The Labour Party are ahead of the Conservatives across a number of recent opinion polls, their longest sustained period ahead of the Tories since 2017.
Boris Johnson’s personal ratings have been left in tatters after he won a vote of no confidence earlier this week, albeit by a finer margin that most had expected.
Labour began the year with its biggest lead over the Tories since December 2013, which was largely attributed to the series of scandals including ‘Partygate’ and MPs second jobs which took place in the run up to Christmas.
Since then support for Boris Johnson’s government has fluctuated, but the Conservative Party has generally struggled to restore their once-significant lead over Labour.
What do the latest opinion polls say?
After showing brief signs of a recovery from a polling trough at the beginning of the year, the Conservatives are once again in trouble according to the most recent opinion polling.
Speculation that if the PM avoided further fines in relation to the ‘Partygate’ scandal then the Conservative’s polling would improve seems to have been incorrect.
The release of the Sue Gray report was broadly seen to have been damaging, if not as damning as some had predicted, for Mr Johnson in particular.
Instead, it seems that the cost of living crisis along with the series of scandals which have dogged the government over recent months are having a lasting impact.
While the release of the Sue Gray report was followed almost instantly with the announcement of a significant financial support package, the most recent polling shows little signs that this has done enough to help restore the Conservative’s polling.
Across three of the most recent polls, Labour are ahead of the Conservatives by a comfortable lead of at least five points, with one recent poll putting them 11 points clear.
A Savanta ComRes poll puts Labour on 42% with a commanding 11 point lead over the Conservatives, on 31% - a low-point in recent years.
There are other positive signs for Keir Starmer, who has recently performed well in direct polls against Boris Johnson and is now increasingly rated highly against Rishi Sunak, thought to be among Johnson’s most likely successors.
Redfield and Wilton asked voters whether they think Starmer or Sunak would be a better PM, with 37% opting for Starmer compared with just 30% for Sunak.
Here are the full results of the polls.
Redfield and Wilton
- Labour 38%
- Conservative 34%
- Liberal Democrat 11%
- Green 7%
- Scottish National Party 4%
- Reform UK 4%
- Plaid Cymru 1%
- Other 2%
2,000 respondents, 5 June
- Lab 40%
- Con 32%
- Lib Dem 12%
- Green 6%
- SNP 4%
- Others 6%
1,632 respondents, 31 May and 1 June
- Labour 42%
- Conservative 31%
- Liberal Democrat 11%
- SNP 4%
- Green 3%
- Other 8%
2,177 eligible voters in Great Britain, 27-29 May 2022
When is the next election?
The next general election is not scheduled to take place until 2024, five years on from the 2019 election which saw Boris Johnson secure a comfortable majority in order to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and eventually led to Jeremy Corbyn stepping down as Labour leader.
However, there has previously been speculation that the Conservatives could call a general election earlier than required, potentially in 2023.
Since the last general election there have been a number of by-elections, with the Conservatives gaining in Hartlepool from Labour, Labour just about holding on in Batley and Spen, and the Liberal Democrats pulling off a surprise victory in Chesham and Amersham at the expense of the Tories.
In Old Bexley and Sidcup, the Conservative Louie French won the seat formerly held by James Brokenshire MP, who passed away from lung cancer.
The Lib Dems also claimed an historic victory in North Shropshire - a seat which was held by the Tories for almost 200 years - where their candidate Helen Morgan overturned a near-23,000 majority.
Following the death of Sir David Amess, a by-election in Southend West which was uncontested by the major parties resulted in a Conservative victory.
In Birmingham Erdington a by-election which came about as a result of Labour incumbent Jack Dromey passing away resulted in a Labour victory for Paulette Hamilton.
The next by-elections will take place in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton, on 23 June.
In both cases, by-elections have been called as a result of resignations by disgraced Conservative MPs.
Former Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan resigned from Parliament after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
The contest to replace Khan in Wakefield will likely be close fought, as the seat has only a 4000 Conservative majority and has historically gone back and forth between them and Labour.
In Tiverton and Honiton, a safe Conservative with a sizable majority, voters will choose a replacement for Neil Parish, the MP who admitted to watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons on two occasions.