The calamitous news for Theresa May comes from the first seat by seat projection for the campaign, and suggests the Conservatives will fall 16 seats short of an overall majority.
The YouGov prediction would leave Theresa May with 310 MPs – 20 fewer than at the time of dissolution of the last Parliament – while Labour are set to surge from 229 to 257 MPs on June 8 election, a gain of 28 seats in the Commons.
The shocking scenario could leave Theresa May’s hand weakened ahead of Brexit negotiations – or see her ousted by an opposing coalition government.
Theresa May struggled to pass controversial bills, including changing rules on tax credits, with a 17 seat majority before calling the election.
The shocking scenario could leave Theresa May’s hand weakened ahead of Brexit negotiations
The projection, which was carried out for The Times, was based on a complex model and sampled 50,000 people over the course of seven days.
Pollsters have struggled to gain back trust following incorrect predictions in the last UK General Election, the EU referendum and the US presidential run.
But insiders have reassured politicos and bookies they have fixed many of the kinks which led them to get the results of major votes so wrong in previous years.
However some are still refusing to accept the prediction – including former Labour leader Ed Miliband, who was expected to win all-out victory in the 2015 vote.
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He tweeted: “The pollsters have been off my Christmas card list since 2015. #justsaying.”
LBC radio host Iain Dale added: “Am I alone in thinking that YouGov are going to look complete and utter prunes on June 9th?
“The alternative is that I will…”
It comes as Theresa May warned only she can make a success of Brexit – claiming Jeremy Corbyn would be “alone and naked” in crucial negotiations.
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In her most ferocious assault yet on her Labour opponent, she pleaded with voters not to “sleepwalk” into giving him the keys to Downing Street as head of a chaotic minority Government propped up by anti-Brexit parties.
Her comments will have doubly stung for Jeremy Corbyn – as they referenced a famous quote from Labour hero and NHS founder Aneurin Bevan.
She said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s minders can put him in a smart blue suit for an interview with Jeremy Paxman but with his position on Brexit he will find himself alone and naked in the negotiating chamber with the EU.
“Now I know that’s an image that doesn’t bear thinking about… but actually this is very serious.”