UK's Labour has 17-point lead over Conservatives in first poll since vote date set

Labour Party's general election campaign in Gillingham

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour Party has a 17-percentage point lead over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party in the first opinion poll conducted since he unexpectedly set a July 4 date for national elections on Wednesday.

The poll was conducted by More in Common, a member of the British Polling Council, which sets professional standards for polls conducted in the United Kingdom.

The poll of just over 2,000 people showed 44% support for Labour and 27% for the Conservatives, with the right-wing Reform UK party on 10% and the centrist Liberal Democrats on 9%. The Green Party was on 5%.

The results are broadly similar to those from other pollsters. A previous poll conducted from May 17-19 by More in Common showed Labour with a 16-point lead.

More in Common was set up after the 2016 murder of the British lawmaker Jo Cox by a man obsessed with Nazis and extreme right-wing ideology. The polling company also acts as a strategy and communications consultancy and has broader goals around climate change and support for refugees.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Andrew Heavens)