The Labour Party are ahead of the Conservatives across a number of recent opinion polls, their longest sustained period ahead of the Tories since 2017.
Boris Johnson’s position looks increasingly fragile following the high-profile resignations of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid yesterday, with a further people resigning from government since.
Mr Johnson’s personal ratings have long been floundering and were left in tatters earlier this month when he narrowly won a vote of no confidence, by a much finer margin that most had expected.
Labour began the year with its biggest lead over the Tories since December 2013, which was largely attributed to the series of scandals including ‘Partygate’ and MPs second jobs which took place in the run up to Christmas.
Since then, the government’s response to the cost of living crisis has left many people struggling, as record-inflation has seen real-terms wages drop.
Since then support for Boris Johnson’s government has fluctuated, but the Conservative Party has generally struggled to restore their once-significant lead over Labour.
What do the latest opinion polls say?
After showing brief signs of a recovery from a polling trough at the beginning of the year, the Conservatives are once again in trouble according to the most recent opinion polling.
The latest in a long line of scandals to have damaged the government’s credibility has unfolded over the last 10 days, around the conduct of former government whip Chris Pincher, who has been accused of innapropriate conduct including sexual harassment.
This followed revelations that the PM had tried to employ his now-wife Carrie Johnson on a £100k per year role at the Foreign Office in 2018, when he was the Foreign Secretary.
But the Conservative’s polling problems have been building up for some time now.
Although the local elections in May didn’t play out as badly for the Conservatives as some had expected, they didn’t point to rebounding support for Boris Johnson’s party.
Speculation that if the PM avoided further fines in relation to the ‘Partygate’ scandal then the Conservative’s polling would improve seems to have been incorrect.
The release of the Sue Gray report was broadly seen to have been damaging, if not as damning as some had predicted, for Mr Johnson in particular.
Instead, it seems that the cost of living crisis along with the series of scandals which have dogged the government over recent months are having a lasting impact.
While the release of the Sue Gray report was followed almost instantly with the announcement of a significant financial support package, this did little to help restore the Conservative’s polling.
There has been no polling carried out since the shock resignations yesterday.
Across three of the most recent polls, Labour are ahead of the Conservatives by a comfortable lead of at least six points, with one recent poll putting them 11 points clear.
Here are the full results of the polls.
Redfield and Wilton
- Labour 41%
- Conservative 35%
- Liberal Democrat 11%
- Green 5%
- Scottish National Party 3%
- Reform UK 5%
- Plaid Cymru 0%
- Other 1%
2,000 respondents, 3 July
- Conservative 32%
- Labour 41%
- Liberal Democrat 11%
- SNP 4%
- Green 3%
- Other 10
2,106 respondents, 1-3 July
- Labour 41%
- Conservative 30%
- Liberal Democrat 15%
- Green 6%
- Other 8%
1,059 respondents, 22-29 June
When is the next election?
The next general election is not scheduled to take place until 2024, five years on from the 2019 election which saw Boris Johnson secure a comfortable majority in order to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and eventually led to Jeremy Corbyn stepping down as Labour leader.
However, there has previously been speculation that the Conservatives could call a general election earlier than required, potentially in 2023.
Since the last general election there have been a number of by-elections, with the Conservatives gaining in Hartlepool from Labour, Labour just about holding on in Batley and Spen, and the Liberal Democrats pulling off a surprise victory in Chesham and Amersham at the expense of the Tories.
In Old Bexley and Sidcup, the Conservative Louie French won the seat formerly held by James Brokenshire MP, who passed away from lung cancer.
The Lib Dems also claimed an historic victory in North Shropshire - a seat which was held by the Tories for almost 200 years - where their candidate Helen Morgan overturned a near-23,000 majority.
Following the death of Sir David Amess, a by-election in Southend West which was uncontested by the major parties resulted in a Conservative victory.
In Birmingham Erdington a by-election which came about as a result of Labour incumbent Jack Dromey passing away resulted in a Labour victory for Paulette Hamilton.
The last by-elections took place in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton on 23 June.
In both cases, by-elections were called as a result of resignations by disgraced Conservative MPs, with the Tories going on to lose the seats in both cases.
Former Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan resigned from Parliament after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.
Labour managed to win back the West Yorkshire seat which they lost in 2019 for the first time in decades, while the Liberal Democrats overturned a huge majority in Tiverton and Honiton to secure victory.
Neil Parish stepped down as the MP for Tiverton and Honiton, a safe Conservative with a sizable majority, after he admitted to watching pornography on his phone in the House of Commons on two occasions.