Labour cuts gap with Conservatives to single figures for the first time in mainstream poll

The YouGov survey puts the party on 35 points and the Tories on 44

Niamh McIntyre
Monday 22 May 2017 09:30
General Election round-up: May 21

Labour have continued to cut the Tories’ lead in the polls after the publication of the party manifestos, as party leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed his message was “getting through” to voters.

Survation research gave Theresa May's party a lead of nine percentage points with the Conservatives dropping 5 per cent to 43 per cent in a week while Labour enjoyed a 5 per cent boost to 34 per cent.

There was a similar story in four new polls published in the Sunday papers, which put Labour between 35 per cent and 33 per cent, up from the 26 points the party was showing at the start of the campaign.

The YouGov poll for The Sunday Times put Labour on 35 per cent, with the Conservatives nine points ahead on 44 per cent.

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Significantly, this is the first time it has been in single figures in a mainstream poll since Theresa May called the snap election on April 18.

The 35 per cent figure is also the highest showing for Labour in the polls since the Brexit vote last year.

General Election polls and projections: May 21

It appears Theresa May’s policies on social care and pensions have damaged her party’s approval rating among older voters.

A separate Survation survey, conducted entirely after Thursday’s Tory manifesto launch, found 28 per cent of voters said they were less likely to vote Conservative because of the social care package, branded a “dementia tax” by opponents.

The Conservatives said this week elderly people receiving social care would have to fund the entire cost, until they reached their last £100,000 of assets.

The average UK house price stands at £215,847, so the “dementia tax” would affect many middle-class voters.

Meanwhile, Labour have attempted to woo pensioners with a series of measures including protecting the winter fuel allowance and the triple-lock protection of the state pension.

Mary Creagh, who is defending Wakefield for Labour, said on Twitter: “Lots of Tory voters switching to Labour in Wakefield today because of arrogant, complacent Tory attack on pensioners.”

One Labour insider characterised the mood in the Corbyn camp as “extremely positive”, after the Labour leader attracted a crowd of thousands to a rally in super-marginal Wirral West and appeared on stage with The Libertines at a music festival.

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