LABOUR'S backing in the North-East may be on the rise to give them a bigger lead over the Conservatives, an exclusive nationwide survey has revealed.

The poll, carried out by Newsquest, publishers of The Northern Echo, shows 48 per cent of people across the region said they are planning to vote Labour on Thursday, compared to 39 per cent at the start of the election campaign. The proportion backing the Tories is at 22 per cent – down from 23 per cent.

Other parties have seen their vote share squeezed: the Lib Dem vote was two per cent, down from three per cent; UKIP was four per cent, down from five; Greens were on 1.6 per cent, down from 1.7.

Seven in 10 of those who planned to vote Conservative at the start of the campaign are still backing the party, but 13 per cent have switched to Labour and 13 per cent are no longer sure.

Of those who planned to vote Labour at the start of the campaign, 92 per cent are sticking with them. A quarter of people who previously planned to vote Lib Dem said they have switched to Labour, as have 50 per cent of those who had been planning to vote Green, and 12 per cent previously backing UKIP.

Four in 10 of respondents who said they were not sure what their vote would be at the start of the campaign are now behind Labour, compared to two per cent who have decided to vote Conservative, although 52 per cent still have not made up their minds.

Labour's potentially improving prospects may be down in part to Jeremy Corbyn's performance, with 66 per cent of respondents in the region thinking he's had the best general election campaign.