Ed Miliband is certainly winning the mother vote ahead of the general election as his party has a 20-point leader over the Tories with the demographic.

A poll from Populus for the Financial Times revealed that only 28% of mothers with children under 18 plan to vote Conservative.

In contrast, almost half of the respondents (48%) intend to vote for Labour.

Populus said the squeeze on living standards over the past five years and worries over the NHS as well as other public services pushed mothers towards Miliband's party.

"From the focus groups we do, women do tend to be more concerned about public services and cost-of-living issues; men by macroeconomic issues and international politics. It's not a uniform split, but it is noticeable," said Laurence Stellings, associate director at Populus.

The figures come with less than 100 days to go before polling day in May.

The prime minister is expected to declare a "war on mediocrity" as part of a plan to improve schools in England.

Eton-educated David Cameron will announce a Conservative government would tackle "coasting" schools and force almost 3,500 schools rated as "requiring improvement" into new leadership.

The latest YouGov poll for The Sunday Times put Labour on a three-point lead over the Tories (35% vs 32%), with Ukip on 15%, the Liberal Democrats on 7% and the Greens on 6%.