Labour would lose snap general election, Starmer ally admits

Rachel Reeves claims progress has been made after poll shows Labour down on last election

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Friday 23 April 2021 09:17
Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves
Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rachel Reeves

Labour would lose a snap general election held tomorrow, a close ally of Keir Starmer has admitted.

But Rachel Reeves said Labour had come "far" since the 2019 general election and claimed the gap with the Tories had "narrowed considerably".

It comes as a new poll from YouGov showed the opposition party on 29 per cent, down on the 32 per cent it won at the last general election.

"Look, at the moment, if there was a general election tomorrow, Labour wouldn't get a majority, there is still work to do to turn around our fortunes as a party, and to reconnect with those voters who once put a cross next to us, but haven't now in some cases for many years, that is work in progress," Mr Reeves told ITV News’ Acting Prime Minister podcast.

"We are turning around this tanker and we're moving in the right direction."

Ms Reeves is Sir Keir's minister without portfolio, shadowing Michael Gove. Sometimes associated with Labour’s right wing, she has been one of the most prominent faces representing the Labour leadership in the media in recent months.

Labour won 29 per cent of the vote in 2010, 30 per cent of the vote in 2015, 40 per cent of the vote in 2017 and 32 per cent in 2019.

Polling averages since Sir Keir took the helm at Labour over a year ago showed the party again pulling almost level with the Tories until February this year.

But with Sir Keir's ratings falling sharply across the board amid questions about his policy programme, Labour has also fallen in the polls.

The latest survey by YouGov had the Tories on 43 per cent, Labour on 29 per cent, the Greens on 8 per cent and the Lib Dems also on 8 per cent.

Other pollsters have similar figures with a margin of error, with most showing Labour in the low 30s and the Tories in the low 40s.

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