Theresa May is to abandon her strategy of attacking Jeremy Corbyn as she urges voters to join her on a “great national mission” to deliver a successful Brexit.
On a visit to the North East on Thursday the Prime Minister will deliver a positive message about the “great things” Britain can do after it leaves the EU.
In an email to voters on Wednesday, Mrs May also said she was “excited about the future” – a marked departure from the “project fear” tactic that has characterised much of the campaign so far.
It will be seen as an admission that the Tories’ largely negative campaign strategy, targeting Jeremy Corbyn’s “weak leadership”, has failed sufficiently to inspire voters.
Polls have consistently shown the Tories’ lead over Labour narrowing, from more than 20 points at the start of the campaign to single digits now, and a YouGov analysis for The Times on Wednesday predicted that the Conservatives could even lose seats and with them their parliamentary majority.
The pound briefly fell in value after the poll was published, before rallying later in the day. Mrs May responded to the poll by warning voters that there will be a hung parliament, with Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, if they do not turn out next week and vote Tory.
Although Mr Corbyn has had an error-strewn week, topped by his inability to quote the cost of a key childcare policy in an interview to promote it, there is little evidence that it has affected his personal ratings with voters.
Labour aides believe Mr Corbyn is gaining in popularity with every television interview he does, and encouraged him to take part in last night’s leaders’ debate on BBC One to capitalise on that.