Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tories' Lead Has Expanded Again, According to Poll

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tories' Lead Has Expanded Again, According to Poll

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Woodcock and David Hughes Reporter

Guy and Flora Opperman on their wedding day. It was straight back to the campaign trail the following day THE Tories head into the General Election with a sevenpoint lead over Labour in an indication the party may have stemmed the flow of support away from it, according to a poll.

Opinium Research's final poll before the Election puts the Tories unchanged on 43%, with Labour down one point since last week on 36%.

It is the first Opinium study of the campaign which has seen the Tory lead increase rather than shrink and adds to a mixed picture painted by pollsters in recent weeks. The poll suggested the campaign has damaged the reputation of the Prime Minister, despite a likely Conservative win, with Theresa May's net approval ratings falling from plus 21% at the start of the campaign to just plus 5% on average across all voters.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's popularity has increased over the campaign but only to minus 7%.

Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, said: "Labour's campaign surge appears to have crested as our final poll of the campaign is the first to see the Tory lead expand rather than contract.

"If this is the start of a trend, and it is supported by other work Opinium has done, it is worth bearing in mind that at the last election 15% of voters made their mind up either on polling day or the day before."

Labour's campaign has "firmed up support among sympathetic groups" and "looks like averting the wipeout that was predicted at the beginning".

Mr Drummond said Mrs May's "Brexit firewall of former Ukip voters is holding steady and should be enough to guarantee her a comfortable majority on Thursday". "However, this has been a surprising campaign with many unexpected and some tragic events and it's difficult to say what sort of an impact this will end up having. …

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