A new poll by ICM for the Guardian puts the Conservative Party in the lead for the European Elections, with 27 percent. This puts them on a statistical dead heat with UKIP, who are one point behind on 26 percent. Labour, meanwhile, who were in the lead in the last ICM poll, drop a dramatic 12 points to 24.
The poll also makes grim reading for the Liberal Democrats, who are languishing on just seven percent, behind the Greens, who now have 10 percent.
This is the first time the Conservatives have taken the lead in a poll for the European Elections. Previous polls have seen them languishing in third place, well behind UKIP and Labour, so it remains to be seen whether this is that start of a trend or just a rogue result.
This poll comes as the Conservatives take the lead in opinion polls for the next General Election. Although their lead is only small, and nowhere near enough to give the Conservatives a majority, Labour will be deeply concerned that now, only a year away from the election, they have lost their lead.
During the Thatcher years, Labour enjoyed healthy poll leads mid-term, only to lose them as election day approached and then finding themselves defeated at the subsequent election. Party strategists will worry that the same is happening now.