From the archive: ‘Gordon to the rescue’ as Labour support dips - 16 march, 2005

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LABOUR MPs are looking to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, to salvage the party’s faltering election campaign with his Budget statement today.

Labour nerves were strained yesterday by an opinion poll showing that the Conservatives are gaining ground, boosted by their recent offensives on immigration and health.

The NOP poll put Labour’s support on 39 per cent, down three points in a month. The Tories were on 34 per cent, up four points.

The poll also showed a marginal lead for the Conservatives’ pledge of offering modest tax cuts, while maintaining spending on health and education.

Labour has struggled to control the political agenda in recent weeks, a period during which Mr Brown has adopted a conspicuously low-key approach to campaigning.