20/02/2017 14:15 GMT

Poll Hands Conservatives 18 Point Lead Over Labour Ahead Of By-Elections


Theresa May’s Conservative Party has an eighteen point lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, according to a poll published today.

The ICM survey for The Guardian showed the Tories on 44% with Labour trailing on 26%.

According to the company, the Tories have only led Labour by more three times since 1983.

The poll comes as all eyes in Westminster are on Thursday’s by-elections in Stoke and Copeland. Labour is hoping to retain both seats.

The Conservatives fancy their chances in Copeland and Ukip leader Paul Nuttall is seen as the main challenger in Stoke.

The IMC poll also put Ukip on 13%, the Lib Dems on 8% and the Greens on 4%.

The figures mean that even a so-called progressive alliance of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens would still be six points adrift of the Tories.

Defeat in either of the by-elections would be a damaging blow to Corbyn. But his close ally Diane Abbott yesterday said it would not affect his leadership.

“I’m confident Jeremy will lead us into 2020. 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,” she told Sky News.

“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.”