UKIP have slipped to just four per cent in the latest opinion poll ahead of June’s election, with the Conservatives pulling ahead with almost twice as much voter support as Labour.
According to the Ipsos MORI poll, released Wednesday, the Tories’ lead is equal to that commanded by Margaret Thatcher before her 1983 landslide victory.
Conservative leader Theresa May also has the best “most capable” leadership score ever, far higher than Tony Blair or Margret Thatcher ever achieved.
The alarming result for UKIP comes just days after they put cultural issues at the heart of their election pitch, promising to ban the Islamic face veil. However, Brexit remains the number one issue of the election, cited as “very important” by 42 per cent of respondents.
The telephone poll of 1,004 adults, conducted April 21-25, had the Tories up 6 per cent to 49 per cent, Labour down four percentage points on 26, the Liberal Democrats unchanged at 13 per cent, and UKIP down two percentage points to four per cent.
The survey also showed 61 per cent of voters thought Mrs. May would be the most “capable” prime minister, well ahead of the 23 per cent who said Mr. Corbyn would be.
Three-times election winner Baroness Thatcher only ever polled at 48 per cent in this category, ahead of her 1983 landslide triumph against Labour’s Michael Foot.
Mr. Blair, Labour’s most successful election winner, did slightly better, touching 52 per cent in May 2001, just before he decisively beat William Hague in the general election.
“The Conservatives are starting the campaign matching the biggest lead we have ever recorded for them during an election campaign – which was back in 1983 ahead of Thatcher’s victory,” Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, told Reuters.
Overall, 63 per cent have “definitely decided” how they will vote, but over a third say they could still switch parties.
Crucially, the Tory vote looks more solid, with 78 per cent of their supporters saying they are firmly decided. Only 56 per cent of Labour supporters are as decisive.