UK opinion polls: Conservative lead remains steady as another crunch by-election looms

A number of polls put out this week will make grim reading for Keir Starmer ahead of the Batley and Spen by-election next month

UK opinion polls: Conservatives widen lead in latest YouGov poll as Labour left behind after election failures (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
UK opinion polls: Conservatives widen lead in latest YouGov poll as Labour left behind after election failures (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The latest opinion polling shows the Conservative lead over Labour remains solid even in the wake of Dominic Cummings’ bombshell testimony on the government’s handling of Covid.

Four different polls in the last week have all shown the Tories holding onto their lead, though to varying extents.

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A YouGov polls puts the gap between the two major parties at a whopping 14 points, while Opinium’s latest survey shows Labour trailing by just six points, having gained five per cent since mid-May, suggesting some impact from Cummings-gate.

What do the polls say?

The latest polling, from Redfield Wilton, shows the Conservatives with a substantial and growing lead.

Based on fieldwork carried out on 31 May and a sample size of 2000 people, the Redfield Wilton poll results were:

CON: 45% (+2)

LAB: 34% (+1)

LDEM: 8% (-2)

GRN: 5% (-)

Changes. w/ 24 May

We’ve also had polling from YouGov in the last week, which shows the highest Conservative lead of all the pollsters.

Based on fieldwork carried out on 27 and 28 May, the YouGov poll results were:

CON: 43% (-3)

LAB: 29% (+1)

GRN: 8% (-)

LDEM: 8% (-)

REFUK: 3% (+1)

Chgs. w/ 20 May

Opinium’s poll for the Daily Mail was also based on fieldwork between 27 and 28 May. It found:

CON: 42% (-2)

LAB: 36% (+5)

LDEM: 6% (-2)

GRN: 5% (-2)

Chgs. w/ 14 May

Survation’s latest poll, based on fieldwork between 25 and 26 May, shows a solid ten-point Tory lead, and the strongest Liberal Democrat showing on ten per cent.

CON: 43% (-1)

LAB: 33% (-)

LDEM: 10% (+2)

GRN: 5% (-1)

Chgs. w/ 25 - 26 May

When are the next elections?

While the next election is not scheduled until 2024, there is speculation that the government would like to call it earlier, in 2023.

The government laid out its intention to scrap the Fixed Term Parliaments act in this week’s Queen’s Speech, which would grant the prime minister the power to unilaterally call an election.

However, there are two by-elections coming up in England in the next few months.

The Batley and Spen by-election will take place on Thursday (1 July) to replace Labour MP Tracy Brabin, who has had to step down from her role to take on the job as West Yorkshire’s first, and the UK’s first female, metro mayor.

This by-election is likely to be hard-fought, and will in some ways mirror the recent contest in Hartlepool.

Held by Labour since 1997, Batley and Spen recorded a high Leave vote in the 2016 referendum, and arguably the only reason Labour held on to the seat in 2019 was due to a local candidate, Paul Halloran, splitting the pro-Brexit vote.

The most recent polling shows Labour are on course to lose the seat.

The bookies currently have the Conservatives down as favourites to win the seat, which would be the first time a government has won two offensive by-elections in British political history.