Labour holds seven-point lead over Brexit-divided tories, finds latest poll


Labour has taken a seven-point lead over the Conservatives, according to a new poll.

The Survation poll put Jeremy Corbyn’s party up one point on 44 per cent, while the Tories have dropped three points to 37 per cent. They had previously been polling neck and neck.

Support for the two main parties is starkly split along gender lines. Labour has a 17-point lead among women while the Tories are three points ahead among men.

The Labour surge comes amid widespread concern about the impact of austerity policies on the economy.

​The survey, commissioned by the GMB trade union, found almost half (47 per cent) of people surveyed thought the UK would slide back into recession within the next two years, while 62 per cent want Chancellor Philip Hammond to use Tuesday’s Spring Statement to boost investment in public services.

Sixty per cent of people, including 48 per cent of Conservative voters at the last election, believe spending cuts have now gone too far.

Fifty per cent of voters, including 42 per cent of Conservative supporters, want privatised public services brought back under state control, compared to just 12 per cent who want more privatisation.

Survation was one of the most accurate pollsters at the 2017 general election.

Tim Roache, the GMB general secretary, said: “People have had nearly eight years of austerity and they’ve had enough. We’ve all seen that it’s not working – public services are at breaking point, our infrastructure is creaking and there is no government plan to create jobs.

“This poll shows that voters of all stripes think the Government’s cuts have gone too far. No matter party allegiance, people can see what cut after cut means for them, their families, their friends and their communities, and they don’t like it.

The latest findings will come as a boost to Labour ahead of local elections in many parts of the country in May.

Recent studies suggest the party will sweep up in London and take seats from the Conservatives in cities such as Birmingham.

The Survation poll gave Labour a 27-point lead in London, with the party on 54 per cent compared to the Tories’ 27 per cent.

Last week a survey by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft found 60 per cent of Londoners disapprove of the Government’s record, compared to 25 per cent who approve.

Brandon Lewis, the Conservative Party chairman, admitted last month that the elections will be “really difficult” for his party.

“These are really difficult elections for us,” he said. “If you look at the electoral cycle, this is the point of the cycle that’s always difficult.

“The last time these [councils] were up in 2014, if you look at the numbers, Labour did very well. And obviously London is up and London is a very challenging dynamic for us. We’ve got work to do in London and elsewhere.”

Some Tory MPs have suggested a disastrous showing at the ballot box could result in a leadership contest being triggered against Theresa May.

One told The Independent: “If it’s bad she’ll be OK. If it’s very bad she’ll probably be able to hang on. But if it’s genuinely disastrous, there will be a contest.”

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