Three years ago today, Boris Johnson was jubilant. The Tories had trounced Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party in the 2019 General Election, a vindication for the Get Brexit Done message after years of turmoil. There was talk of Johnson being at the helm a decade.
The 80-seat majority was proof of the continued potency of the Conservative party as an election-winning behemoth.
Fast-forward to 13 December 2022, and things look very different.
A jaw-dropping new poll from Savanta puts Labour’s vote share at 48 per cent, with the Tories a full 20 points behind on 28 per cent.
The implications for seats in Parliament would be staggering. If the next general election result mirrored the Savanta poll, the Tories would be swept away by a red tsunami, clinging on to 69 seats and losing 296, leaving them narrowly ahead of the SNP as the second largest party.
Labour would notch up 482 seats (a gain of 280), cruising past Tony Blair’s record number of seats for a single party (418 in 1997). It would represent three quarters of all the seats in Parliament.
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There are lots of plausible things the Conservatives can say to themselves to make them feel better. There’s a long time to go (probably just under two years) until the next election. A lot can change. And every poll is a snapshot of sentiment at a particular point in time, out of date as soon as it’s published as the roiling waves of public opinion pitch parties up and down.
Even so, these are epoch defining swings. And the Savanta poll is hardly a flash in the pan. UKPollingReport’s poll of polls puts Labour’s vote share at 46.7 per cent to the Tories’ 27.1 per cent. It’s enough to send a winter chill up the spines of Conservative MPs – even those in “safe” seats. The latest evidence suggests there may be no such thing.
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