UK PM May's lead narrows slightly to 12 points: ICM poll

The recovery staged by pound last night ended abruptly and with a sharp fall against its major trading counterparts after the well-recognized pollster, YouGov predicted an increased possibility of a Hung Parliament.

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

Research company Panelbase said Prime Minister Theresa May's lead over the Labour Party increased to 15 points, giving the pound some respite from a plunge on a YouGov projection that showed her Conservatives failing to secure an overall majority in the June 8 vote.

Sterling weakened against the dollar late Wednesday after the YouGov poll but was trading at 1.2862 early on Thursday, 3 cents above where it was trading at the start of the campaign.

In contrast to YouGov's model, other projections suggested Mrs May would win soundly.

The Financial Times came out publicly for May, saying she was the safer bet, though The Sun newspaper, Britain's top selling paper, cautioned that May's campaign was far too defensive.

The poll found just over half of the 1,009 respondents thought May would make the best prime minister, whilst support for Labour's Jeremy Corbyn stood at just 30 percent, albeit higher than in previous surveys. I said from the start that I doubted her sincerity, that she was prone to shifting positions and that it would be hard for a Remainer leading a Cabinet of some very strong Remainers to carry off the Brexit election without some friction.

Of course if YouGov's projection is accurate it would be disastrous for Theresa May who called a snap General Election in the hope to give the Conservatives a greater majority in Parliament, and provide "stability and strong leadership" as the United Kingdom enters negotiations to leave the European Union.

YouGov updates its model forecast daily, and said it conducted 6,858 interviews with potential voters on May 31, and a total 53,611 over the past week. It is therefore no surprise that many UKIP voters have switched to the Tories' side, in particular since the Tories brought up the Brexit referendum and now also represent this voter segment. It uses a new "constituency-by-constituency" model for polling, which the paper says allows for big variations.

These polls show Labour making progress especially among the under-35s, but the overall voting intention figures still point to healthy 80-plus seat majorities for Theresa May.

The pollster said the approach was used during the European Union referendum and consistently showed voters backed Leave.

They showed Theresa May's party might lose 20 of the 330 seats it holds, with Jeremy Corbyn's Labour gaining almost 30 seats.

  • Zachary Reyes