Anyone who keeps a close eye on what the polls are doing will be aware just how awful the figures have been for the Labour Party over the last few months.
Despite what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his allies have suggested, the party has trailed the Tory government in the polls since the beginning of the year.
But the gulf between the rival parties has grown wider since mid-summer. As our poll tracker below illustrates, since July, Theresa May’s party has consistently enjoyed double-figure leads of up to 19-points over Labour.
YouGov’s most recent survey indicated a 16-point lead for the Conservative party.
The consistency of this gulf should have Labour absolutely terrified.
Some thought the chasm between the parties would be a short-lived consequence of Labour’s chaotic summer, where the party went through its second leadership contest in as many years. More recently, others have suggested that the continuation of the chasm was a result of a Tory post-conference “bounce” — the phenomenon where a party experiences a brief boost in popularity immediately after holding a national conference.
Both are very likely to be contributing factors. But, the reality is that Corbyn was re-elected nearly a month ago and it has been nearly three weeks since the Tory’s Birmingham conference. The Conservatives’ huge leads are not going anywhere — they have sustained. This is officially a very clear trend.
For Labour, polling below 30% while the Tories sit comfortably around 45% is the stuff of nightmares. Ed Miliband’s Labour had a 6-point lead over the Conservatives at this stage in the last electoral cycle, according to a YouGov poll published on October 21, 2011. The Opposition almost always leads the ruling party at this point in the cycle.
What is more alarming is that that the last time a British party enjoyed such massive leads was in the run-up to the 1997 election, when Tony Blair’s Labour won a landslide victory. There are four years until the next election, and a lot can change during that time, but to say the picture is depressing for Labour just doesn’t cover it. It is horrifying.
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