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May's Conservatives take 21-point lead ahead of UK snap election - ICM poll

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street, in central London, Britain April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party has a 21 point lead over the main opposition Labour, the joint highest on record, according to an opinion poll on Tuesday conducted after May announced a June 8 election.

The ICM/Guardian poll of 1,000 people showed the Conservatives’ vote share stood at 46 percent, up 2 points from a poll conducted over the weekend, with Labour on 25 percent and the Liberal Democrats on 11 percent.

“As we enter this campaign it’s clear that Labour have an electoral mountain top climb, and its leadership appears to have left its ropes and crampons at base camp,” said Martin Boon, director of ICM Research, in a statement.

Around three in five respondents said May was right to call a general election, the poll showed. ICM’s survey dates back to the early 1980s.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier on Tuesday called for a snap election, saying she needed to strengthen her hand in divorce talks with the European Union by bolstering support for her Brexit plan.

(The story corrects second paragraph to show Liberal Democrats’ vote share at 11 percent, not 8 percent)

Reporting by Andy Bruce and Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Alistair Smout