Expect Labour to gain in the polls – but don’t expect the Conservatives to be worried

A Labour increase in the polls is certainly on the cards, despite their performance in recent months. The simple reason behind an expected increase is that, as in previous elections, the growth in coverage for opposition parties always results in a spike of support. This was clear to see in the 2010 and the 2015 elections for the Liberal Democrats, during the TV debates, and Labour respectively. The shoring-up of votes is also down to voter’s opinions hardening on who they are going to vote for. We might also see the effect of so-called ‘tactical voting’ in constituencies where certain parties stand aside for a candidate from another party of the same alignment which has a better chance of winning.

So, should the Conservative order keflex online canada Party be worried about a possible ‘Labour surge’ in the polls? Quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, the mere indication that the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn might have an actual chance of winning the election or, at the very least, fracturing the government, will help the Conservatives.

It will likely serve as a motivator to those who believe the election is a done deal. As it stands, the narrative of the election is one of expectation of a massive majority for the government, and one that is sadly reinforced by the current performance of the opposition parties. The Conservatives could, as a result, potentially be dealing with unprecedented voter apathy in marginal seats when they need swing voter support. This could be seen in the 2001 and 2005 general elections in which Labour managed to maintain their majority but at the expense of voter turnout. This is further complicated by the potential wholesale transfer of UKIP votes to the Conservatives in June.

However, if voters believe the election is closer than people think, they are simply far more likely to go out and cast their ballot. This is precisely the reason why almost all Conservative Party activists have been playing down the results of the local elections this year, in which the party managed to gain an unprecedented 563 council seats. This is something unheard of for a governing party. A healthy turnout for the election will also prevent opponents of Theresa May from claiming that the country was not interested or apathetic about the result.

The very real prospect of Ed Miliband forming a coalition government in 2015 with the Liberal Democrats and the SNP was effective at motivating core voters to go out and support their local Conservative candidate, as well as swing voters who did not want Ed Miliband as Prime Minister. An ORB poll in 2015 before the election in April made clear that the prospect of a coalition government led by Labour and the SNP made voters 9 percent less likely to vote Labour overall. In some constituencies, 9 percent doubt from voters was more than enough to swing results for the Tories and the Ed Miliband coalition tagline was received well on the doorstep. It is no surprise that the Conservative line this year on the ‘coalition of chaos’ therefore has very clear echoes of the previous General Election campaign.

Make no mistake, the Conservative Party playing up the chance of a Corbyn victory is part of their overall strategy to recreate the grounds for success laid in 2015. Although recent polls from YouGov have shown that the electorate is broadly supportive of Labour’s manifesto commitments for the 2017 General Election, the party just isn’t trusted to be competent enough to carry out those responsibilities. Unless Jeremy Corbyn can turn around his public image before June 8th, after a year and a half of being framed in the media, a poll increase for Labour will simply be the harbinger of Conservative victory next month.

Comments

Share Darrow

We believe in the free flow of information. We use an Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, so you can republish our articles for free, online and in print.

Creative Commons Licence

Republish

You are free to republish this article both online and in print. We ask that you follow some simple guidelines.

Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the author, their institute, and mention that the article was originally published on Darrow.

By copying the HTML below, you will be adhering to all our guidelines.


James Anderson 1 Article
James Anderson is a UK Communications and politics analyst, focusing in particular on the Conservative Party. He has previously worked as an activist on local and national campaigns in public affairs. He graduated from Warwick University in History and writes regularly on UK politics and history.

Be the first to comment

What do you think?