Sterling drops on poll showing risk of hung United Kingdom parliament

Betting markets give a more than 80-per cent probability of May winning an overall majority, though betting markets were wrong ahead of the unexpected Brexit result in the June 23 referendum.

The pound was trading broadly flat against the dollar at 1.28 after having dipped by as much as 0.5% following a YouGov poll indicating that Theresa May's Conservative Party could lose 20 seats and see its majority wiped out.

The Times said the YouGov data suggests the Tories could lose up to 20 of the 330 seats they held in the last parliament, with Labour gaining almost 30 seats.

The fresh election data is based on a complex model and suggests the Prime Minister's gamble of calling a snap election in the hope of a landslide win could backfire spectacularly.

But polls had shown May's rating slipping over the past month and they fell sharply after she set out plans on May 18 to make some elderly people pay a greater share of their care costs, a proposal dubbed the "dementia tax" by opponents.

But her Conservative Party remained on 43 percent according to a survey conducted by Survation for ITV's Good Morning Britain program, seeing their lead drop as support for Labour rose 3 percentage points to 37 percent. At the same time, Labour has gone on the attack for cuts to policing which have come into focus after last week's suicide attack in Manchester that killed 22 people.

The dollar touched a 12-day low against the safe-haven yen overnight as investors turned cautious amid political worries in Europe as well as weaker stock and commodity markets after a long United States holiday weekend, but then it recouped its losses.

YouGov's analysis puts the Tories on 310 seats, down from the 330 they went into the election campaign with, and 16 short of a majority.

YouGov acknowledged that its predictions were controversial and suggested big swings in the usual voting patterns for many Britons.

The Liberal Democrats on 8% and Ukip on 4% are both unchanged while the SNP are down one on 2% and the Greens are also down one on 1%.

  • Zachary Reyes