Squeaky Bum Time

The Tories' lead over Labour has been slashed in half in a week

The Conservatives still hold a comfortable lead ahead of the 8 June election.

THE UK CONSERVATIVE party’s poll lead over Labour has halved in a week since the publication of parties’ election manifestos.

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times places the Conservatives at 44% (down 5 points) and Labour 35% (up 4 points), a significant difference on last week.

A result on those lines would still deliver Prime Minister Theresa May a big victory on the 8 June election, but the 9-point gap is a significant shift on the 20-point lead her party held at the start of the campaign.

In the general election in 2015, David Cameron’s Conservatives won 37% of the vote compared to Labour’s 30%.

The gains for both parties appear to have come at the expense of Ukip which won 13% of the 2015 electoral share but is now polling at 3%.

General Election 2017 Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reads to children in Bristol. PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Newspaper commentators warned of a backlash against May’s proposed plan to address the rising cost of social care for the elderly, which could see higher bills for many people.

“Tory wobble as cuts for elderly slash May’s lead,” headlined the Sunday Times.

YouGov found 40% of voters opposed the social care plan, and 35% supported it.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it was “necessary” to meet the challenges of an ageing population.

General Election 2017 Prime Minister Theresa May launched her party's election manifesto this week. Danny Lawson / PA Wire Danny Lawson / PA Wire / PA Wire

“I think it is a mark of Theresa May’s bravery and candour with electorate that she is doing this,” he told ITV television.

May called the snap election in April, saying she wanted a mandate to go into the negotiations on taking Britain out of the European Union.

Labour had always insisted the opinion polls would narrow as the election nears.

Its leader Jeremy Corbyn claims his plans to nationalise the railways, raise taxes and invest in public services are widely popular.

With reporting by © – AFP 2017

Read: ‘If May wins a landslide it’ll be a disaster for Ireland’ – Tim Farron on Brexit, Ireland, and Labour’s self-destruction >

Read: Scottish Tories say country is ‘too cold’ to means-test winter fuel payments >

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