Jeremy Corbyn has begun general election fightback in London, new poll reveals

The latest headlines in your inbox Jeremy Corbyn has begun a fightback in the crucial London election battleground but is still lagging behind his 2017 tally, an exclusive poll reveals today. In a big squeeze on smaller parties as polling day draws closer, Labour appears to be taking votes from the Liberal Democrats and Brexit…

The latest headlines in your inbox

Jeremy Corbyn has begun a fightback in the crucial London election battleground but is still lagging behind his 2017 tally, an exclusive poll reveals today.

In a big squeeze on smaller parties as polling day draws closer, Labour appears to be taking votes from the Liberal Democrats and Brexit Party, which have both lost support.

Labour’s lead in the capital has improved to 17 points, according to the YouGov survey commissioned by Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End Institute, and its leader’s image has improved. 

But the poll marks a significant decline compared with its 22-point lead in the capital at the 2017 general election, putting at least two Labour marginal seats in danger.

Key findings include:

  • Labour is on 47 per cent in the capital, up eight points from November but down from the huge 54.5 per cent vote Mr Corbyn’s party achieved in 2017.
  • Boris Johnson’s Conservatives are up a point to 30 per cent, which is still below their 33 per cent share in 2017.
  • Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats are squeezed to 15 per cent, losing four points in a month. The share is well above the 8.8 per cent they scored in 2017, keeping alive the party’s hopes of making one or more gains, but the squeeze will ease Labour worries of a Lib Dem surge threatening its strongholds.
  • Sian Berry’s Greens are also suffering a squeeze, down one point to four per cent.
  • Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has almost evaporated as a significant force in London, down three points to just three per cent.

On a uniform swing, the findings imply that the Conservatives could take Battersea and Kensington from Labour, while Lib Dems would topple Tory minister Zac Goldsmith at Richmond Park. 

Prof Philip Cowley of Queen Mary University of London said there had been a “dramatic turnaround” in the fortunes of the parties during the campaign so far, but the big picture was of Labour down compared with 2017.

“In reality, the picture is more complicated than this – especially in Kensington, where the Liberal Democrats appear to be mounting a challenge as well as in seats such as Finchley and Golders Green,” he said. “We are therefore now at a position in the polls where any seat changes are likely to be minimal, and the result of specific local factors rather than any London-wide swings.”

General Election 2019 – In pictures

Among the four in 10 Londoners who backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, Labour support has risen sharply from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. That will alarm senior Tories as it suggests Brexit is becoming less of a priority for Leave voters as the election campaign goes on.

Labour has improved among Remain backers, from 52 per cent to a 60 per cent share. The Lib Dems are down among Remainers from 26 to 21 per cent.

Mr Corbyn’s personal ratings have improved overall. The proportion of Londoners who think he is doing a “bad job” has reduced from 65 per cent to 57.  At the same time, Boris Johnson’s “bad job” score has risen from 59 to 62 per cent.  

YouGov for Queen Mary University of London surveyed 1,019 Londoners online between 28 November and 2 December 2019. Data is weighted.

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