Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:29AM
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (photo by AFP)
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (photo by AFP)

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is positioned to win the early general election, says former PM Tony Blair, citing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s poor polling numbers.

“If the polls are right, we know who's going to be Prime Minister on 9 June. That's not the issue,” Blair told Sky News on Thursday. “It'll be Theresa May if the polls are right.”

According to an ICM opinion poll for the Guardian newspaper released on Monday, 48 percent of British voters said they would vote for the Conservative Party, while support for Labour hovered at around 27.

The Liberal Democrats were on 10 percent with the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party (UKIP) on 7 percent, both down a percentage point.

“I think the most powerful argument for Labour in this election - because of the way the polls are, and the way the opinion polls are and the leadership issue - the most powerful argument for Labour is to say it's important for our democracy that the Government is held to account and needs a strong opposition,” said Blair, who was elected PM three times as Labour leader.

In a surprise move on April 18, May called a snap election to be held in June in order to bolster her position before going into two years of negotiations with the European Union about Britain’s departure from the bloc.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May (R) and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Her critics viewed the decision as an attempt to gain an even stronger majority and force her EU deal upon people without worrying about resistance within Parliament.

Having pointed out this view over the past days, Blair further elaborated in his interview.

“What the Tories have done very cleverly is give people the national interest reason for voting Tory,” he said.

“What they've said is, the patriotic thing irrespective of your politics is to vote Conservative because she needs a strong hand in the negotiation, which is a very persuasive argument, until you realize that she's tied her hands in the negotiation” by refusing to fight for the UK’s access to the single market after Brexit, he further argued.

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Blair, who was elected PM three times as Labour leader, has positioned himself to join forces with Lib Dems against May, indicating a comeback to politics.

He has spared no effort to discredit Corbyn, who is believed to still have a strong following among voters. The opposition leader has promised to turn the page and win the vote.