Just had this sent to me as I was packing up to go home, so don’t have time to post on it properly…but it’s a surprising news so I didn’t want to wait till tonight. MORI’s monthly political monitor shows Labour back ahead.

The topline voting intention figures with changes from their last face-to-face poll in December are CON 37%(-5), LAB 38%(+3), LDEM 16%(+1) (from their telephone poll for the Sun earlier this month the changes are an even more stunning Conservatives down 5, Labour up 6…but I think they are tending to produce slightly different figures these days).

The poll was conducted between the 17th and 23rd January – I’m told it was delayed simply because they wanted to take the time to double check the figures before publishing because of the surprising findings. This means the fieldwork would have been completed prior to both the Peter Hain resignation and the Derek Conway scandal, in fact roughly the same time that ICM were also showing a lift in Labour support.

Every pollster has now shown the level of Conservative support dropping, though there are contrasting findings as to who is benefiting at their expense. We haven’t yet seen any polls taken after the Conway affair, so it may well get worse for them.

(Incidentally, on the economic optimism question I wrote about the other day, the figures have got even worse. 60% think the economy will get worse, only 9% expect it to get better. The net economic optimism figure of minus 51 is the second lowest figure since 1980, the exception being the poll taken straight after September 11th 2001.)