Boris Johnson's Conservatives lead Labour by 15 points in new UK poll

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a meeting at Downing Street in London, Britain September 20, 2019
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a meeting at Downing Street in London, Britain September 20, 2019 Copyright Frank Augstein/Pool via REUTERS
By Orlando CrowcroftReuters
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The results come ahead of a potential national election over Brexit.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative party has a 15 percentage-point lead over the opposition Labour Party, according to a poll published on Saturday, ahead of a possible national election aimed at breaking the impasse over Brexit.

The Conservatives garnered 37% in the Opinium poll for the Observer newspaper, while Labour took 22%. 

The result comes after a difficult first few weeks in power for Johnson, who is yet to win a vote in the House of Commons and has seen his parliamentary majority wiped out after as many as 20 Tory MPs rebelled against the party line on Brexit

Johnson will hear next week whether Britain's Supreme Court considers his suspension of parliament on September 10 for five weeks illegal, after two legal challenges in the UK courts. His critics accused him of suspending parliament to avoid debate on Brexit, an allegation he denies. 

'Dead in a ditch'

Despite parliament passing a law in September that requires Johnson to ask European leaders for more time if he is unable to reach a deal to leave the EU by October 31, he has said he would rather "be dead in a ditch" than do so. 

His comments suggest a further showdown when parliament returns on October 14, amid speculation that the prime minster could disregard the law in order to force a no-deal Brexit two weeks later.

But while his recent actions has cost him support in parliament, the latest poll suggests that it may not have harmed his reputation with British voters, many of which voted leave in the 2016 referendum and want to see Britain out of the EU as soon as possible. 

It will not have hurt the Conservatives that Corbyn has once again become embroiled in a row within  Labour ranks, after the activist wing of the party moved to oust deputy leader Tom Watson on the eve of the party conference in Brighton.   

Johnson has asked the House of Commons to vote in favour of an election before the Brexit deadline on October 31 on two occasions, but lost the votes after opposition parties - including Labour - either voted against or abstained. They want Johnson to extend Article 50 before holding a national poll.

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