Labour has opened up a 22-point lead over the Tories on which party is seen as the best to look after the interests of women, new polling has revealed.

Tory support on women's issues slipped among both men and women.

The result follows criticism of Prime Minister David Cameron after the number of full women Cabinet members fell from five to four in the reshuffle - although the number of women attending stayed the same.

At the time Ceri Goddard, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, pointed out men still outnumber women 5 to 1 in Cabinet, saying women were "not at the table." "Sweden, Switzerland and France all have equal numbers of men and women in their Cabinets. Why can’t we?”

Overall, about 34% say Labour is best at looking after the interests of women, compared with 12% for the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats were backed on the issue by 17%.

In February 2010, 26% backed Labour as best at supporting women, compared with 20% for the Tories - a swing of eight points.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori, said: "The Conservatives have clearly lost ground to Labour as best at looking after the interests of women - and what is interesting is that men have marked them down on this issue just as much as women.

"Not only that, men are more likely to express an opinion on the matter."

The Conservatives have lost more ground among men than women, with only 10% of male respondents to the poll saying the party was best at looking after the interests of women, compared with 15% of female respondents.

Two-thirds of Labour voters back their own party as being best at looking after the interests of women - but only one third of Conservative voters say the same about their own party.

Ipsos Mori interviewed a representative sample of 1,006 adults across Britain by telephone between September 15 and 17.

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