Labour's Labours

Labour's Labours

Over the last couple of days there have been a few polls released – a couple focusing on voting intentions, and another two focusing on personal satisfaction ratings for Theresa May, Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn.  None of them bode well for Labour (plus ça change…), its leader, or even Owen Smith.  And, yes, Theresa May’s honeymoon seems to be continuing – with some rather interesting results.

Yesterday, ICM released its latest voting intention poll, with Ipsos MORI releasing theirs this morning.  For ICM, the Tories received 40% in the headline voting intention figures; the Labour Party had 28%; 8% went for the Liberal Democrats; 14% for UKIP; and the Greens ended up with 4%.  As a result, the Tories have, by ICM’s understanding, a 12 percentage point lead over the Labour Party.  Ipsos MORI return a similar lead (of eleven percentage points), but with both parties gaining significantly higher shares of the popular vote.  In their poll today, the Tories are on 45%, Labour are on 34%, and the Lib Dems and Greens rake in 7% and 4% of the vote, respectively.  UKIP come right down to 6% from their usual place in the poll in the low double-digits, though it should be noted that Ipsos often give Labour better results than other pollsters and give UKIP worse results than the others.

Let’s break these voting intention polls down a little:

Age

No surprises here, really.  Labour does best amongst the young and the Tories improve with age.  Below are ICM’s numbers, sorted by age:

Conservatives

Labour

Lib Dem

UKIP

Green

18-24

30

48

3

10

6

25-34

38

35

9

4

5

35-64

37

26

8

16

5

65+

51

19

8

17

0

There are a few things in this table to take note of.  First, Labour have a clear lead on the Tories within the 18-24 age group, though that’s not much of a surprise.  Second, the Tories start to take their lead over Labour quite early – in the 25-34 category, and then increase that lead to a peak of 32 points in the 65 and older category.  Third, it is significant that the Tories get such large leads in the older age groups, as older voters tend to get out on election day, whereas younger voters tend to stay at home.  Finally, it is interesting at how low support for the Lib Dems is among the youngest age category – could this be the tuition fee crisis still plaguing the party?

The Ipsos poll, meanwhile, give Labour a lead over the Tories right into the 25-34 age group, with their lead going from 31 with 18-24 year olds to 18.  From that point onward, though, the Tories take their lead, from a small 4 points in the 35-44 group right up to the 36 lead they have with over 65s.

Class

Conservatives

Labour

Lib Dem

UKIP

Green

AB

52

22

10

8

5

C1

40

30

5

13

5

C2

38

23

9

20

4

DE

27

32

6

21

3

The story here is one of Conservative support dropping off heavily as one goes down the social class spectrum, and Labour support, though lower on average, remaining solid.  And thanks to that rapid drop in the Conservatives’ vote, their leads in the AB category (30 points), C1 category (10 points), and C2 category (15 points) turn into a loss, with Labour chalking up a lead of 5 points in the DE category.

Taking a look at the minor parties, there is evidence for the narrative that Lib Dems supporters tend to be ‘elite’ types, with UKIP appealing to the left-behind voter.  While the Lib Dems get 10% of AB support, that falls away to 6% among DE voters; for UKIP, it’s the opposite tale – rising from 8% within AB voters to 21% among DE voters.  That last result means that among DE voters, UKIP is only 6 points away from the Tories.

Scotland and the Regions

Yet again we see a problem for Jeremy Corbyn.  His promise to reach out to Scotland just doesn’t seem to be working.  Take a look at the table below:

Conservatives

Labour

Lib Dem

UKIP

Green

Scotland

24

18

4

3

3

North

33

32

6

11

4

Midlands

43

25

5

18

4

South

46

23

11

14

5

While his party trails the Tories in the North, South, and Midlands of England, it trails the Tories by 6 points in Scotland as well.  The joint effect of a popular Scottish Conservative leader in the form of Ruth Davidson as well as the strength of the SNP makes it particularly hard for Labour to find its footing.  And with the party in such disarray, it allows the Tories to paint Labour as a party of chaos and allows the SNP to capitalise on what it can call the Westminster parlour games of the Labour Party.

In all, then, these are another dire set of results for the Labour Party.  Trailing in most age groups, regions, and classes, it is hard to see how it can form an election-winning coalition.  But 2020 is a long, long way away, and things could all change by then.  Who knows – we might not even have a Labour Party by then.

 

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