Latest YouGov poll has Conservatives at 42 per cent to Labour's 28
With Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith facing each other tonight in the first official Labour leaderhip hustings, today’s YouGov polling figures put Labour’s troubles into clear context.
The figures have the Conservatives on 42 per cent of the vote, 2 points up from YouGov’s last poll towards the end of July. It increases the Conservative lead over Labour to 14 points, with Labour remaining stagnant on 28 per cent.
Asked which leader would make the best Prime Minister, Theresa May enjoys the support of 52 per cent of respondents with just 18 per cent saying Jeremy Corbyn would be the best PM.
Dig deeper, and the numbers become more troubling still. While 38 per cent of those who voted Labour in 2015 believe Corbyn would make the best Prime Minister, this is only marginally ahead of the 33 per cent of this group who preferred Theresa May, and the 30 per cent who were not sure.
Likewise, across every region of the UK, Corbyn trails May. In London, May wins in the preferred PM stakes by 52 per cent to Corbyn’s 20.
Across the rest of the south – full of the seats Labour needs to win to get back into government – just 14 per cent think Corbyn is best placed to be Prime Minister, with just 18 per cent saying the same in the Midlands and Wales.
And across the North and Scotland, Corbyn also trails May significantly on the preferred PM question.
While such polling will serve only to increase the temptation for Theresa May to call a snap election, Anthony Wells, YouGov’s research director, has warned:
‘any temptation to go for an early election should be tempered by the fact that in the past such honeymoons have only lasted a month or two.’
On the question of Europe, while 46 per cent said it was right for the UK to leave the European Union, (compared to 42 per cent who said that it was wrong), there is a clear sense the country realises Brexit will cause considerable difficulty:
– 38 per cent feel the country will be economically worse off by being out of the EU compared to 29 per cent who said the country would be better off.
– 34 per cent said that as a result of leaving the EU, the UK would have less influence in the world, compared to 20 per cent who said it would have more influence.
– 35 per cent said Brexit would be bad for jobs, with 24 per cent saying that it would be good for them.
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor for Left Foot ForwardSign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.