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Latest survey shows Tory lead narrows

By By JONATHAN POWELL in London | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-12 09:45

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a final general election campaign event in London, Dec 11, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

YouGov poll cuts size of predicted Conservative majority to just 28 seats

Political party leaders in the United Kingdom launched a frantic final day of campaigning ahead of Thursday's general election after a new survey dramatically cut the size of the Conservatives' predicted majority.

The closely watched forecast from YouGov-the last from a trusted polling authority before the election-predicts the Tories will secure only a slim majority of just 28 seats.

When the survey was carried out two weeks ago it showed the Tories on course for a comfortable majority of 68. The Labour Party is forecast to lose 31 seats putting the party on course for its worst performance since 1983.

It suggests that the Conservatives are on track to win 339 seats, Labour 231, the Liberal Democrats 15 and the Scottish National Party 41.

The YouGov polling model, which unlike others, accurately predicted the hung Parliament outcome two years ago, forecasts that the Tories would have a 43 percent share of the vote, followed by Labour (34 percent) and The Lib Dems (12 percent).

YouGov Political Research Manager Chris Curtis said: "Our latest and final poll shows that a small Conservative majority is likely, with the Tories taking 22 more seats than in 2017.

"But the margins are extremely tight and small swings in a small number of seats, perhaps from tactical voting and a continuation of Labour's recent upward trend, means we can't currently rule out a hung Parliament.

"As things currently stand there are 85 seats with a margin of error of 5 percent or less."

Throughout the general election campaign, the Tories have continued to hold a large lead over Labour in major polls, regularly by double digits.

Leaders of all parties were making concerted last ditch efforts to persuade undecided voters on Wednesday, the last day of campaigning before the vote.

The election presents a stark choice for voters, with the main two parties proposing to radically change the way country is run. For the Conservatives that means ensuring Britain leaves the European Union at the end of January.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the richest and big business would pay for his party's public spending promises, with the National Health Service at the center of his proposals.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, admitted that it had been "tough" trying to defend some Labour seats in Leave-voting (Brexit favoring) areas in the North of England. He told BBC Breakfast: "The trend has been toward us. I think we're in striking distance of a Labour government and we're campaigning with a message of hope."

In one campaign stunt at the JCB factory in Staffordshire on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson drove a heavy-duty vehicle through a polystyrene wall with the words "gridlock" printed across it.

He said: "Our country can choose between going forward, punching through the current deadlock and achieving a brighter future together with a one-nation Conservative government. Or we can remain stuck in neutral, and paralyzed with more deadlock, defeatism, division and drift under a coalition.

"It is the only mathematical alternative to a working majority government or a coalition led by Jeremy Corbyn propped up by (Scottish National Party leader) Nicola Sturgeon."

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