The result will come as a relief to the Prime Minister, who continues to face mounting criticism over her Government’s handling of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Today’s survey, carried out by The Times and YouGov, saw the Tories move up one point from last week to 43%, while Labour dropped three points to 39%. The Lib Dems were on 8%, up two points.
The recovery for the Conservatives comes despite warnings of ‘deep divisions’ in the Tory ranks, with Leavers and Remainers – as well as hard and soft Brexiteers – at odds over what Britain’s future should look like outside of the bloc.
Political Science Professor Simon Hix attributed the result to Labour’s ‘extreme leaderhip’.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘This is probably the most divided and less effective government in my lifetime. If Labour had a less extreme leadership, it would be 15-20 points ahead, not behind!’
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, a ringleader of the rebels who inflicted Theresa May’s first Commons defeat over her Brexit legislation, last night warned that the Conservative party was at risk of ‘falling apart’
‘I do recognise that there are deep divisions, there’s no point in trying to pretend they don’t exist,’ he told BBC’s Newsnight.
‘Clearly there can come a point in a party’s process where the ties of loyalty and affection get so stretched that it snaps. That’s when a party starts to fall apart.’
Jeremy Corbyn’s party has generally held a lead over the Tories since the general election in June, dropping behind in December before recovering their lead.
Today’s survey results saw Mrs May draw ahead of Mr Corbyn over who the public thinks would make the best prime minister, with 37% of those polled plumping for May.
Mr Corbyn managed to come third in a two-horse race, coming in behind ‘don’t know’, which polled 33% to his 29.
The PM’s Brexit ‘war cabinet’ will meet again today, following further leaks yesterday about the forcast economic outcome of Brexit.
The leaked numbers showed that the north east of England and West Midlands will sustain the biggest hit to economic growth from Brexit, with London taking the least damage.
At a black-tie party event last night, Mrs May sought to ease the Brexit tensions, promising she had ‘no doubts’ about her plan for a future relationship with Brussels.
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She told the assembled donors, celebrities and politicians: ‘Ever since the British people delivered their vote in the referendum, I have had no doubts about what our new relationship with the EU must mean for the United Kingdom.
‘It will mean taking control of our money – so we are not sending vast annual subscriptions to the EU.
‘It also means control of our borders – so we decide on our own immigration policy; one which attracts the brightest and the best to come to these shores, and one which also ensures we are investing in our own talent here at home.
‘And it means control of our laws – so British courts are supreme and the European Court of Justice no longer overrules them.’