One week out
The latest opinion poll for London, released today, shows no let up for the Conservatives in the Capital with the lead enjoyed by Labour over the Conservatives only narrowing slightly from the last London wide poll conducted in February.
Labour is now on 51%, down from 54% with the Conservatives up slightly at 29%. The Liberal Democrats remain static on 11%.
These figures run counter to the latest national polls which have the Conservatives enjoying 43%, Labour on 38% and the Lib Dems on 8%.
Whilst each party is down playing the predictions in the usual expectation management, there is a good case to suggest that Labour will not do as well as the figures suggest with the likelihood that only Barnet will fall into their lap. The Conservatives should do slightly better holding onto Westminster, Wandsworth and Hillingdon and the Liberal Democrats punching well above their weight threatening to take control of Kingston. Richmond remains on the danger list as does Kensington and Chelsea with the local dynamics making each difficult to call.
These predictions also need to be caveated with a significant health warning given the volatile state of politics in the UK at the moment. If the shockingly handled Windrush affair continues to dominate headlines into next week, then the Conservatives could be really punished – particularly in London. On the other hand, if the anti-Semitism row reignites, the elections could continue to tighten.
Either way the Liberal Democrats should do much better than their meagre showing would suggest. Historically they are the best national party at targeting their scarce resources into areas of potential success, and given the damage the two other main parties are inflicting upon themselves, the Lib Dems should benefit and achieve a result significantly higher than their polling numbers would indicate.
Turnout will be another factor that could distort the polling numbers as will the postal vote, which sees most postal voters voting and returning their ballot paper some 14 days before the traditional polling day.
Thank goodness it’s only a week left to go!
This article was written by Frank Browne, Consultant Director at MPC