May could lose majority in election: YouGov projection

May could lose majority in election: YouGov projection

A hastily-arranged General Election in the United Kingdom - that was seen as a foregone conclusion - has suddenly sprung into life with polls tightening and some market analysts speaking about outcomes that would have been inconceivable just weeks ago.

That left May with an eight-point advantage compared with 15 points in a poll that closed on May 23.

Ipsos Mori's Political Monitor showed the gap closing to five points with the Tories on 45% - down four on two weeks ago - while Labour are up six on 40%.

The poll is the latest to show a narrowing lead for May.

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.

When Theresa May announced the snap election, the ruling Tory party enjoyed a 24 point lead in the polls and it was greeted with much optimism that a greater majority would be beneficial for the PM in negotiating the UK's exit from the EU. "We all got it wrong in 2015 and we are all trying different methods to get it right this year", said Anthony Wells, a research director at YouGov.

The Conservatives would still be the biggest party, but would not have an overall majority.

That would raise questions about the future of Brexit, Britain's $2.5 trillion economy and British policy on a range of issues including corporate taxation and government spending and borrowing.

Despite the caveats on the poll, the pound fell immediately against the dollar and euro when the Times' report was released late on Tuesday evening.

The weak pound helped lift the FTSE 100 35 points, or 0.5%, to 7,555 with technology and industrial stocks providing the upward momentum.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets Carl Hatton who works on the fishing vessel Avon Valley as she visits the Plymouth fisheries in Plymouth, May 31, 2017.

Labour owes some of its rise in the polls to Corbyn's improved rating as voters discover the Labour leader's agreeable, easy manner on the campaign trail.

Moreover, Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto promise to scrap tuition fees from this Autumn has attracted a surge support from young people.

What could influence the vote on June 8?

But chief executive Stephan Shakespeare told The Times that the model had been tested in the run-up to the Brexit vote when it consistently put the Leave campaign in the lead. "And even if his promises are practically impossible and economically catastrophic, set against the Tories' unnecessarily defensive campaign it's small wonder he appears to be picking up support".

Sensing the momentum, Corbyn made a last-minute decision to attend a live television debate on Wednesday with other party leaders - and challenged May to join him. May was interior minister from 2010 to 2016.

The Financial Times said in an editorial that an increased Conservative majority could lead to more hardline Eurosceptics in May's party. But the Liberal Democrats are anti-Brexit, and may try to seek a deal with Labour, who want Britain to keep some aspects of European Union membership.

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