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UK PM Theresa May's Conservatives see poll lead narrow again

03 June 2017

Both May and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn were grilled in separate interviews with Sky News and Channel 4, and also faced questions from voters ahead of the June 8 election. The pound was trading at $1.2838 at noon GMT.

Betting that she would win a strong majority, May called the snap election to strengthen her position at home as she embarked on complicated Brexit negotiations with 27 other members of the European Union.

A new poll by YouGov suggests the Conservative Party could drop 20 seats, from 330 before parliament was dissolved, to 310.

The latest poll data weighed further on the currency, sending it almost a cent down in overnight trading in Asia before it pulled back some of the losses.

The news came after a string of opinion polls show a narrowing lead for May's Conservatives, shaking the confidence among investors that May would easily win a majority in a national election on June 8.

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But polls had shown May's rating slipping over the past month and they fell sharply after she set out plans on May 18 to make some elderly people pay a greater share of their care costs, a proposal dubbed the "dementia tax" by opponents.

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

May could actually lose seats on her party's 2015 General Election results, dealing a massive blow to her and her ability to negotiate on a Brexit deal in the immediate aftermath of the election.

The newspaper reported a top Tory saying that the party was still expecting a majority of 50 or more.

The Times said YouGov acknowledged that its predictions were controversial and allowed for a wide margin of error.

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But chief executive Stephan Shakespeare told The Times that the model had been tested in the run-up to the Brexit vote when it consistently put the Leave campaign in the lead.

However, the YouGov projection allows for big variations, indicating the Tories could get 345 seats on a good night, or as few as 274 seats on a bad night.

The pollster's MRP model is based on the fact that people with similar characteristics tend to vote similarly, but not identically, regardless of where they live.

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UK PM Theresa May's Conservatives see poll lead narrow again