The majority of people think David Cameron promoted women in his ministerial reshuffle for "presentational reasons", with less than a quarter believing they earned the positions on merit, a poll has found.

The ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror found 24% believed Mr Cameron promotes women "purely on merit", with 41% disagreeing.

Some 56% believed the Prime Minister gives promotions to female ministers "mainly for presentational reasons", with 18% disagreeing.

Overall just one in five of those surveyed thought the reshuffle had improved their view of the Conservative Party, with 54% disagreeing.

Labour had a three-point lead over the Tories, up one point from last month, with Ed Miliband's party unchanged on 34%, the Conservatives down one point on 31%, Ukip down one on 17% and the Liberal Democrats up two points to 9%.

But Mr Miliband's personal woes in the polls continued, with just 21% of voters thinking he was likely to be prime minister after the general election and 44% disagreeing that he was likely to be in No 10 after the contest next May.

:: ComRes interviewed 2,054 adults online between July 16 and 18. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and also by past vote recall.