Tory poll lead slashed as Corbyn connects with non-voters

Written by David Singleton on 26 May 2017 in Diary

But can the Labour leader get them to the polling booth?

Labour have moved to just five points behind the Conservatives after a major surge in support, according to a shock poll by YouGov.

Another poll by Kantar puts Labour eight points behind, with Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal to non-voters said to be the main reason for Labour’s increased support.

The YouGov survey for The Times shows backing for Corbyn's  party has soared by five points to 38% in the past week. Over the same period, Tory support has slipped by five points to 43%.

If the swing was repeated across the country on 8 June, the Tories would see their majority fall from 17 to just two seats.

Significantly, the poll of 2,052 voters was carried out after the Manchester bombing, suggesting Theresa May has had no boost from being able to make several appearances as prime minister while the election campaign was suspended.

Anthony Wells, research director at YouGov, said: "Given Theresa May’s substantial lead on taking the right decisions on terrorism it would be a mistake to assume the narrowing Tory lead is necessarily connected to the bombing. This is the first poll since the dementia tax row, and that seems a more plausible explanation."

A separate Kantar poll conducted between before the bombing and the social care U-turn also shows May’s lead narrowing – with Labour on 34% and the Tories on 42%.

Pollster Luke Taylor said that in this poll much of Labour’s new support comes from people who didn’t vote at all in 2015.

“As of last weekend, the Labour party appeared to have benefited the most from the manifesto launches and from the controversy around social care,” he stated.

“It should be noted that Labour’s increased support in this poll predominantly comes from individuals who did not vote in the 2015 general election but are expected to vote this time around.”

In 2015, Ed Miliband tried and failed to covert non-voting youngsters to Labour’s cause, most notably by speaking to Russell Brand about the value of voting and the threat to living standards posed by Conservative spending cuts.

Corbyn has also attempted to mobilise the same demographic, most recently by chatting to the grime star JME in a north London café.

The recent polls suggest that Corbyn could be succeeding where Miliband failed. His next challenge will be to ensure that non-voters go to the polling booth this time.

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