POLL: Labour has hit rock bottom

  • TNS online poll: Conservatives 39 / Labour 26
  • 26% is Labour’s lowest rating as an opposition party since 1982
  • TNS says May is crushing Corbyn in personal ratings
  • YouGov online poll: Conservatives 38 / Labour 31

A new poll has been published by research group TNS has given the Labour party its lowest rating as an opposition party since 1982. The Conservatives have a 13-point lead over Labour, according to TNS, with the opposition languishing on just 26% of the vote share.

The last time a Labour opposition was this unpopular was under the leadership of Michael Foot, who like Jeremy Corbyn represented a radical form of socialism which wasn’t shared by all of his colleagues. It is also the lowest rating any poll has given Labour since 2010.

Corbyn’s personal rating is disastrous, too. 44% of respondents said they’d prefer Theresa May as prime minister, compared to just 16% who said Corbyn. Incredibly, the same percentage of people said they don’t know who would be a good PM.

It is just the latest opinion poll to show Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour trailing far behind the Tories at a stage in the electoral cycle when the opposition should be doing a lot better. At this very point in the last electoral cycle, for example, Ed Miliband’s Labour opposition had an 8-point lead over the Tories, according to a YouGov poll.

The gulf which has recently opened up between the Conservatives and Labour is illustrated in the chart below.

The results of YouGov’s latest voter intention poll — released on Thursday morning — makes slightly better reading for Labour. The 14-point lead Theresa May’s Tories had in YouGov’s last poll has been halved to 7 (38% > 31%) — a sign that the new prime minister “bounce” might be slowing down. However, whether this is a blip or instead the beginning of a sustained trend remains to be seen.

Either way, the story being told by opinion polls is still a very sorry one for Labour. As mentioned already, opposition parties really should be leading at this stage, never mind trailing by 13-points. But Theresa May continues to enjoy a honeymoon period which doesn’t look like ending anytime soon as long as Labour remains at war with itself.

Corbyn told the Daily Mirror people shouldn’t pay too much attention to opinion polls last week. But unless Labour’s ratings begin to improve substantially and soon, it is difficult to see how his party can be regarded as a viable government in waiting.

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