Labour have cut the Tories’ lead in the latest poll of voting intention even as Jeremy Corbyn’s personal ratings hit a new low.
The opposition has inched up two points to 26 per cent in first Times/YouGov poll of the year.
The Tories were flat at 39 per cent, following months of uncertainty over the government’s handling of Brexit.
Expectations of a Lib Dem resurgence have been dampened after they fell two points to 10 per cent. UKIP were unchanged on 14 per cent, suggesting Paul Nuttall has yet to make significant progress since replacing Diane James, who lasted 18 days.
Labour’s uptick comes despite a result which will disappoint supporters of Corbyn. The party leader polled 14 per cent when voters were asked who would make the best prime minister. YouGov described the number as a “new low”.
Theresa May, who has kept a low profile this week before giving her first domestic television interview of the year to Sky on Sunday, was on 47 per cent. A further 39 per cent answered “don’t know”, which could provide hope for Labour that Corbyn could make inroads amongst the undecided.
Last month Corbyn told LabourList he would use the huge membership to deliver campaigns against austerity and Tory neglect of the NHS to boost the party’s disappointing ratings.
Labour faces its first major electoral test of the year when the Copeland by-election pits it against a Tory party hopes to capitalise on Brexit. The contest is expected to take place next month.
The Times/YouGov survey was carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday.