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Labour remain on course for success in forthcoming local elections

The Labour party is set for its best performance in 40 years in the forthcoming local elections, despite a three per cent decline in support, according to a new poll conducted for the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London.

26 April 2018


When asked about how they will vote in the forthcoming local elections, the poll finds Labour enjoying the support of 51 per cent of Londoners, a lead of 22 percentage points over the Conservatives.

The poll shows some small signs of the Conservatives fighting back, especially in inner-London. The Liberal Democrats remain on 11 per cent in the London-wide poll, identical to the result in February.

Strong support for Labour

Comparing the poll to the last time the local elections were fought in 2014, there is a 5.35 per cent swing to Labour. This is down from a swing of 7.35 per cent when the last similar poll was carried out by Queen Mary in February.

Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary and Director of the Mile End Institute, said: “Despite the small increase in support for the Conservatives, the Labour party is predicted to do better than any political party has managed in London for over 40 years. Nothing in this poll indicates that next week will be anything other than a good night for Labour in London.”

Inner London vs outer

The poll finds evidence of large differences in voting intention between inner and outer London. In inner London 59 per cent intended to vote Labour in the local elections with 22 per cent for the Conservatives. In outer London Labour still lead but by 46 per cent compared to 34 per cent for the Conservatives.

The latest poll predicts that the Conservatives will hold both Westminster and Wandsworth, where previous polling had Labour on course to take both. In Barnet Labour is set to become the biggest party, something that has not happened since the council was created in 1964.

Professor Cowley added: “The small decline in support for Labour should mean that both Westminster and Wandsworth will be held by the Conservatives. We should however, be careful about applying a London-wide survey to individual boroughs with any certainty. Should the Conservatives manage to hold these seats, it will not be a sign of success, merely the avoidance of utter disaster”.

When it comes to the performance of their local council, those living in Conservative-run councils were more likely to think their council does a good job than people living in Labour-run councils. 48 per cent of those in Conservative-run councils think they do a good job, for example, compared to 43 per cent of those in Labour councils.

Other findings:

Asked how they would vote in a Westminster election, Labour continues to command a comfortable 52 per cent lead (-1 on February 2018, the last YouGov/Queen Mary poll) to the Conservatives 31 per cent (-2) and the Lib Dems 10 per cent (+2).

Voters from black and ethnic minorities were overwhelmingly likely to vote Labour in both local and general elections. In the forthcoming local elections, 75 per cent said they would vote Labour compared to 13 per cent for the Conservatives.

More information

The data tables are available here.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,099 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20 and 14 April 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+). YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.

For media information, contact:

Paul Jordan
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: p.jordan@qmul.ac.uk