Election 2017: Labour 'clear' on independence referendum opposition


LAST NIGHT, THE two main rivals in the British general election went head-to-head on live TV with presenter Jeremy Paxman, with Labour's Jeremy Corbyn pushed on his past comments on the IRA and Prime Minister Theresa May accused of being a "blowhard".

She said the government had to ensure Britain was "living within our means" given "the economic situation we had inherited".

Betfair spokeswoman Katie Baylis said: "There's no doubt Labour are closing the gap in the polls, which is a sentiment that's also being reflected in the odds and it seems Corbyn gave his Labour party a slight advantage after last night's "debate" with the party's odds shortening into 11/1 from 13/1 yesterday on the Most Seats market".

Corbyn: All of our manifesto is fully costed and examined.

Quizzed on Radio 4's Woman's Hour, Mr Corbyn paused several times when repeatedly asked to give a cost for the pledge, before asking: "Can we come back to that in a moment?"

"Better no deal than a bad deal", a line she has used successfully in the past, won loud applause from the studio audience at Sky.

Labour say they would extend the entitlement to all parents, not just those in work, and end means testing for two-year-olds by the end of the parliament.

"Why? I know what additional Tory austerity is doing right now".

Corbyn was quizzed by an audience member who said he had "openly supported the IRA in the past".

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She warned that - in an era of shock election results - voting for any party other than the Conservatives would be "too big a risk to take" for those who did not want to see the Labour leader in 10 Downing Street.

May was forced into a humiliating climbdown on a controversial manifesto promise known as the "dementia tax" following sharp criticism of the party's social care policy.

Under the format agreed by the two parties, the two leaders each faced 20 minutes of questions from the audience followed by 18 minutes in front of Mr Paxman, with Mr Corbyn going first.

Earlier in the show, which focused on his personality rather than his politics, the Labour leader also promised he was "giving it everything" to win the General Election.

She confirmed an overall cap would be put on funding but would not say where this would be set.

Labour is on 37%, up three points on a week ago and six points behind the Tories, who are unchanged on 43%.

The poll also showed the Liberal Democrats now on 8% and Ukip on 4% - both unchanged - while the SNP are down one on 2% and the Greens down one on 1%.

When asked at the beginning of the show if Mr Corbyn had that same viewpoint as the Prime Minister, he simply shook his head.