Labour now just five points behind the Conservatives, new poll finds

Written by Kevin Schofield on 26 May 2017 in News

Labour has closed the gap to just five points behind the Tories after a major surge in support, according to a new poll

Jeremy Corbyn - Image credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images

Labour has closed the gap to just five points behind the Conservatives after a major surge in support, according to a new poll.

The YouGov survey for The Times shows backing for Jeremy Corbyn's party has soared by five points to 38 per cent in the past week.

Over the same period, Tory support has slipped by five points to 43 per cent – meaning there has been a 10-point swing to Labour.

The Lib Dems are up one point to 10 per cent, while UKIP support has increased by the same margin to four per cent.

But it is the boost for Labour which will be setting alarm bells ringing among the Conservatives, who were still enjoying double-digit poll leads until recently.

If the swing was repeated across the country on 8 June, the Tories would see their majority fall from 17 to just two seats.

Significantly, the poll of 2,052 voters was carried out after the Manchester bombing, suggesting Theresa May has had no boost from being able to make several appearances as prime minister while the election campaign was suspended.

It also suggests that the chaotic launch of the Tories' manifesto – which saw the party U-turn on its plans for social care within days of it being published – is still fresh in voters' minds.

However, when asked who they trust more to make the right decisions about keeping Britain safe from terrorism, 55 per cent said Theresa May, compared to 33 per cent for Jeremy Corbyn.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd scored 24 per cent, while her Labour shadow, Diane Abbott, got nine per cent.

Anthony Wells, research director at YouGov, said: "Given Theresa May’s substantial lead on taking the right decisions on terrorism it would be a mistake to assume the narrowing Tory lead is necessarily connected to the bombing.

“This is the first poll since the dementia tax row, and that seems a more plausible explanation."

A separate poll by TNS also shows a 10-point swing to Labour.

It puts the Conservatives on 42 per cent, down five points, with Labour support up by the same amount to 34 per cent.

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