Support for Labour has soared since the start of 2024, according to a new opinion poll.
The Ipsos survey puts Keir Starmer’s party on 49% - eight points higher than the firm’s last poll a month ago.
And while support for the Tories has also increased by three points to 27%, the gap between the two main parties has now stretched to 22 points just months away from the general election.
In another blow for Rishi Sunak, Starmer has now stretched his lead on who would make the best prime minister to 13 points.
Meanwhile, 64% of voters now think the government is incompetent, while 69% believe it is “time for change” at the next election.
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said: “2024 isn’t showing much sign of starting off any better for the Conservatives than 2023 ended.
“Time for a change sentiment is still strong, the public remain concerned about the NHS, the cost of living, the economy and immigration, and Rishi Sunak has dropped further behind Keir Starmer as the public’s most capable PM.
“What comfort the Conservatives do have – that there is still a lack of enthusiasm for Labour, and that economic optimism has slightly improved from last year’s lows as inflation falls – seems quite outweighed by public dissatisfaction with the way the government is delivering on the issues they really care about.”
The poll’s findings will pile even more pressure on Sunak, who is already facing moves from within the Conservative Party to oust him as leader.
Former cabinet minister Simon Clarke broke ranks last week to say that the Tories will be “massacred” unless someone else takes charge before the election.