July 12, 2018 / 10:29 AM / 4 months ago

Britain's opposition Labour Party takes poll lead amid May's Brexit crisis

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, addresses demonstrators following a march in support of the National Health Service, in central London, Britain, June 30, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Party, led by socialist Jeremy Corbyn, has taken a lead over the Conservative Party as Prime Minister Theresa May’s government grapples with a crisis over Brexit, according to two opinion polls.

May’s government was rattled on Monday by the departures of foreign minister Boris Johnson - the face of Brexit for many - and her chief Brexit negotiator David Davis. Both fiercely criticized her negotiating stance.

A YouGov poll of 1,732 adults on July 10-11 showed the Labour Party on 39 percent and the Conservatives on 37 percent. The poll found 75 percent of people felt the government was doing badly at negotiating Brexit.

According to The Times newspaper, the Conservatives enjoyed leads of four to five points through parts of March as well as April, May and June.

A total of 41 percent said Britain was right to have voted to leave the EU while 46 percent said it was wrong and 12 percent did not know.

A separate poll by Survation on July 7, ahead of the resignations, found 40 percent of voters would vote Labour while 38 percent would vote Conservative.

The Survation poll of 1,007 people found 38 percent felt the Brexit proposals agreed by the cabinet at May’s country retreat of Chequers last week were a sell-out while 35 percent felt them to be the best deal Britain was likely to get.

May’s botched bet on a snap election in June 2017 lost her party its majority in parliament so her government is now reliant on a small northern Irish political party.

In the 650-seat parliament, the Conservatives currently have 316 seats while Labour has 259.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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