Conservative lead over Labour falls by six points in a month

20 May

The Conservative lead over Labour has fallen by six points in the last month, but the party retains a commanding advantage in the latest Opinium poll for the Observer.

Theresa May’s party has a 13-point lead over Labour, with a 46% share of the vote. The party is down one point on last week’s poll.

However, Labour has increased its poll share to 33%, up a point on a week ago and up seven points on a month earlier. The Lib Dems remain in third place on 8% of the vote, with Ukip on 5%. Both are unchanged since last week.

The small but steady erosion of the Tory lead comes with some pollsters believing that some voters who backed Labour in 2015 are returning to the party.

The Opinium poll was taken before the Conservative party announced its manifesto last Thursday. Manifestos tend to provide parties with a poll bounce, but some Tories are concerned that the policy of making people who are cared for at home pay for it through their estate will prove to be unpopular.

May retains a positive net approval rating – the difference between those who approve or disapprove of her – of 17%. Corbyn has a net rating of -18%. May is rated as the best prime minister by 45%, while 22% say Corbyn would make the best premier.

Adam Drummond, the head of political polling at Opinium, said: “With the Conservatives retaining such a significant lead and the Liberal Democrats failing to take flight, Labour-leaning voters who dislike Jeremy Corbyn appear to be gradually returning to the fold, safe in the knowledge that they can vote against a Tory landslide without making him prime minister.

“Although the Tory lead is shrinking, the slow rate of change means that it will be mid-August before Labour close the gap.”

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,003 UK adults aged 18 and over from 16-17 May. Results have been weighted to representative criteria of the UK.

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