Theresa May has opened up a 37 point gap over Jeremy Corbyn as more than half of British voters think she would make a better Prime Minister than her Labour rival, according to a new poll.
Analysis of the impact of Brexit by former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft found that 55 per cent of the poll of more than 10,000 UK adult respondents believe the current Prime Minister is the best choice for the role compared to 18 per cent who favour Mr Corbyn;,
In a further blow to the Labour leader, only 38 per cent of his party’s supporters would prefer him in Downing St, compared to 29 per cent who believe Ms May is more suited to the job. 33 per cent said they do not know.
In contrast, 89 per cent of Conservative voters backed their party leader.
Ms May’s popularity is highlighted by her topping a survey of which politicians the British public thinks are performing well. The Prime Minister is the only leader seen to be performing above average – beating the likes of Angela Merkel, David Davis and Phillip Hammond.
Mr Corbyn’s performance is rated worse than that of several members of the Conservative Cabinet and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, but better than that of Donald Trump and Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats.
As the Government prepares to begin lengthy negotiations with the EU, the poll found that both Leave and Remain voters said Brexit is the most important issue facing the country.
Forty two per cent of people thought the UK being able to control immigration was more important than the country retaining access to the EU single market (34 per cent).
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
Forty five per cent of voters say the Tories most closely represent their view of how the UK should handle Brexit, compared with 27 per cent who say Labour and 14 per cent the Lib Dems.
Overall, when people are asked how they will vote at the next election, the Conservatives are on 41 per cent compared to Labour’s 28 per cent – a 13 point lead.
Labour is seen as having the best approach to improving the NHS and social care, and the party is level with the Tories on the subject of improving schools.
The Conservatives are ahead on every other policy issue, including negotiating Brexit on the right terms, protecting the environment, cutting the deficit and tackling the cost of living.
Mr Corbyn’s allies have said he should be given more time to turn his party’s poll ratings around.
Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, recently said: “The way the media treated Jeremy was just quite extraordinary. Add insult to injury of at least a year when Labour MPs were in the media, day after day, saying he was completely unelectable.”
She added: “It is now the case Labour MPs have calmed down a bit - so we will see where the polls are in six months time.”
Len McCluskey, the Corbyn ally and leader of the Unite union, said the Labour leader should be given “the next 15 months” to prove himself."Reuse content