Tories take 18% lead over Labour in new opinion poll
Labour is 18% adrift of the Conservatives in the latest opinion poll to give the Tories a commanding lead.
The ICM/Guardian survey puts the Conservatives on 44%, up two points on the most recent edition two weeks ago, while Labour has dropped 1% to 26%.
Only three previous ICM polls since 1983 have given the Conservatives bigger leads.
Ukip edges up to 13% while the Liberal Democrats are down two points to 8% in today’s poll.
The gap puts more pressure on Jeremy Corbyn ahead of this week’s by-elections in Stoke-on-Trent Central and Copeland, where Labour is trying to hold off challenges from Ukip and the Conservatives.
Despite Labour’s polling deficit regularly registering in the double figures, allies of Mr Corbyn have insisted that the Labour leader will be able to turn around the party’s fortunes.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell predicted earlier this month that Labour would overtake the Tories within 12 months, while Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said yesterday there would be no questions over Mr Corbyn’s position even if Labour loses the by-elections.
"The point about the polls is you’ve had nearly a year of a sustained campaign against Jeremy and the Labour party, both in the media and sadly a few of our MPs,” Ms Abbott said.
“I think, as we move beyond what has been almost a year of misrepresentation of Jeremy’s position, I think if you move beyond that and the more people get to see him and hear him, whether it’s in the media or at campaigning events, I’m confident the polls will improve.”