Diane Abbott says Jeremy Corbyn will close poll gap with Tories in 12 months

'We have the right policies and we have the right leader,' shadow Home Secretary says

Joe Watts
Political Editor
@JoeWatts_
Sunday 11 December 2016 11:45
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Diane Abbott says Labour will close polling gap in 12 months

Diane Abbott has predicted that Labour will close the gap in the polls with Theresa May’s Tories within the next 12 months.

The key Corbyn ally claimed that with rebellion subsiding following a second leadership contest, Labour would “come together” and regain ground.

It follows a YouGov survey earlier this week that saw Labour hit a seven-year poll low sinking to only 25 per cent – 17 points behind the Conservatives – and two disappointing results in recent Westminster by-elections.

But speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Ms. Abbott said: “I'm confident we can close the gap in the coming 12 months.

“We've had a pretty difficult 12 months, partly Jeremy's enemies in the party, partly commentators, but we have the right policies and we have the right leader.”

As well as the YouGov poll the by-election in Sleaford and North Hykeham saw Labour slip into fourth behind Ukip and the Lib Dems, while in Richmond they saw their vote collapse to a figure lower than the number of members in the local party.

The shadow Home Secretary added: “There's a limit to what you can extrapolate from by-election results, and both of these by-elections were ones we could never have expected to win.

“The most recent one was disappointing, but I would say to you reports of the Labour party's demise are much exaggerated.”

A Com Res poll for The Independent showed today that John McDonnell is the most popular Labour politician.

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