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Boris Johnson leading race but Jeremy Corbyn wins with young

BORIS JOHNSON is on course to win the election on Thursday but Jeremy Corbyn is more popular with under-35s and people in the biggest cities, an exclusive poll for Metro shows.

The Tory leader is ahead of his Labour rival by 56 percentage points to 44, Public First found after voters were asked which one they would prefer as PM if forced to choose.

And it seems the older you are, the more likely you are to approve of Mr Johnson. He enjoys a six-point lead among voters in the 35-to-44 bracket — and that steadily rises to 52 per cent by the time you get to the over-65s.

Mr Corbyn is preferred by 71 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds and 56 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds. He leads by 52 to 48 in London and the West Midlands, and by 56 to 44 in the north-west, dominated by Greater Manchester. Public First partner Gabriel Milland said: ‘This poll shows a country that is really badly split. But the split isn’t so much between the better-off and those with less cash.

‘It’s between young and old, and big cities on the one hand and the smaller towns and rural areas on the other.’

Mr Johnson enjoyed most support among both the middle class (59 per cent) and working class (53 per cent).

When the 1,000 people polled were asked how best the government can keep Britain safe from terrorism, 58 per cent said the answer was to keep convicted terrorists in prison longer. Only 12 per cent agreed with Mr Corbyn that reducing the use of our armed forces overseas would reduce attacks in the UK.

The poll also shows an age divide in priorities. The goal for 18- to 24-year-olds is a new EU referendum, while delivering Brexit tops the wishlist for over-65s.

And, as to Christmas with the leaders, Mr Corbyn was seen as most likely to volunteer with the community, Mr Johnson would be most fun at a party while Nigel Farage came top on who would be most likely to drink too much.

■ STEVE COOGAN has said people should ‘vote smart and box clever’ to defeat the Tories. The Alan Partridge star, 54, told people in his constituency of Lewes, East Sussex, he was a Labour supporter but will vote for Lib Dem Oliver Henman because it was the ‘smartest thing to do’. He said he will visit other seats where Labour has a chance.