Theresa May given boost with seven point Tory poll lead as Jeremy Corbyn calls for snap general election

Public approval of Labour leader’s handling of Brexit falls to new low

David Wilcock
Saturday 02 February 2019 21:15
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Theresa May has been given a boost as the Tories surged to a 7 point lead over Labour in a new opinion poll, as Jeremy Corbyn issued a fresh call for a snap general election.

The Labour Party slumped by six points from 40 per cent to 34 per cent in the past fortnight, according to a survey by Opinium for The Observer, seeing them leapfrogged by the Conservatives who went from 37 per cent to 41 per cent.

Public approval of Mr Corbyn’s personal handling of Brexit also fell to a new low of 16 per cent, from 18 per cent two weeks previously.

The Labour leader has continued his calls for a general election in the wake of Ms May’s Brexit deal being voted down, despite his disapproval rating being 61 per cent, according to the new poll.

The poll also found he has support from little more than four in 10 Labour voters (42 per cent).

Ms May‘s handling of Brexit is little better at 25 per cent, but she has the backing, just, of a majority of Tory voters (54 per cent).

The prime minister’s Brexit deal is becoming slightly more popular with the public, with a 15 per cent/45 per cent good/bad split, up from 12 per cent/50 per cent a fortnight ago.

The percentage who believe Britain will leave with a deal in March has risen from 14 per cent to 21 per cent in the same period, but a quarter of Leave supporters now believe there will be a no-deal Brexit, up from 15 per cent.

The poll of 2,008 people was carried out between Wednesday and Friday, after a series of Commons votes on the mechanics of Brexit on Tuesday.

One vote tabled by Labour former minister Yvette Cooper, which sought to delay Brexit, failed after 25 Labour MPs defied the party whip to either abstain or vote with the government against it.

Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, said: “Theresa May has had a week of good headlines.

“The veneer of party unity and the sense of finally being on the front foot as she heads to Brussels have paid off in the form of the largest Conservative lead since before the general election.

“However, while the passage of the Brady amendment may have reunited the various Tory factions, ultimately the tradeoffs that Brexit requires will force those divisions open again when the Conservatives are finally forced to confront them.

“The opening up of such a large lead is more due to Labour’s vote falling back than the Conservative vote increasing.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s balancing act between the Remainers, who make up the bulk of the Labour vote, and the Leave voters in large towns that he needs to get to No 10 is looking increasingly precarious.

“Labour have lost Leave voters to the Conservatives and Remain voters to the Lib Dems, and Mr Corbyn’s personal ratings are back to the lows they were at before the general election.”

Additional reporting from agencies

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