Theresa May’s approval rating is the highest since she became Prime Minister, new poll finds, but more than half of voters disapprove of the way she’s handling Brexit
- Around 47 per cent see the PM as someone who is brave and sticks to principles
- That’s according to an Opinium Research survey involving 2,016 UK adults
- Comes after a tough political week in which she faced a vote of no confidence
Theresa May’s approval rating is the highest since she became Prime Minister despite a tough week in office, a new poll has found.
Nearly half of electors, 47 per cent, view the Prime Minister as someone who is brave and sticks to her principles, an Opinium Research survey found.
It comes after a tough political week in which she faced a vote of no confidence in her leadership and was reportedly called nebulous by Jean-Claude Junker, president of the European Commission.
The survey also found that more than half of voters, 53 per cent, disapprove of the way the PM has handled Brexit, compared to 28 per cent who approve. She is pictured here arriving for a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday
Although the sound was switched off, TV cameras caught Mrs May and Mr Juncker exchanging what looked to be heated words on Friday for at least a minute
The term, which means vague or ill-defined, led to the two clashing in Brussels on Friday with video footage showing the two engaged in a heated exchange.
But her recent difficulties appear to have boosted her popularity with voters and is the highest Mrs May has achieved since becoming PM in 2016.
The Tories also cut the Labour lead to one point as the party climbed two points to stand at 38 per cent, while Labour stayed steady on 39 per cent.
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However, more than half of voters, 53 per cent, disapprove of the way the PM has handled Brexit, compared to 28 per cent who approve.
In a bruising week for Mrs May, the PM drew fire for pulling a crunch Commons vote on her Brexit plans, survived a confidence motion bid to oust her among Tory MPs, and was largely rebuffed at an EU summit in Brussels.
Mrs May said she had decided to pull the vote because she would have lost if it had gone ahead on Tuesday night.
But just the day after she faced a vote of no confidence in her leadership after Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful Tory 1922 committee, secured the 48 letters from MPs needed to trigger the process.
There were cheers as 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady announced the result in the Commons on Wednesday
Theresa May put a brave face on her situation on Wednesday as she reacted to the outcome of the Tory no-confidence ballot
She won the ballot that evening, but admitted she had suffered a ‘significant’ rebellion after being backed by a margin of 200 to 117 in a no-confidence ballot
The win staved off what would have been an ignominious end to her time as leader – and means she cannot be challenged by her own party again for 12 months.
But with more than a third of Conservative MPs refusing to support her and a civil war raging over Brexit, the outcome still underlines the scale of the problems she faces.
She has also been forced to admit that she will not lead the party into the next general election.
Desperate to seek concessions over her Brexit deal, she travelled to Brussels the next day for meetings with other EU leaders.
On Friday, however, she was seen having ‘robust’ showdown in full glare of cameras with Jean-Claude Junker as she demanded to know why he had branded her ‘nebulous’ and ‘imprecise’ in a late-night press conference.
Theresa May (pictured) gestures as she speaks during a press conference on Friday in Brussels on the second day of a European Summit aimed at discussing the Brexit deal, the long-term budget and the single market
But as the summit in Brussels drew to a close this evening, Mr Juncker insisted Mrs May is a ‘great friend’ and the incident was down to a misunderstanding.
‘I did not refer to her but to the overall state of the debate in Britain,’ he said. ‘I was following the debate in the House and I cannot see where the British Parliament is heading at.’
The Prime Minister is now desperate to seek further concessions on the Irish border issue, in the hopes it will allow her to get the Brexit deal through parliament.
But a third of voters, 33 per cent, think the UK will quit the EU without a Brexit deal in March, according to the Opinium Research.
The survey was carried out online and involved 2,016 UK adults on December 13 and 14.
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