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Labour reaches highest rating yet in latest General Election poll

Labour reaches highest rating yet in latest General Election poll

Mr McCluskey said it was hard for the party to challenge now only two years after losing an election and one year after Labour MPs attempted to replace Mr Corbyn as leader, a move he said gave the impression of a divided party in the minds of many voters.

On Europe, he said Labour would argue for a "more open relationship" with the European Union than a "hard" Brexit, calling for "full and unfettered" access to the single market and freedom of movement to work.

Alongside its manifesto, Labour also detailed how it would pay for spending commitments worth nearly £50 billion, through hikes in corporation tax, higher income tax for the top five percent of earners and new levies. The current 40% tax rate applies to people earning between £45,000 and £150,000.

Labour has said the rise would fund increased investment in the state-run National Health Service (NHS) and would only affect five percent of earners.

Labour also confirmed plans to introduce a new "excessive pay levy" on firms paying staff more than £330,000, as well as hiking the top rate of corporation tax to 26 per cent through the next parliament. A feature of the election campaign has been rallies in districts where there is high party membership and thousands gather to hear him speak. It appears that the party has paid no heed to the fact that corporation tax receipts actually increased after the Tories chose to slash the rate. The Green Party will also launch its manifesto, and says it will provide free sanitary products for women in financial need.

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"It's a programme that will reverse our national priorities to put the interests of the many first", Corbyn said.

"This is a program of hope. The Tory campaign, by contrast, is built on one word: fear", he said.

Trade union leaders praised the manifesto as a promise of real change but Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, condemned its plans to increase taxation and public spending.

"This manifesto is a draft for a better future for our country, it's a blueprint of what Britain could be and a pledge of the difference a Labour government can and will make", Corbyn told the several hundred supporters who had gathered for the launch event.

"I think therefore it's going to be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks. Sensible, costed and when tested, our policies are highly popular with the public", he told AFP.

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But writer Barnaby Neale, a Labour volunteer, said the "inspiring" manifesto would sway voters.

"Despite the relatively prohibitive price of 1/16, the Tories have been well backed in the last 24 hours and we have seen £10.12 placed on them winning the General Election for every £1 on Labour", said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

But Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives immediately slammed the plan as "nonsensical" and not properly cost.

The Conservatives' David Gauke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "It's clear that proposal after proposal in this manifesto will mean more borrowing and debt: from promises on benefits, to promises on prison guards, to promises on nationalising the water network".

According to Electoral Calculus, the respected election prediction site, the latest poll would give the Tories 382 seats up 52 if it was replicated in the country on 8 June.

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