Editorial: Labour halve the Tories’ lead in the polls in only four days

Alex Holmes - Executive Editor

Plashing Vole | Flickr

After several months of bad polls for the Labour party, in calling a general election Theresa May has managed to do what was once thought impossible, and turn the polls around, halving her party’s lead over the Labour party in only four days.

A poll released on the day of the snap election put the Conservatives at a record 21 points lead over Labour at 46% compared to Labour’s 25%, but following increasingly balanced media coverage of Jeremy Corbyn and May’s refusal to rule out raising taxes and cutting pensions, her lead has halved. A poll by Survation, which was taken on the afternoon and following day of her suggestion that raising taxes would be on the table, put the Tories down by 6 points to 40%, and Labour up by 4 points to 29%, halving the Tories’ lead over Labour in only four days.

Furthermore, with May set to be empty-chaired in the TV debates after refusing to take part, and six weeks of intense campaigning by Labour, who have significant superiority in regards to grassroots campaigning, it seems feasible that Labour have the chance to catch-up and overtake the Tories in time for the general election if they play their cards right.

It seems that May and her party were woefully unprepared for a general election campaign. Not only were her Cabinet and MPs given no warning, but also her own campaigns team after it emerged that her top spin doctors Lizzie Louden and Katie Perrior resigned shortly after her announcement of a snap general election. This lack of planning and strategy is evident in her announcements thus far. May’s simultaneous statements on raising taxes while protecting the foreign aid budget has led to many Tory voters who had voted UKIP in 2015 returning to UKIP once again. According to the latest poll, 55% of the public oppose the protection of the foreign aid budget, making her decision an extremely unpopular move among UKIP, Tory and marginal voters, the ones that May needed to win over to make this general election a success.

Meanwhile, it has become evident that Jeremy Corbyn and his campaigns team led by Seamus Milne and Andrew Gwynne MP have been preparing for a snap general election for months, investing their time and manpower to campaign strategy and technology. Jeremy Corbyn made key manifesto commitments such as raising the minimum wage to £10 per hour and universal primary school free school meals policy several weeks before May called the snap general election. His announcement of his intention to increase taxes on those earning over £70,000 is an extremely popular one, with 64% supporting a raise in income tax for those earning over £70,000. Furthermore, his announcement of increasing the minimum wage to £10 per hour has support from 72% of the public.

This week has shown what the Labour party is capable of when the leadership and MPs put their differences aside and work together in the interests of the country.

While there is still a mountain to climb, Labour are in a good starting position and if this week is anything to go by, Labour have a solid election strategy and have what is takes to close the gap in the polls. It is far from impossible that Jeremy Corbyn could be sitting in Number 10 in 6 weeks’ time. But if we are to win, the Labour party needs your help. Click here to find campaigning sessions in your local area and be part of making this general election a Labour party victory.

Poll as referenced in this article: http://mailchi.mp/survation/conservatives-lead-by-11-points-in-first-ge2017-poll-survation-for-mail-on-sunday