Labour would collapse to one of its worst defeats in generations if an election were held now, according to a poll that shows the Conservatives opening up a 16 point lead.
The ICM poll of 2012 adults, adjusted by likelihood to vote, found 43 per cent would back the Tories, with 27 per cent voting Labour. Support for UKIP stands at 13 per cent, with Liberal Democrats on 8 per cent and the Greens on four per cent.
Carried out between 22 and 24 July, the poll suggests a significant bounce for Theresa May, who became Prime Minister less than two weeks ago.
It is likely to fuel divisions within the Labour Party, which is in the midst of a leadership election triggered by a revolt of MPs against Jeremy Corbyn.
Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 landslide victory of Michael Foot’s Labour party was won with 42.4 per cent of the vote, with 27.6 per cent voting Labour. She won 397 seats in a 650-seat parliament, compared to 209 for Labour.
Analysis of the figures based on current constituency boundaries suggests that Labour could return fewer than 200 MPs.
The last time Labour failed to win more than 200 seats was in 1935, when the party secured 154 MPs in a 615-seat parliament under Clement Atlee.
The latest figures show that the Tories are up five points and Labour are down three on the previous poll carried out by ICM.
In Scotland, the poll suggests the SNP would retain its almost complete dominance, slightly losing ground to the Tories, based on a sub-sample of 169 respondents.