Boris Johnson edges win in final TV debate but Jeremy Corbyn seen as most trustworthy
Boris Johnson won a narrow victory in a snap poll following the final TV leaders debate but Jeremy Corbyn was seen by viewers as more trustworthy.
In a seemingly cautious appearance the Prime Minister stuck to his tried and tested messaging, repeatedly saying a Conservative victory next week would “get Brexit done”.
On the opposite side of the studio in Maidstone the Labour leader warned the UK faces "chaos" and "huge job losses" if a Tory government was unable to get a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020.
A survey done straight after by YouGov gave Mr Johnson a slender margin of victory - 52% to 48% - suggesting Mr Corbyn had failed to land a knockout blow as he continues to trail in the polls with less than a week of campaigning left.
The result closely matched that of the previous televised head-to-head between the pair in Salford last month, which said the PM won by 51% to 49%.
But Mr Corbyn had a 10-point lead on who “came across as more trustworthy”, something Labour were keen to talk up after the debate.
And double the amount of those watching at home backed him when it came to who came across “as more in touch with ordinary people”, winning by 57% to 29%.
Chris Curtis from YouGov said: “Our snap poll shows that the public remains divided on who won the debate, just as with last month's head-to-head, with most Labour voters thinking Jeremy Corbyn won, most Conservative voters thinking Boris Johnson won, and very few people changing their minds.”
The poll also revealed Mr Johnson came across "as more Prime Ministerial” by 54% to 30% according to the poll, and won 62% to 29% on “who performed best during the section of the debate on Brexit”.
It came after the PM attacked Mr Corbyn for his plan to stay neutral in a second referendum between a Labour deal and remain.
He said: "How can you get a deal, a new deal from Brussels for Brexit, if you don't actually believe in it?
“That's the mystery that I fail to understand."
But on the NHS, which Mr Corbyn won by 55% to 38%, he got cheers as he criticised the Tories’ record since 2010 and their announcement about building 40 new hospitals.
He said: “A week later that became 20, a bit later on it became six new hospitals.
“He seems to have a problem with the figures about hospital building in Britain."
And he accused the PM of wanting ti seen off the NHS in a trade deal with the US, but Mr Johnson dismissed it as “pure Bermuda triangle stuff”, saying we will be hearing about “little green men next”.
Health secretary Matt Hancock defended the lack of excitement in the debate, saying: “Well, I thought that what Boris managed to do was to deliver clarity of message, which is that we will will deliver Brexit and get the country moving forward.
“And that's been our message all the way through this campaign.”
The Tory minister added: “And if Jeremy Corbyn really wanted to make any progress, he needed to show that he had something more to say.
“And he had nothing new to say.”
But Labour’s Barry Gardiner told PoliticsHome: “You know, clarity of message gets pretty boring after a while, and clarity of message actually begins to take people for idiots, it begins to take people for fools.
“And that's what the Tories are doing.
The shadow international trade secretary said his party are “actually setting out with clarity on each of the issues”, but Boris Johnson “offered nothing on that”.