LONDON British Prime Minister Theresa May’s lead over the opposition Labour Party has increased to 10 percentage points, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday, contrasting with others which have shown the gap closing markedly over the past week.
With just over a week to go before the national election, the Kantar poll showed the Conservatives’ share of the vote had increased by one percentage point since last week to 43 percent, while Labour’s had dropped by one point to 33 percent.
Support for the Liberal Democrats rose two points to 11 percent, while the UK Independence Party was stuck on 4 percent.
“The strong stance which the Conservatives are showing on Brexit continues to pay dividends,” said Luke Taylor, head of social and political attitudes at Kantar Public UK.
The latest poll further muddies the picture around the likely outcome of the June 8 election.
On Tuesday a YouGov study showed suggested May could lose control of parliament, raising the prospect of political deadlock just as formal Brexit talks begin.
A separate Panelbase poll – conducted more than a week ago – showed May’s lead grew to 15 points, but the company warned on Wednesday that this reflected a new methodology, and that a newer poll due this week would probably show a smaller lead for May.
May called the snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, to win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce and to strengthen her grip on the Conservative Party.
But if she does not comfortably beat the 12-seat majority her predecessor David Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble may be judged to have failed and her authority weakened just as she tries to deliver on her Brexit promises.
Wednesday’s Kantar poll showed Labour was most trusted on its No.1 election issue, the health service, but lagged behind on the other four: Brexit, national security, immigration and the economy.
Kantar’s online poll of 1,199 adults was conducted between May 25 and May 30.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)
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