Jeremy Corbyn is handed a potential lifeline today as the first telephone poll since Labour’s manifesto launch shows him and his party gaining a modest boost.
Labour has put on eight points, trimming the hefty Conservative lead to 15 points, while Mr Corbyn’s personal leadership ratings have slightly improved, found the Ipsos MORI survey, revealed exclusively in the Evening Standard.
But Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrats see their support halved to just seven per cent, a level no better than the 2015 general election.
Theresa May remains on course for a major victory on June 8, with the Conservatives unchanged on 49 per cent and Labour climbing from a rock-bottom 26 to 34 per cent.
The Lib Dems are third on seven per cent, down from 14. But the biggest loser is Paul Nuttall’s crisis-stricken Ukip, down from four per cent to two per cent.
Ukip is overtaken by the Greens, who edge up to three.
Mr Corbyn’s battle to head off a leadership challenge would be bolstered if the Labour improvement is sustained.
Among key findings in the poll, whose fieldwork was completed late last night, include:
Six in 10 say Labour is not ready to govern — including a quarter of Labour voters.
Mrs May is the only main party leader with whom more people say they are satisfied than dissatisfied.
Gloom on the economy has deepened: 43 per cent think it will get worse and only 27 per cent better.
Mrs May leads almost two to one as “most capable prime minister”.
Conservatives have the best scores since the early 1990s as the party with the best policies.
Labour has a lead as more trusted to strike the right balance on taxing rich or poor — by 38 per cent to 33.
Gideon Skinner, head of political polling at Ipsos MORI, said: “Labour shouldn’t get too carried away by the rise they see in the polls.
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“The focus on their manifesto may have helped them this week, but on many fundamentals such as leadership the public still puts them a long way behind the Conservatives, and their vote is much softer, with one in six of their supporters considering voting for Theresa May’s party.”