In a big squeeze on smaller parties as Polling Day draws closer, Labour is taking Remain-supporters from the Liberal Democrats and picking up Leave backers from a shrunken Brexit Party.
Labour’s lead increases
Labour’s lead in the capital has stretched to 17 points according to the YouGov survey. However, although Labour has recovered some support, at least two of its marginal seats are in danger as the poll marks a significant decline compared with its 22 point lead in the capital at the 2017 general election.
Labour is on 47 per cent in the capital, up eight points from November but down from the huge 54.5 per cent vote the party achieved in 2017
A mixed picture
Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are also up by one point to 30 per cent, which is still below their 33 per cent share in 2017. Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats are squeezed to 15 per cent, losing four points in a month. The share is well above the 8.8 per cent they scored in 2017, keeping alive the party’s hopes of making one or more gains. The squeeze will also ease Labour worries of a Liberal Democrat surge putting Labour strongholds in danger.
Sian Berry’s Greens are also suffering a squeeze, down one point to four per cent. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has almost evaporated as a significant force in London, down three points to just three per cent.
Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London said: “On a uniform swing, the findings imply that the Conservatives could take Battersea and Kensington from Labour, while the Liberal Democrats would topple Tory minister Zac Goldsmith at Richmond Park.”
Dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the parties
Professor Cowley added that there had been a “dramatic turnaround” in the fortunes of the parties during the campaign so far, but the big picture was of Labour down compared with 2017.
“In reality, the picture is more complicated than this – especially in Kensington, where the Liberal Democrats appear to be mounting a challenge as well as in seats such as Finchley and Golders Green.
“We are therefore now at a position in the polls where any seat changes are likely to be minimal, and the result of specific local factors rather than any London-wide swings,” he added.
Is Brexit becoming less of a priority for voters?
Among the four in 10 Londoners who backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, Labour support has risen sharply from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. That will alarm senior Tories as it suggests Brexit is becoming less of a priority for Leave voters as the election campaign goes on.
Labour has improved among Remain backers, from 52 per cent to a 60 per cent share. The Liberal Democrats are down among Remainers from 26 to 21 per cent.
Mr Corbyn’s personal ratings have improved overall. The proportion of Londoners who think he is doing a “bad job” has reduced from 65 per cent to 57. At the same time, Boris Johnson’s “bad job” score has risen from 59 to 62 per cent.