The Tories have suffered a slump in public support as allegations of sleaze and cronyism continue to mount, a new poll suggests.
The results come as voters across the UK head to the polls in less than 10 days.
Ipsos MORI found the prime minister’s party on 40%, down from 45% in March, with Labour on 37%, down from 38%.
The monthly poll, first reported in the Evening Standard, has the Liberal Democrats on eight (up from six), and the Greens unchanged at five.
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said: “Conservative supporters are feeling slightly less enthusiastic this month, which is feeding through into vote share, although there is little sign of much switching to Labour.
“At the same time, some of the underlying numbers remain more positive for the government, with economic optimism increasing once again, and very strong ratings for the vaccination programme across the board, which means we need to wait to see whether this is just a short term effect. But this data suggests that the upcoming elections will be an important test for both parties.”
Voters go to the polls on May 6 across the UK, including local elections in England and devolved assembly elections in Wales and Scotland.
Former Tory No 10 chief of staff Lord Barwell said his party should be wary that negative headlines, including today’s claim that Boris Johnson said he would rather see bodies pile high than order another Covid lockdown, could lead to a “tipping point” in the opinion polls.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Conservatives will be happy with the progress they’ve made during the course of this year but you never know when you reach a tipping point.
“And I suspect some people in number 10 will be worried about what else there might be to come. This morning’s headlines are an example of that.”
Johnson’s spokesperson has denied he made the controversial comments, first reported in the Daily Mail.
The spokesperson told reporters: “The prime minister himself didn’t make that statement and I’m not aware of anyone else (in Downing Street) making that statement. The prime minister has fully denied saying this. He is on the record denying saying it.”
Ipsos Mori interviewed 1,090 adults across Great Britain telephone between 16 and 22 April.