(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
LONDON - British Prime Minister Theresa May's gamble on a snap election was under question on Thursday after a YouGov opinion poll showed her Conservative party's lead had fallen to a fresh low of 3 percentage points just a week before voting begins.
A failure to win the June 8 election with a large majority would weaken May just as formal Brexit talks are due to begin while the loss of her majority in parliament would pitch British politics into turmoil.
In the strongest signal yet that the election is much closer than previously thought, May's lead has collapsed from 24 points since she surprised both rivals and financial markets on April 18 by calling the election, YouGov data showed. Opposition Labor polled 39 percent against the Conservatives' 42 percent.
After a hectic campaign which was suspended by a suicide bombing last week, pollsters have offered a vast range for the result of the election: From May losing her majority to a landslide victory for her Conservatives of more than 100 seats.
Betting that she would win a strong majority, May called the snap election to strengthen her position at home as she embarked on complicated Brexit negotiations with 27 other members of the European Union.
But if she fails to beat the 12-seat majority her predecessor David Cameron won in 2015, her electoral gamble will have failed and her authority will be seriously undermined.
If May fails to win an overall majority, she would be forced to strike a deal with another party to continue governing either as a coalition or a minority government.