Conservatives slump sees UKIP within two points

A surge in support for the UK Independence Party has pushed it to within just two points of the Conservatives in a poll of voting intentions.

In a fresh headache for David Cameron, the survey by Survation showed a five-point slump for his party to a record low for the pollster of 24%.It was released as the Prime Minister wrote to Tory activists in a bid to smooth fraught relations with the grassroots over Europe and gay marriage.

Labour slipped one point to 35% but saw its lead over the Tories stretch to 11 points. The Liberal Democrats were down one point at 11%.

Survation's findings - based on 1,000 responses from an online panel - were calculated using a weighting system to reflect a number of factors including individuals' stated likelihood to vote.