With just over a year to go until Brexit, and the Conservative government fixed on a break from the Customs Union, England’s opinion polls have, apparently, reverted back to a solid two-party format.
February’s clutch of opinion polls each have Labour and the Conservatives racing neck-and-neck. The latest YouGov poll put Conservatives unchanged on 40%, Labour slightly up to 42% and the Lib Dems static on 8%. In three opinion polls over the past month UKIP have recorded 2% despite another change in leadership.
In London, Labour appear to be heading for a strong performance in May’s local elections where it’s major figureheads – Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and even Tony Blair – have strong political bases.
A YouGov poll (21 Feb.) recently put Labour in London on 54% (+17), Conservatives on 28% (+2), Lib Dems on 11% (+1), Greens on 4% (-6), and UKIP on 2% (-10). Changes in brackets indicate the last London local election results from 2014, which was also a European Parliamentary polling day.
Just two years ago, UKIP was able to come third – ahead of the Lib Dems – to win two London Assembly seats with 7.6% vote share. As the UKIP vote collapses, addressing the lack of prominent Tory figureheads in London, is a key issue that the Conservative Party will need to fix well before the 2020 London Mayoralty contest.
EC political reporter