Johnson's Conservatives have highest support since 2017: Polls
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses his supporters in front of the general election campaign trail bus in Manchester.
Reuters, London :
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party have the highest level of support since 2017, according to opinion polls published on Saturday.
The Dec. 12 election was called to end three years of disagreement over Brexit that has sapped investors' faith in the stability of the world's fifth largest economy and damaged Britain's standing since it voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union.
Johnson, 55, hopes to win a majority to push through the last-minute Brexit deal he struck with the EU last month after the bloc granted a third delay to the divorce that was originally supposed to take place on March 29. Voters in 2016 referendum narrowly voted in favour of leaving the EU.
Johnson's Conservatives lead Labour by 10-17 percentage points, four polls published on Saturday show.
A YouGov poll showed support for the Conservatives stood at 45%, the highest level since 2017, compared with Labour on 28%, unchanged. The pro-European Union Liberal Democrats were on 15%, and the Brexit Party was on 4% unchanged. A separate poll for SavantaComRes also said support for Johnson's Conservatives was the highest since 2017 with his party on 41% with Labour on 33%.
The Conservatives have a 16-point lead over Labour, according to an opinion poll published by Opinium Research. A poll by the Mail on Sunday said Johnson's party had a 15-point lead over Labour.
The first December election in Britain since 1923 will be one of the hardest to forecast in years. Brexit has scrambled voters' traditional loyalties and is giving smaller rivals a chance to challenge the two biggest parties, Johnson's Conservatives and the left-of-centre Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn.
Although opinion polls show the Conservatives are well ahead of Labour, analysts caution the overshadowing issue of Brexit, which has divided both major parties and their voters, could confound conventional calculations.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that all Conservative Party candidates in the Dec. 12 election have pledged to back his Brexit deal, opening the door to getting the agreement passed through parliament if the party were to win a majority.
"All 635 Conservative candidates standing at this election - every single one of them - has pledged to me that if elected they will vote in Parliament to pass my Brexit deal so we can end the uncertainty and finally leave the EU," Johnson told the Telegraph newspaper in an interview published http:/bit.ly/2rSSQ8v late on Saturday.
"I am offering a pact with the people: if you vote Conservative you can be 100% sure a majority Conservative government will unblock Parliament and get Brexit done."
Johnson struck a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union last month, as the bloc granted a third delay to the divorce that was originally supposed to take place on March 29. Voters in the 2016 referendum narrowly voted in favour of leaving the EU.
Commenting separately on his tax policy, the prime minister told the newspaper that tax cuts can boost the economy, but added that he is delaying plans to increase the 40% tax rate threshold, stating that the aim is to first "lift the burden" for low income groups.
"We do want to reduce the burden of taxation," Johnson said. "That's very much our ambition, but we won't do that until we have done more to lift the burden particularly on people on low incomes."
Opinion polls published on Saturday showed that Johnson's Conservatives have the highest level of support since 2017, with the party leading opposition Labour by 10-17 percentage points in four polls.
However, analysts have warned that Brexit, which has divided parties and their voters, could make the result of the coming vote highly unpredictable.
A senior Labour party official says leaks from a report on Russian interference in British politics raises serious questions about the security of next month's election.