CONFUSION over the Conservative's social care policy has damaged Theresa May according to voters in the region, a survey has revealed.

The poll, carried out by Newsquest, publishers of The Northern Echo, found 49.7 per cent of North-East respondents believe the Tory announcement to make people use all but £100,000 of their assets to pay for social care, followed by a clarification that the total amount paid would be capped, damaged Mrs May's ability to lead a "strong and stable" government.

This compares to 26.1 per cent of voters who said the quick change in policy hasn't caused damage and 24.2 per cent who said they are unsure.

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64.9 per cent planning to vote Conservative said it had caused no damage, while 68.3 per cent intending to vote Labour said Theresa May has suffered a blow.

The original policy doesn't appear to have been popular, 59.8 per cent of respondents said they didn't support the original uncapped plan, that would have seen anyone who required social care, either in their own home or in residential care, have to use assets over £100,000 to pay.

The original policy was particularly unpopular with Labour voters with 75.1 per cent not in favour, followed by Lib Dem voters, 62.5 per cent; Green voters 60.9 per cent and Ukip voters, 58.4 per cent.

Even Conservative supporters were only narrowly for, with 34.1 per cent saying they didn't support it, against 41.8 per cent who did.

Adding a cap on the total people will pay, although one that the Tories are yet to define, doesn't appear to have fully turned around doubts, with 30 per cent of North-East respondents supporting a capped policy against 37.6 per cent still against. However, a third of voters (32.4 per cent) don't know if they support the policy, possibly a result of the unanswered questions about how it will work.

Of those planning to vote Conservative, 68.7 per cent now support the policy, although 50.2 per cent of Labour voters are still against along with half of Lib Dem voters. Ukip supporters are undecided, with 41.7 per cent saying they don't know whether they back the policy.

The survey suggests the policy and subsequent u-turn may have impacted on how people will vote, with 6.6 per cent of respondents saying they now won't vote Tory and 7.7 per cent saying they were now less likely to vote Conservative, although 4.3 per cent of voters said they policy announcement and subsequent clarification has turned them into a Conservative voter.

While 65.1 per cent of voters are sticking with their view, whether they planned to vote Conservative or not, 16.3 per cent are still undecided about whether the policy will make them reconsider.

People in the North-East appear to narrowly support charges for those who use A&E unnecessarily, with 48.9 per cent saying they would back such a policy, with 77.7 per cent of Conservative voters particularly keen, although Labour voters are more likely to be against the scheme, 38.7 per cent saying yes against 45.6 per cent who said no.

Respondents in the region are keener to see people charged for missing GP appointments, 55 per cent would back a charge, including 73.7 per cent of Conservative voters and 48.3 per cent of Labour voters.

The study, run in partnership with Google Surveys, was completed online by nearly 8,300 people across Britain.