Labour pull ahead after Conservative bounce

Ed Miliband

Sunday’s YouGov poll has put Labour back in the lead after the firm’s previous poll gave a one point lead to the Conservatives.

The poll, done with the Sunday Times, puts Labour on 33%, two points ahead of David Cameron’s party on 31%. The previous poll gave the Tories a one point lead of 33%-32%. It is clear that next year’s election will be one of the closest in recent decades, making the chances of a hung parliament more likely.

According to electoral calculus’ predictor, the results, if repeated in less than six month’s time at the general election, would give the Labour party 337 seats, one of the smallest majorities either of the major party’s have achieved in years. The Conservatives would fall to having just 267 seats.

If this outcome actually occurred, questions would be raised over the democratic validity of gaining a majority on 33% of the vote.

The Lib Dems, on 7% would get 18 seats, around of a third of their current amount, whilst UKIP (on 18%) would get zero. However, it is important to note that such ‘calculators’ are crude measurements, predicting uniform swings, not taking into account for local issues and factors. But they do give an interesting indicator.

It’s been a couple of tough week’s for Ed Miliband’s leadership, with his approval ratings sinking to a record low, and murmurs about shadow cabinet members’ discomfort at his leadership. Sunday’s YouGov poll also suggests that just 18% of voters think Ed Miliband is doing well as leader (just 3% very well), compared to the 74% who think he is doing badly. On the other hand, 39% think David Cameron is doing well as Prime Minister, compared to the 54% who think the opposite.

However, despite such poor ratings, Miliband stands a good chance of performing well next year.

But with polls suggesting such neck and neck results, it is clear that if Labour want to guarantee a firm victory a lot more needs to be done. A majority on 33% would result in a truly unrepresentative government. Less than two in three people will have voted against the prospect of a Labour government if this is the case. Two in three voters will wake up with a government they did not vote for.

The same may happen if the Conservatives gain a majority on a similar share of the vote. The time of the two large parties is coming to an end.

The full results of YouGov’s Sunday poll can be found here: