Tory opinion poll lead grows to 19 points despite Budget U-turn
The Conservatives' poll lead over Labour has grown to 19 points - despite the Government's humiliating Budget U-turn on National Insurance Contributions.
According to pollsters ICM, the Tories are now on 45%, up one point since two weeks ago, while Labour has dropped back two points to 26%.
The poll was carried out in the immediate aftermath of last Wednesday's NICs climbdown by Chancellor Philip Hammond.
In a major embarrassment, he scrapped the increase after accepting it broke his party's 2015 general election pledge not to put up taxes.
Remarkably, the ICM poll also shows that Mr Hammond and Theresa May are now even more trusted to run the nation's finances than John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn.
On who is better able to manage the economy:
May & Hammond: 44% (+1)
Corbyn & McDonnell: 11% (-1)
Chgs. w/ pre-budget poll.
The 19-point lead is the Tories' biggest advantage since the last election, and would give them a majority of 140 if repeated at the next election.
ICM director Martin Boom said: "It’s so desperate for Labour that it’s also nearly a full house’ across standard demographics. Only members of non-white communities offer up a Labour lead over the Tories. When 18-24s split 41% vs 29% for the Conservatives, Labour can only be in some sort of historic mess."
Downing Street again insisted today that Mrs May will not call a general election before 2020.
Labour elections co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne yesterday insisted the party was ready to go to the country.
But John McDonnell has said it could take up to two years for Labour to regain credibility with the public.
"Over the next 18 months, 24 months, I think it will turn and we will be ready for the general election at that stage," he told the i newspaper.