Should we take Labour’s eight-point lead in the recent YouGov poll seriously?
YES – Denis MacShane, former minister of Europe.
Those who live by opinion polls die by them. Ask Theresa May, or indeed David Cameron. The former was told she had an unassailable lead over Labour and could crush Jeremy Corbyn with a hard Brexit manifesto. The latter was told on 23 June 2016 by Populus and YouGov that Remain would win easily. Therefore any Labour politician who thinks the agreeable poll leads in the aftermath of the election will carry Labour effortlessly to power should think again. Nonetheless, Labour is now in play as a serious potential party of government. That is why Michel Barnier has agreed to meet Corbyn for a discussion on Brexit. Across the world, the leftist populism espoused by Corbyn – with its denunciation of poverty, inequality, wages that cannot sustain family life, and the inability of modern economists to come up with new paradigms that address these issues – is gaining traction. There are 58 months for this Parliament to run and Labour is undoubtedly back in play.
NO – Laura Perrins, co-editor of The Conservative Woman
No, we should not take the recent poll seriously, as we all know by now that such polls are often unreliable. The worrying thing about this poll is not that Corbyn is ahead. It is that the Conservatives – the batty, power-hungry Conservatives many of whom would sell their soul to Lucifer for the keys to Number 10 – will take it seriously, and may now attempt to go full socialist. They have already ditched any pretence at being socially conservative, so now they will pitch to the left economically as well. They will meddle in markets, they will be generous with other people’s money, they will suck up to students, and, they will give away ever more free stuff. It will be a full-scale surrender. Only someone who is actually conservative and understands the immorality of spending money that you do not have can save the party from itself. And that person is Jacob Rees-Mogg MP. His leadership of the party may be fantasy but it is fantasy worth indulging for now.