General election: Latest polls have Theresa May's Conservatives on course for victory

Snap election is the Tories' to lose as polls show historic lows for Labour

Caroline Mortimer
Tuesday 18 April 2017 17:35 BST
Theresa May goes back on election promise

As the country faces a snap election on 8 June, current polls indicate Labour may face an uphill battle to regain seats from the Conservatives.

A YouGov conducted earlier this week and published on Sunday revealed that the Tories are enjoying a 21-point lead over Labour on 44 per cent vote share to 23 per cent.

Similarly a poll for The Independent by ComRes released at the weekend found 46 per cent of voters would pick the Tories – compared with just 25 per cent for Labour, 11 per cent for the Liberal Democrats and 9 per cent for scandal-hit Ukip.

One seat projection by political blogger Iain Whiteley, based on these polls, sees the Tories winning another 69 seats on top of their 17-seat majority with Labour set to lose 70.

The Liberal Democrats could see an increase of two more MPs on top of the two they have gained in by-election victories in recent months.

When it comes to who the UK public think should be the next Prime Minister, a whopping 55 per cent favour Ms May staying in No 10 Downing Street compared with just 18 per cent who would prefer Mr Corbyn.

Ms May announced she would introduce a bill to the House of Commons calling for an election as she had “reluctantly” concluded it was the only way to heal the divisions in Westminster.

She said: “The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.

“In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union.

“The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.

“The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain's membership of the European Union.

“And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.”

Brexit and a possible second Scottish independence referendum will be two of the core issues fought over in the next six weeks.

The Labour Party is struggling to regain a foothold in Scotland after all but one of its MPs were wiped out in 2015, but it has been hamstrung over the differing messages of the Westminster and Scottish leadership.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has repeatedly rejected any calls for a new Scottish referendum, but Mr Corbyn said he would be “absolutely fine” with it.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems will be looking to hoover up any pro-EU Labour voters outraged by Mr Corbyn’s lacklustre support for the Remain campaign and subsequent support for Brexit.

Despite the party losing 49 out of 57 MPs just two years ago, its leader Tim Farron was bullish about its chances.

He said this election was a chance for “to change the direction of [the] country”.

“If you want to avoid a disastrous hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the single market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance”, he explained. “Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.”

Parties will need to get their 'battle buses' ready as the country goes to the polls once again (Getty)

Internal polling by the Tories earlier this month suggested the party could lose up to 27 seats to the resurgent Lib Dems, including all their 2015 gains in south London and the south-west of England.

The party has made a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal a key part of its sell to the British people.

A poll conducted for The Mirror in February found that Remain would win if the referendum was held again.

It found 13.5 per cent of people who voted for Leave would now switch to Remain, compared with 9.3 per cent of those who voted Remain who would now choose Leave.

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