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Conservatives on course for comfortable majority in latest poll

By Amanda Cooper

YouGov seat-by-seat data points to 68-seat margin for Boris Johnson’s party

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives would win a majority of 68 seats if the UK general election were held today, while the opposition Labour Party would lose seats and the Brexit Party would take none at all, according to a wide-ranging YouGov poll two weeks before British voters go to the polls for the third time in four and a half years.

The MRP poll defied previous predictions in 2017 when it correctly predicted a hung parliament at a stage where the Conservatives appeared on track for a majority.

Both major parties have promised greatly increased spending on hospitals, schools and policing to woo voters ahead of Britain’s proposed departure from the European Union, now scheduled for January 30 2020.

YouGov polled 100,319 voters over the week to November 26. Their seat-by-seat analysis of the data showed the Tories would win 359 seats, up 42 from 2017, Labour would win 211, down 51, the Scottish Nationalist Party would gain eight seats to 43 and the Liberal Democrats 13, a gain of one. Plaid Cymru would retain their four seats and the Greens would keep their single seat, the poll showed.

YouGov said: “There is still a fortnight to go until polling day. While we can measure people's current support and work out what the estimated seat totals would be today, we cannot tell how people's minds may change over the next two weeks.”

Whoever wins the election, think tank Resolution Foundation said this month that public spending in Britain will return to levels not seen since the 1970s, regardless of whether there is a Brexit deal or not.

The poll predicted another drop for Labour, which wants to rip up Johnson’s existing agreement with the EU and no headway for the LibDems, who are campaigning to stay in the EU.

“As it stands, the swing to the Conservative party is bigger in areas that voted to Leave in 2016, with the bulk of the projected Tory gains coming in the North and the urban West Midlands, as well as former mining seats in the East Midlands,” YouGov said.

Former prime minister Tony Blair told a Reuters Newsmaker event this week that Britain is in a “dangerous mess” and that neither his own Labour Party nor Johnson’s Conservatives deserved to win the December 12 election.

Britain is holding an election three years ahead of schedule because parliament was deadlocked over Brexit.

FURTHER READING: Former PM Tony Blair says Britain is a dangerous mess

FURTHER READING: EU prepares to grant UK three-month Brexit extension as general election looms

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