People would rather see cuts in the NHS and other public services than tax hikes, and believe the Tories can better deliver value for money, according to YouGov.

A poll for the Sunday Times says that two thirds want cuts to balance the books, while a third believe the Conservatives are best placed to do that, compared to a quarter who back Labour.

It also suggests that the Government has suffered from the freeing of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, and that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been tainted by the Libya incident.

A separate News of the World survey shows that 29% believe the Tories would get better value for taxpayers’ money, compared with 19% who favour Labour.

Meanwhile, the Tories are maintaining their 14-point lead on voting intentions - 41%, to Labour’s 27% - enough to give Mr Cameron a significant majority.

This against a slightly less gloomy overview of the UK’s economic prospects, with three-quarters - slightly down on July last year - believing the country is in bad shape over the recession.