Tuesday 26 November 2019 10:22 am

Election poll: Labour is closing the gap on the Tories

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has squeezed the Tories’ election poll lead down to 11 points from 18 a week ago, a new survey by data company Kantar showed today.

Support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives dropped two points to 43 per cent, while Labour climbed five points to 32 per cent.

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Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats were down two points on 14 per cent in the election poll, while the Brexit Party of Nigel Farage was up one point on three per cent.

The poll was carried out before both parties launched their manifestos, so it remains to be seen how their headline policies will affect their popularity.

The two main parties took different approaches to their pitch to voters. Labour’s manifesto, launched last week, plans to increase spending by £83bn a year by 2023-24 on policies such as scrapping university tuition fees and building a social care system.

The Tory party was much more cautious, with just £3bn a year extra spending planned by 2023-24. Johnson was keen to avoid the fate of Theresa May, whose disastrous social care policy in 2017 led to Labour surging in the polls.

Today’s Kantar poll was the second in two days to show Labour edging closer to the Tories. Yesterday, an ICM poll for Reuters showed the Conservatives with a seven-point lead, down from 10 points a week ago. This poll was also carried out before the manifestos were revealed.

Labour received a boost today from 168 economists who published a letter in the Financial Times in support of Corbyn’s radical economic agenda.

The signatories included former Bank of England rate-setter David Blanchflower, and professors from London School of Economics and Oxford.

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They said: “Given private sector reluctance, what the UK economy needs is a serious injection of public investment.”

However, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has dismissed Labour’s tax and spend plans as “not credible”.