It looks likes the autumn statement may not have been as big a hit with voters as the Conservatives had hoped, as they have dropped three points in the final Guardian/ICM poll of 2014.

David Cameron

David Cameron

The Tories have dipped three points to 28% and are now five points behind Labour, who have crept ahead of 33%. This is the worst poll rating for the Conservatives for eighteen months, despite their autumn statement, which helped savers, first time house buyers and pensioners.

Labour have been having a difficult few weeks with a sting of gaffs and a document leak last week, but that doesn't seem to have done as much damage as expected as the are, once again, five points ahead of the Tories. Having said that, they have had a five-point advantage at other times during 2014, only to see that lead disappear.

There was also better news for the Liberal Democrats as they were up three points to 14%, which sees them on peg back Ukip, who were also on 14%. Lib Dems really have been struggling with Ukip this year and have regularly been pushed into fourth by Nigel Farage's party.

However, it has been a difficult week for Ukip as Kerry Smith was forced to step down due to homophobic and racist comments. Smith was a rising star for Ukip and was expected to be a major force when running for the South Basildon and Thurrock seat in the general election next year.

It is the Tories that have come out of this latest poll quite badly, despite inflation being down and the economy on the rise - we received more good news yesterday as there were fewer people out of work. However, this has not done much to send Conservative support rocketing.

Over the last week, it has been how to reduce the deficit that has been the big talking point for both the Conservatives and Labour. The Tories look set to cut fast and deep should they get back into power next year. Labour is set to take a different approach with Ed Miliband making 'sensible' cuts to get the deficit under control.

Both plans came under attack from the Lib Dems: they claim that the Tories will cut too far, while Labour will not make the cuts that will get the deficit down quick enough.

There are still five months to go until the general election in May and the Conservatives will not be overly concerned about the results of one poll. However, they will be disappointed that the autumn statement promises did not secure the support that they had hoped.

The Chancellor announced that he was axing Stamp Duty, raised the threshold of paying tax on earnings to £10, 6000, increased the annual limit on ISAs to £15, 240, and stopped businesses from paying National Insurance when taking on apprentices under the age of twenty.

It looks like all the parties have a major fight on their hands to secure people's votes at next year's general election and it is going to be a close run race.

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