Tory lead over Labour narrowing, polling suggests


The Conservative Party's lead over Labour has dropped slightly with less than two weeks to the General Election, polling shows.

The Tories have experienced a drop of one point to 46%, while Labour has gained three points to 31%, according to a survey of 2,003 UK adults between Wednesday and Friday by Opinium Research.

The Liberal Democrats are up one point to 13%, while the Brexit Party is down one point to 2%.

It comes after a powerful YouGov poll for The Times this week suggested the Tories are on course for a majority of 68, with Labour's support interpreted as crumbling in Leave-backing seats.

The Opinium poll found as many as one in seven voters (16%) was not sure who to vote for.

When asked which parties they are considering voting for, half (49%) stated they are considering the Conservative Party, while three in 10 were considering Labour or the Liberal Democrats (29% for both).

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A third (37%) of "don't knows" do not expect to make up their mind until the day of the election itself, with 13% even expecting to only make up their mind once they get into the polling booth.

The poll found the Leave vote continues to coalesce behind the Tories, with the party holding 76% of the Leave vote share, up one point from last week.

Labour has seen a small increase in the last week, gaining three points to hold 14% of the Leave vote share.

Meanwhile, the Brexit Party is down three points to an all-time low for the party of 3% of the Leave vote share.

Labour continues to slowly gain more of the Remain vote, up one point to 47%.

However, the Remain vote still shows no sign of decisively uniting behind one party, with the Liberal Democrats holding onto a quarter (25%) of the Remain vote.

The poll found little has changed in the past week on perceptions of who would make the best prime minister.

Mr Johnson is up one point to 36%, while Jeremy Corbyn remains at 19%.

The poll suggests the public has become a little more polarised over the past week, as public satisfaction with Mr Johnson has increased three points since last week's poll to 30% – while preference for Mr Corbyn has also increased slightly by two points.

Priya Minhas, research manager at Opinium, said: "There are signs of Labour gaining some momentum, with a slight uplift in support among Leave voters.

"While Brexit is still the key issue people are most likely to base their vote on, this has dropped in importance since the start of the campaign, with the NHS and health becoming more prominent as a deciding factor.

"This favours Labour as they are trusted more on this issue."

Elsewhere, a poll reported by The Observer suggests Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is at risk of losing his seat in a tactical voting switch.

Mr Raab enjoys a healthy majority of 23,298 in his Esher and Walton seat in Surrey, but a Deltapoll survey of the constituency indicates he now only holds a five-point lead over his Lib Dem opponent Monica Harding.

The Tories have held the seat since 1910, but it voted 58% Remain in the 2016 referendum – and the former Brexit secretary is vocally anti-Brussels.

Tactical switching by Labour supporters or a higher turnout among the under-40s could hand the seat to the Liberal Democrats.

The Observer said when Deltapoll asked how people would vote if they saw it as a contest between the Tories and Lib Dems, the two parties were tied at 48%.