Tories' lead over Labour cut to single figures for second successive poll

Jeremy Corbyn says Labour policies are 'getting through' to voters (Rex)
Jeremy Corbyn says Labour policies are ‘getting through’ to voters (Rex)

Labour has continued to close the gap on the Conservatives amid controversy surrounding the announcement of Theresa May’s social care reform plans that resulted in an embarrassing U-turn.

Jeremy Corbyn said his party’s message is “getting through” to voters after the Tory lead was cut to single figures for the first time since a snap election was called on April 18.

According to a Survation poll, the Conservatives have fallen five points to a nine-point lead, while Labour have enjoyed a five-point boost.

A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times put the Tories on 44 per cent and Labour on 35 per cent — the highest showing for Labour in the polls since the Brexit vote last year.

Three other polls published in the Sunday papers put Labour between 35 per cent and 33 per cent, up from 26 points at the start of the campaign.

A separate poll found that Labour is winning the social media war. Online campaign messages have been seen by 44 per cent of all voters according to the Survation poll for Good Morning Britain, with the Conservatives four points behind on 40.

And on Monday, an additional poll by ICM for the Guardian put the TOries on 47% and Labour on 33% – six points closer than the previous week.

The polls came after after both parties published their manifestos in full.

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Under a Tory government, Theresa May initially vowed that more pensioners will have to pay for care at home and only £100,000 of a pensioner’s wealth will be protected from care costs.

The policy, which has been dubbed a “dementia tax” by opponents, is polling badly among traditional support groups for the Conservatives and has been privately criticised by Tory MPs.

And as outrage swelled, Mrs May announced on Monday that a Tory Government would, in fact, consult on a possible cap on social care costs.

It amounts to a significant concession after the Tory manifesto said proposals from the Dilnot Report on social care, which included a ceiling on the total amount any individual would have to pay, “mostly benefited a small number of wealthier people”.

Speaking in Wrexham, Mrs May accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of resorting to “fake claims, fear and scaremongering” over the impact of her plans.

She said: “This manifesto says that we will come forward with a consultation paper, a government green paper.

“And that consultation will include an absolute limit on the amount people have to pay for their care costs.”
Labour has instead attempted to woo older voters. Corbyn has said he would keep the triple lock, winter fuel payments and free bus passes and would halt planned rises in the retirement age beyond 66 if elected.

“Not satisfied with plunging our social care system into crisis, Theresa May’s nasty party has promised more attacks on older people,” he said at a rally.

“Theresa May and the Conservatives won’t stand up for pensioners, their only concern is their billionaire friends.”