Labour set for 'best performance' in London for 40 years at local elections, new poll suggests

But Conservatives are expected to hold onto to seats such as Westminster and Wandsworth despite previous speculation they could fall to Labour

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 26 April 2018 14:04 BST
Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan slam Conservative cuts as they launch Labour local elections campaign

Labour is on course for its best performance in 40 years in London at next week’s local elections, according to a fresh poll that shows Jeremy Corbyn’s party enjoying a 22 per cent lead over the Conservatives in the capital.

The survey suggests that in seven days’ time as many as 51 per cent of Londoners could throw their support behind Labour — a swing of 5.35 per cent to the party compared to the last time the local elections were fought four years ago.

In Barnet, Labour is also set to become the biggest party for the first time since the council was created in 1964, the results suggest.

But the poll by Queen Mary University of London and the Mile End Institute by YouGov also finds some signs of a Conservative fight-back with Theresa May’s party expected to hold onto seats such as Westminster and Wandsworth despite previous speculation they would fall to Labour.

The swing of 5.35 per cent to Labour is also down on a similar poll carried out by the university in February which found a swing of 7.35 per cent.

However, Philip Cowley, a professor of politics at Queen Mary, said: “Despite the small increase in support for the Conservatives, the Labour party is predicted to do better than any political party has managed in London for over 40 years.

“Nothing in this poll indicates that next week with be anything other than a good night for Labour in London.

He continued: “The small decline in support for Labour should mean that both Westminster and Wandsworth will be held by the Conservatives.

“We should however, be careful about applying a London-wide survey to individual boroughs with any certainty. Should the Conservatives manage to hold these seats, it will not be a sign of success, merely the avoidance of utter disaster”.

When respondents were asked which party they would vote for at a local elections, the results showed that 51 per cent support Labour while 29 per cent backed the Conservatives. For the Liberal Democrats, the poll adds that the party that will remain on 11 per cent – the same result to a previous poll in February.

Mr Corbyn's party led the poll not only in the more deprived inner city, but also in the traditionally Conservative-leaning suburbs. In inner London, 59% intended to vote Labour and 22% Tory, while in outer London, Labour led by 46% to 34%.

Council elections are taking place on 3 May in all parts of London, as well as more than 100 local authorities in the rest of England.

Source note: Total sample size was 1,099 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20 and 14 April 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+). YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.

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