The Conservative Party would win an early General Election but would not gain enough seats to break the current deadlock gripping Parliament, according to major new research.
A YouGov poll using the same method that correctly predicted the outcome of the 2017 election quizzed more than 40,000 people to see what would happen if Britain went back to the polls.
The poll found that Theresa May would marginally tighten her grip on the Commons by winning 321 seats – four more than she currently has – and that Labour would win 250 seats, down from 262.
The Lib Dems and SNP would each gain four seats, according to the prediction.
A party needs to win 326 seats to gain an overall majority.
The poll’s most likely outcome would give the Tories a ‘working majority’, meaning they would not need to rely on votes from other parties to pass legislation, because MPs from Sinn Fein do not take their seats or cast votes in Westminster.
But the knife-edge lead would mean the PM is still at risk from mutinies within her own party, giving small bands of rebel MPs in her own party the power to block legislation.
The Prime Minister currently leans on a fragile agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to pass bills after losing her majority in 2017.
However the Northern Irish party has threatened to vote against key legislation in protest at Mrs May’s Brexit deal.
Mrs May’s weak position was made clear in January after MPs voted down her Brexit deal by an unprecedented margin of 432 votes to 202.
It comes as rumours circulate that the Conservatives are preparing to fight an election this summer, with the Mail on Sunday claiming that Tory HQ staff have been briefed on campaign plans.
Jeremy Corbyn is calling for an early election in an attempt to break the Brexit impasse currently strangling Parliament, but Mrs May has repeatedly ruled out calling an early vote.
The new research suggests that the Labour leader might want to rethink his stance, predicting a 7% slump in the Labour vote.
19% of Brits think he would be the best person to be Prime Minister, down from a high of 39% in July 2017.
Mrs May will address MPs today as she ploughs on in her attempts to unite Parliament behind her Brexit deal.
She is expected to say that talks are at a ‘crucial stage’ and to appeal for more time to try and secure concessions from the EU before calling another ‘meaningful vote’ on her deal.