Poll shows Tories in commanding lead despite slip for Theresa May

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Conservatives maintain a commanding lead ahead of the June 8 General Election, despite Theresa May's personal popularity drifting downwards as the campaign progresses, according to a new poll.

The survey by Opinium put Mrs May's party on 46%, one point down on the previous week, but still 16 points clear of Labour, who were unchanged on 30%.

Liberal Democrats improved a point to 9%, while Ukip were unchanged on 7%.

The survey of 2,005 adults carried out on May 2 and 3 found an increase in numbers of voters who disapprove of Mrs May's performance as Prime Minister, up from 31% the previous week to 33% now.

The rise continued a trend which has seen her disapproval rating edge up from 27% shortly before she called the snap election.

With the proportion approving of her performance slipping two points to 46%, Mrs May's overall satisfaction rating stood at plus-13, down four points over the week, and down eight points from the plus-21 recorded before the campaign began, but still well ahead of Jeremy Corbyn on minus-32 and Tim Farron on minus-25.

The poll found 63% of those questioned regard the Conservative Party as united, against just 15% for the Labour Party.

Some 52% of Labour voters who have quit the party since the last election said they would return if Mr Corbyn stood down as leader.

Opinium's head of political polling Adam Drummond said: "The strains of the campaign spotlight have had some impact on the public perception of Theresa May, with Remain voters in particular feeling less convinced by her message than at the start of the campaign.

"That being said, Mrs May and the Conservatives can afford to lose some Remain voters because, as the local elections showed, they are absorbing most of the Ukip vote and are on course for the type of victory last seen by Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher when they were at their peaks."