British election failure shakes confidence in May's Brexit strategy: ORB poll

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LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s botched gamble on a snap election has shaken public confidence in the government with nearly two thirds of voters now negative about her government’s approach to Brexit talks, an ORB opinion poll indicated.

Britain has less than two years to negotiate the terms of the divorce and the outlines of the future relationship before it is due to leave in late March 2019.

May is reeling from a crisis of her own making – the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 snap election which she had called to strengthen her hand. The EU’s top negotiator has warned that formal talks could be delayed.

An Aug 2-3 opinion poll for ORB International showed 61 percent of British voters disapproved of the government’s handling of the Brexit negotiations, up from 56 percent last month and 46 percent in June.

The data showed most voters approved of May’s handling of Brexit negotiations this year until the start of June when May lost of her majority.

“This months Brexit tracker suggests the damage from a poor election result is continuing to cast doubt over Brexit,” Johnny Heald, managing director of ORB, said.

“Confidence that the prime minister will be able to negotiate the right deal remains brittle,” he said.

When asked if whether they were confident May would get the right deal, 44 percent of people said they were not confident. Just 35 percent were confident May would get the right Brexit deal while 21 percent said they did not know.

ORB asked 2,000 voters across the United Kingdom. The margin of error is around 2.2 percent.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Alistair Smout

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