Which parties have the most to gain?
The Conservatives are defending 2,052 election seats, compared to Labor’s 1,621.
The stakes are high for Labor. At the start of the year, Keir Starmer seemed inclined to do what Jeremy Corbyn couldn’t, as the party moved closer to the Tories in approval ratings after soaring.
However, the success of the vaccine rollout can be credited with renewed support for the Tories, and Labor currently faces a nine-point plunge just a week before the election.
Labor faces the added task of reclaiming lost ground after the 2019 general election, when a Tory landslide saw key ‘red wall’ headquarters including Wakefield, Rother Valley and Don Valley move to conservatives, with considerable gains made in other Labor strongholds.
Speaking on UKTN Radio 4’s Today program on May 5, Shadow Labor and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said Labor could outperform election polls despite indications it could lose places like Hartlepool.
“If you look at where there is a conservative lead in some polls, it’s largely because of the turnout.”
“Rightly so, we know from the previous election that the polls have gone wrong because Conservative voters are frankly more statistically likely to run.
“We can tell people if you want strong local candidates who will make a difference in your region focused on public services and your well-being, come out and vote for Labor.
“If people do that, we could outperform many of these polls.”
What are the latest polls?
Since May 3, the Tories have maintained a solid lead with a 41% approval rating, but Labor has narrowed the gap slightly over the past week as they followed with 36%, according to a Politico poll.
When Sir Keir was elected leader of the Labor Party in April 2020, the party’s approval rating was 29% behind the Conservatives’ 51% lead.
However, after lying shoulder to shoulder between September 2020 and January 2021, the conservatives have taken the lead again, no doubt fueled by the success of the coronavirus vaccine deployment.
This is an exclusive poll which has found Labor will fail to take any advice from the Tories as Keir Starmer fights to take advantage of Boris Johnson’s problems following allegations of malice.
But Labor can be reassured that the Tories do not appear to be making further inroads into the red wall in northern England.
When asked if he accepts that this week’s election results reflect his leadership, Sir Starmer told UKTN Radio 4’s Today program on May 4: “Yes, and I take full responsibility. results, just as I take full responsibility for everything that happens in the Labor Party under my leadership. “