'Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" - how has political opinion shifted in 2017?

June’s snap election changed everything. And more.

To say that Britain’s political ground was considerably altered this year is an understatement. The year began with Theresa May and the Conservatives giving Labour a substantial beating in the polls.

According to UK Polling Report, the first poll of 2017 (by YouGov for the Times, 4th January) put the Tories on 39%, well ahead of Labour who were placed on just 24%. In February and March, the Conservatives regularly polled in the 40s while Labour struggled along in the mid-20s.

When Theresa May called the snap election on the 18th April, one subsequent poll on the 20th by ComRes/Sunday Mirror put the Tories on 50%, dwarfing Labour’s low score of 25%.

The Tories looked set to strengthen their majority and give Theresa May the mandate she desired to secure a good Brexit deal.

One week later, the Independent reported that an Ipsos MORI poll indicated that May was more popular than Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair. That prospect seems laughable now.

The country then entered campaign mode, and Labour support slowly climbed with a strong manifesto and leadership from Jeremy Corbyn in opposition to the Conservatives’ U-turns and May’s lack of appearance at TV debates.

Even then, the final polls ahead of the election put the gap between the two main parties anywhere between one and thirteen percentage points.

In the end, Labour won over 40% of the vote just behind the Conservatives while UKIP collapsed and the Liberal Democrats stagnated.

4. There will be some significant by-election

However, the government’s majority (with the DUP) will probably diminish as a result of by-elections,which are an inevitable part of the political process, and if they take place in the right area, Labour and the Liberal Democrats could be soon set to make gains.

5. No cabinet reshuffle

Theresa May is weak. She will tinker around the edges and make changes when situations arise, but there will be no major re-stacking of the deck. It’s become a cliché, but May is a PM in name only.

6. Liberal Democrat surge

In 2018, as the UK edges close and closer to Brexit, the Liberal Democrats will make progress in the polls. The party won’t get back to the levels it polled at in 2010 or before, but as Brexit nears, the party will inevitably gain some support. Whether or not that translates into electoral success is a different issue.

7. A Brexit deal?

A Brexit deal will eventually be agreed and there will be no new referendum. There will be a transition period where very little, including membership of the single-market, changes, and the eventual final post-transition arrangement will be pushed into the long-grass.

]]> http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2017/12/14/the-end-of-theresa-may-7-big-predictions-for-british-politics-in/ Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:02:00 +0000 public opinion
, with most polls since the vote putting Labour ahead of the Tories.

The question is, will opinion continue to shift in Labour’s direction in 2018 or will this return to two-party politics be the briefest of blips.

Have something to tell us about this article?