[Re-uploaded after hacking attack. Originally dated 02.12.2012]
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• Following the strong performance by UKIP in the three by-elections last week, latest opinion polls add to the growing weight of evidence that the Party is firmly entrenched as the third major alternative in British politics.
The latest Observer/Opinium poll shows the Conservatives have dropped 3% to 29% in the the same time as UKIP have surged by the same amount to 13% – a record for the Party since Opinium surveys began in 2011.
Labour increased its lead over the Tories by two points to 9%, but it too fell, by 1%, to 38%. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems were four points behind UKIP, though up 1% on a fortnight ago, at 9%.
The Observer report says the UKIP surge will worry the Tories in particular, as it appears to have had a direct effect on Conservative support.