When a general election is actually held, could Labour win it?

Most recent polls do not look good for Labour with Conservative leads of between 10% (Opinium) – 14% (YouGov). But there are many variables to consider and a major one is timing.

ComRes has done a survey looking at voting intention before and after 31 October on the assumption that, before that date, there is still a prospect of the UK being out of the European Union by Halloween but, after that date, the UK is still in the EU and Boris Johnson has been shown to have failed to keep his promise.

In the first scenario, the Conservatives have a (narrow) lead of 3% but, in the second scenario, Labour has a (equally narrow) lead of 2%. So the timing of the election is likely to be critical and you can see why the Opposition parties do not want an election until it is clear that Boris has failed to meet his objective of the UK leaving the EU by 31 October with or without a deal.

BUT: there are so many other pondorables to take into account:

Will there be more resignations from the Government and the Conservative Party in Parliament?

Can Labour sort out its policy on Brexit? Will it really seek to negotiate a better deal and then campaign against it in a second referendum?

Will Boris Johnson manage to fight an effective ‘people vs the parliament’ campaign?

Will Jeremy Corbyn again prove to be a better election campaigner than parliamentary performer?

Will tactical voting – between Conservative and Brexit party voters and between Labour and Lib Dem voters – have a significant impact?

Will non-Brexit issues – such as the Tory’ spending splurge or Labour’s renationalisation plans – have an impact?

In short, the outcome of the election is still very uncertain and it’s going to be a febrile and frenetic few months in British politics.


  • Nadine Wiseman

    And there is the issue of polls becoming less and less reliable (for reasons I think you’ve discussed here before).

    So – who knows?

    We read the latest Brexit news over our breakfast (evening your time) and all we can do is shake our heads in amazement and disbelief.

  • Roger Darlington

    You’re certainly right about the problems with polls and the craziness of the Brexit debate. I still favour a second referendum before a general election and still hope that the UK can remain in the EU.

  • Peter Clark

    Roger, I honestly don’t know but I’m sure you can tell me . . .
    How many MPs have left their party and joined the Conservatives?
    How many MPs have left their party and joined Labour?
    How many MPs have left their party and joined the Lib. Dems ?
    The Lib Dems are increasingly sounding like the only “grown-ups” in this on-going debacle.
    I think you might be underestimating the rate at which they are catching up.

  • Roger Darlington

    Peter, the answers to your three questions are respectively: none, none, six.
    There are quite a number of other MPs who are now independents either because they left their party or because the whip was withdrawn from them.
    The Lib Dems are currently taking about 16% in opinion polls. But opinion is very fluid.


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