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Labour popularity slips in London according to new poll

A new YouGov poll from the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London provides good news for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, and some worrying signs for Labour.

5 November 2019


Jeremy Corbyn’s lead in London has been halved since the general election in 2017, putting half a dozen key Labour seats at risk on December 12.

When asked, 39 per cent of respondents would vote for Labour in a general election, up four points from the last Mile Institute Poll in May 2019. The Conservative Party are on 29 per cent, up six points from May but down from a 33 per cent share in the 2017 contest.

Decline in popularity of Labour

Labour’s lead of ten percentage points is down compared to its 22-percentage point lead in the 2017 election. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also scored the lowest satisfaction levels of the three main party leaders with 65 per cent of pollsters believing that he is doing badly, including 56 per cent of people who say they intend to vote Labour. Just 20 per cent believe he is doing a good job.

59 per cent believe that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is doing badly, including 20 per cent of Conservatives, whilst 30 per cent say he is doing well.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson had a positive net score with 30 per cent saying she is doing badly and 32 per cent say she is doing well.

Gains for Liberal Democrats amidst Brexit concerns

19 per cent of respondents said that they would vote for the Liberal Democrats, down two percentage points from May but almost twice as high as the 8.8 per cent they scored in 2017.

Brexit came out on top as the issue that mattered most to respondents (58 per cent), followed by health (34 per cent) and the economy 26 per cent.

Labour voters were the least concerned about Brexit (56 per cent compared to 71 per cent for both Conservatives and Lib Dems), but even for them, it was still the top issue.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is at six per cent (up four percentage points since May) in the remain-dominated London electorate, while the Green Party is almost level at five per cent (two percentage points down from May).

Caution needed in an unpredictable election

Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London cautioned against making firm seat-by-seat predictions based on the swing in such a volatile election but said that a striking feature of the poll was a marked decline in support for Labour in London.

Professor Cowley said: “Seat projections are a tricky business at the best of times – and these aren’t the best of times.

“Compared to the position in 2017, these figures mean a fall of 16 points in the Labour share of the vote and just a four point drop in the Conservative share.

“In practice, assuming no change by polling day, this would almost certainly mean seats being lost by Labour and gained by the Conservatives.”

More information

Fieldwork was conducted between 30 October and 4 November 2019. Total sample size was 1,175 adults.

The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in London (aged 18+). YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.

The data tables are available here.

For media information, contact:

Paul Jordan
Faculty Communications Manager (HSS)
email: p.jordan@qmul.ac.uk