A bunch of opinion polls conducted in the past few days have shown Labour enjoying national leads over the Conservatives ranging from a commanding 17 percentage points to a jaw-dropping 33 points. What have these surveys told us about the Tories’ popularity in London?
Combining the responses of the five most recent polls for which regional breakdowns are available – they are by Redfield & Wilton, YouGov, Survation, People Polling and Opinium – produces a sample of over 1,000 people, the number needed for a statistically robust individual poll, and a gloomy picture of the party’s prospects in the capital as they presently stand.
Three weeks after former Greenwich councillor Liz Truss (pictured) became their leader on 5 September, the London data from these polls suggest Labour enjoying an massive average lead of 34.6 percentage points over the Tories in the capital, who enjoy the support of only 22.2% of Londoners compared with 56.8% who say they favour Labour.
This suggests a continuing deterioration in the Tories’ already weak position in the capital. Prior to May’s London borough elections there was discussion of whether the Conservative position could really become much worse, given how far behind Labour they already were. In the event, despite a net loss of only one council, they lost over 100 councils seats and, assessed using the same method as the Greater London Authority, secured just 26% of the overall vote compared with Labour’s share of 42.2% – a Labour advantage of 16.2 points.
This was a decline compared with the May 2021 elections for London Mayor and London Assembly members. The Tory mayoral candidate secured a bigger share of first preference votes than opinion polls had indicated with 35% compared with the Labour candidate’s 40% (though the gap widened to 10.4% after second preferences were added). More significantly in terms of support for parties rather than individuals, the shares of votes for the proportional representation element of the Assembly elections, were 38% for Labour compared with 31% for the Conservatives.
At the final hustings of the campaign to become Conservative leader, Truss told an audience of Tory members at Wembley that London is not inevitably “a Labour city”. But following the 23 September mini-budget or “fiscal event” of her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and the costly market turmoil it generated, London is currently looking like an even more Labour-leaning city than it already was and Tories in even deeper decline in the capital.
Photo of Liz Truss from yesterday’s BBC interview with Laura Kuenssberg.
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