Labour now third most popular party among working class voters

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Labour has slipped behind UKIP to third place among working class voters, a new poll reveals.

In a survey which will increase jitters before two by-elections, Labour posted 20 per cent among blue-collar voters, compared to 23 per cent for the right-wing eurosceptic party.

Paul Nuttall, the new UKIP leader, is taking on Gareth Snell, a local councillor, in Stoke-on-Trent Central, where Labour aims to hold on in one of two by-elections in Brexit-supporting areas next week.

Separately it is now expected that Theresa May will visit the Copeland campaign where the Tories hope to win the West Cumbria seat from Labour.

The poll has fuelled worries among Labour MPs that Jeremy Corbyn is struggling to connect with the party’s traditional voters.

It showed the Tories on 39 per cent among working class voters, UKIP on 23; and Labour on 20.

Overall the YouGov survey for The Times put the Tories on 40 per cent, Labour on 24; UKIP on 14; the Lib Dems on 11 and other parties also on 11.

It was reported today that Corbyn would visit the Stoke seat this weekend. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of historian Tristram Hunt, who has accepted a job running the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

In Cumbria, ambulance driver and former junior doctor Gillian Troughton is hoping to defend Labour’s Copeland seat which was vacated by Jamie Reed. Both votes take place on February 23.

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