Theresa May’s lead continues to shrink as new poll suggests Britain is heading for a hung parliament

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Leon Neal / Getty
    Britain is heading for a hung parliament according to new YouGov poll. Theresa May’s lead has continued to shrink across all pollsters. However, pollsters remain divided on the scale of the reduction, with some suggesting the Tories are still heading for a comfortable majority. Voters go to the polls in just one week’s time.

LONDON – The Conservatives’ lead over Labour has shrunk to just three points according to a new poll which shows Britain heading for a hung parliament.

With just one week to go until voters head to the polls, the latest YouGov poll finds support for Theresa May’s party has dwindled to 42% with Labour just three points behind on 39%.

YouGov / Times poll

    Conservatives: 42% (-1) Labour: 39% (+3) Lib Dems: 7% (-2) UKIP: 4% (=) Greens: 2% (=)

Fieldwork 30-31st May. Changes from 25-26th May

On a universal swing, such a result would see the Conservatives losing 15 seats to Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn’s party also picking up seats from the Lib Dems and SNP. The Tories would gain just four seats from other parties.

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Electionpolling.co.uk

This result would leave Theresa May seven seats short of an overall majority and force her to seek some sort of coalition with smaller parties in a hung parliament.

The poll also finds Corbyn’s personal ratings continue to rise since the campaign began. 30% of voters now say he would make the best prime minister – his highest ever rating with YouGov.

However, May remains clearly ahead on this measure with 43% saying she would make the best PM.

Voters also say that Labour has had the best policies and the best campaign.

35% say Labour has the “best policies for you and your family” compared to just 29% for the Conservatives.

46% of voters also say the Conservatives have had a bad campaign, compared to 35% who say it has been good. This compares to 43% who say Labour has had a good campaign and 39% who say it has been bad.

Overall voters believe the Conservatives have run a negative campaign and Labour a positive one – a reversal of the position at the start of the campaign.

Polls apart

Almost all recent polls have shown the Conservative lead reducing. However, there remains huge disagreement between pollsters on the size of that lead. The latest ICM poll for the Guardian puts their lead at 12%, which would give May’s party a comfortable majority in Parliament.

The variance comes from the fact that lots more young people are now saying that they are likely to vote than in previous elections. Historically voters between the ages of 18-24 have been the least likely to vote. However, up to 84% of people in this group are now saying they will take part according to some polls.

Some pollsters make adjustments to their final poll numbers based on historical tendency to vote, whereas others simply base their headline voting intention on how people rate their own likelihood to vote. Those pollsters which lean towards taking young people at their word report smaller Tory leads while those that don’t report larger Tory leads. It remains to be seen which will prove to be the correct approach.