The Labour Party celebrated last week’s election result like it was a win – which of course led to a lot of people jumping in to point that that, y’know, they’d technically lost.
But a new poll shows that, if another election was run now, then the party could be celebrating a genuine victory.
A Survation poll, conducted for the Mail on Sunday, has a huge five-point increase for Labour, with a three-point drop for the Conservatives, putting Labour on 45% and the Tories on 39%.
It’s the first time they’ve been ahead in the polls since Jeremy Corbyn became leader and is a mark of just how gamechanging that election result was for the party.
Another poll, conducted by YouGov, also has an improvement in Corbyn’s personal ratings, with him drawing level with Theresa May on the question ‘Who would make the best Prime Minister’.
Is this a good score? Well, yes.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell claimed in yesterday’s Observer that, had the election campaign gone on for two more weeks, Corbyn would have been Prime Minister at the head of a majority government. He wrote that, “the more balanced the broadcast coverage of Jeremy Corbyn, the more people would see him for the honest, decent, principled and indeed strong leader he was”.
He added: “We were pitted against a barrage of highly personalised and poisonous Tory attacks, and a policy-free, expensively funded campaign in the press and on Facebook. My judgment is that if the campaign had been a couple of weeks longer, we would have secured a majority, given the narrowness of the voting in so many seats.”
While this is open to debate, what seems certain is that, despite not winning, the election result itself has boosted Labour’s attractiveness hugely. It put to bed the idea of Corbyn as ‘unelectable’ and has left a Tory party with a compromised leader – and maybe only one, divisive, viable alternative in Boris Johnson – a controversial coalition and seemingly nothing but difficult and unpopular future decisions to make.
Of course, before Labour supporters get too confident about calling for another election with their poll numbers looking good and victory assured, we’d remind them of, er, about eight weeks ago.