Tag Archives: polls

Have we reached peak Corbyn?

The Government is stumbling from one crisis to another. Two senior ministers have resigned in the last few weeks and many others are under pressure. Brexit talks appear to be at an impasse and there are doubts whether the Government can get the current Brexit bill through Parliament. Under these conditions, most political analysts would expect the opposition to enjoy a substantial and growing lead. Yet this isn’t happening. So why have the polls not moved dramatically?

Firstly, it is not totally fair to say there has been no movement. The Britain elects poll tracker has a slight Labour lead of 1.5%. This is a change from the General Election where the Conservatives enjoyed a 2 point poll victory over the Labour Party. Labour has also gained 9 seats in council by-elections since the General Election whereas the Conservatives have lost 10. So, the evidence does suggest that the Labour Party is ahead at present.

However, that is not enough for many on the Labour side. Former leader and known Corbyn critic Tony Blair has suggested his party should be 20 points ahead. He has not been alone in his criticisms. One possible answer for the current static nature of the polls could be that we have reached peak Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn shocked everybody with his performance at the 2017 General Election. His energy and enthusiasm on the campaign trail was a pivotal factor in costing the Conservative Party an overall majority. This looked to have terminally wounded Theresa May. Yet, May has held on despite coup attempts, a disastrous conference speech and reports that up to 40 MPs are willing to call for a vote of no confidence. Not only this but she still retains a small lead over Jeremy Corbyn in the question over who would make the best Prime Minister. This lead is small, but it is consistent and has been static for the last few months after Corbyn made significant ground before. Very few leaders of the opposition have made the transition to Number 10 without leading on this question.

There could be several sensible explanations for these polls and given what has happened with political polling in the last few years we must take these findings with a pinch of salt. All political parties and leaders do have a ceiling though. Corbyn has divided the nation and maybe given his brand of politics, this is as high as we can expect him and Labour to go. However, until we see further evidence it would be foolish to consider this anything more than a working hypothesis.

Could Britain Really Vote to leave EU?

A recent poll conducted by the ORB has shown that 52% of people in Britain want to leave the EU. There has been a notable swing towards the ‘Leave’ campaign in recent weeks and according to this research the ‘Leave’ camp now have the lead. This raises the very real prospect and possibility that Britain could vote to leave the EU.

The current political environment is clearly having a real influence on this debate. The ongoing refugee crisis which has been linked to the Paris attacks has once again caused fears about whether we can protect our borders and ultimately whether we would be better off outside the EU. It would be foolish to underestimate the impact of recent events on the current psyche of the British population.

Added to this, there has been the underwhelming response to the demands put forward by the Prime Minister. His requests for renegotiation appear to be quite modest and there is no game-changer. If the public as a whole is unconvinced by the Prime Minister’s demands then it seems fairly logical that a high proportion of previously undecided voters will swing towards leaving.

Emotions are still very raw presently and security fears across Europe are notably high. If the referendum was to be held in the next month or the next few weeks this alongside the poor deal Cameron is expected to renegotiate could be potentially decisive. However we still do not have a date for the referendum and therefore cannot make a judgement on what the public mood will be at the time when the referendum takes place. There is still a lot that could happen which may change the political climate and ultimately decide the referendum.

Even with these polls showing the ‘Leave’ campaign ahead, the bookmakers still make it odds on that Britain will vote to stay in the EU. Of course bookmakers like polls can often be wrong but when trying to evaluate votes and referendums of this kind, following the money is a sensible way to assess the way the debate is going and the money still suggests Britain will stay in the EU.

Personally my view remains that Britain will vote to stay in the EU. The debate is closer than expected and the polls indicate this will be a very close race. However as a country traditionally we have a history of voting for the ‘status quo’ and when the time comes to make a decision, fears of what Britain’s future will be outside the EU will concentrate minds and decide the election in favour of ‘Remain’.