservative Party is now on 39%, according to the YouGov survey for The Sun.

The Liberal Democrats are still languishing on 12%, after a significant slump in support since forming the coalition Government with the Tories in May.

Labour's one-point lead is smaller than the margin of error and may be the temporary consequence of media coverage of the party's recent annual conference in Manchester.

It will nevertheless hearten MPs and activists and embolden newly-elected leader Ed Miliband amid warnings that his victory - after a left-leaning campaign made successful by union support - would cost Labour mainstream voters.

The poll, conducted on 1,948 adults on September 26 and 27, is the first survey of voting intentions since Mr Miliband defeated his elder brother David on Saturday evening in the race to succeed Gordon Brown.

It is the first time Labour have led the Tories since October 2007, when then prime minister Mr Brown was on the brink of holding an election before changing his mind at the eleventh hour.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted for the Conservative Party by pollsters Populus suggested that voters preferred David to Ed Miliband as Labour leader.

After being shown the two brothers' campaign videos ahead of Saturday's result, 53% thought David was up to the job of prime minister compared to 36% for Ed.

In the survey, in which 2,011 adults were questioned between September 3 and 5 and which was seen by The Times, voters rated David at 6.6 out of 10 for charisma, against Ed's 5.1.

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