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down to the wire

It's almost neck and neck between May and Corbyn ahead of Thursday's election

The Conservatives enjoy just a one point lead in the latest poll by Survation for ITV.

Brexit PA PA

HAVING ENJOYED A lead of 16 points over Labour on 9 May, the Conservative Party’s lead ahead of Thursday’s general election is just one point according to the latest opinion poll from Survation for ITV.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity ratings have also increased considerably in the past month, while Theresa May’s have dropped. Both ceased campaigning for a second time, following the London attack on Saturday night.

Across a number of polls, Labour has been gaining on the Conservatives for weeks. Polling before the 2015 general election had predicted a similarly close result but the Conservatives romped to a crushing victory.

But another poll, from ICM yesterday, had the Conservatives lead at 11 points.

Labour supporters poll PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

This poll was conducted on Friday and Saturday, before the latest terror attack in London.

Last week the Conservatives had a lead of 5.8%. That has been cut to just 1.1% in the last poll.

The Conservatives enjoy support of 41.5% while 40.40% of those polled said they’d vote Labour.

Labour enjoys a large of majority of support among young people, with a lead of 51% to the Conservative’s 39%. Historically, however, turnout among young people has been lower than that of the older generations.

This difference in the age of those who turn out to vote was a major factor in the polls getting it so wrong in the 2015 election, according to John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University.

He told AFP: “One of the things that happened in 2015 is that the polls underestimated the age difference in turnout.”

Pollsters have therefore adjusted their methodologies by widening their pools of respondents, asking them more questions and weighing the result with high-quality academic research done since the last election, explained Curtice.

Part of the reason it is so difficult to predict is Britain’s electoral system.

“There is no automatic relationship between votes cast at the national level and seats won,” because of the first-past-the-post constituency system, Curtice said.

The system makes it especially difficult for smaller parties with support evenly spread nationally to increase their share of seats in parliament.

But smaller parties whose support is concentrated in key constituencies – such as the Scottish Nationalist Party – can do very well, he said.

With reporting from AFP - © AFP 2017

Read: Jeremy Paxman had May and Corbyn in his sights last night but failed to land a knockout punch

Read: Labour catching up in polls as UK politicians resume campaigning after Manchester attack

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