Tory lead narrows, according to latest poll

Staff writer

The Tory lead over Labour has narrowed to six points, according to the latest opinion poll.

This figure is significant because Boris Johnson is believed to need a six-point lead to win enough seats across the UK to form a majority government.

The findings suggest Mr Johnson was wise to dodge a BBC TV interview with veteran journalist Andrew Neil, who has a reputation for grilling interviewees. And this wasn't the only TV appearance the PM has avoided. He also snubbed ITV's Julie Etchingham and sent Michael Gove in his place to a Channel 4 debate.

ICM said support for the Conservatives stood at 42%, unchanged from its previous poll a week ago, while Labour was up one point at 36%.

In the 2017 general election, Labour dramatically closed the gap with the Tories in the run-up to polling day to 2.4% as it robbed Theresa May of her majority.

With a huge surge in registrations to vote last month, the majority from younger people, the Brexit issue muddying the waters and celebrities such as Hugh Grant urging tactical voting, Mr Johnson can take nothing from granted.

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ICM's six-point lead was narrower than that of six polls published between Saturday and the early hours of Monday.

The Liberal Democrats were down one point at 12%, the continuation of a slide since Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced a Brexit policy which included a second EU referendum, while the Brexit Party, riven with internal struggles, was unchanged at 3%.

ICM surveyed 2,011 adults online for Reuters from December 6-9.