Tuesday 3 December 2019 2:23 pm

General Election 2019: Lib Dems squeezed in London as Labour starts to fight back

London’s swing voters are beginning to return to a resurgent Labour, with the Liberal Democrats starting to fade away, a new poll published today has revealed.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party has clawed back eight points since November, to 47 per cent, while the Conservatives edged up one point to 30 per cent, according to a YouGov poll compiled for Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End Institute.

Both parties are down on their 2017 result, in particular Labour, which snared 54.5 per cent of the vote in the capital. Boris Johnson’s Tories are also down from their 33 per cent share two years ago.

The Lib Dems, meanwhile, are well above where they were in 2017, rising from 8.8 per cent to 15 per cent, although this is a four point drop in a month.

Pollsters suggested that while Jo Swinson could still gain a seat or two within London, the result suggested there was little chance of a Liberal Democrat surge putting Labour strongholds in danger.

The team noted that at least two of Labour’s marginal seats – Kensington and Battersea – are in danger as the poll marks a significant decline compared with its 22 point lead in the capital at the 2017 general election.

Philip Cowley, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London said: “On a uniform swing, the findings imply that the Conservatives could take Battersea and Kensington from Labour, while the Liberal Democrats would topple Tory minister Zac Goldsmith at Richmond Park.”

“In reality, the picture is more complicated than this – especially in Kensington, where the Liberal Democrats appear to be mounting a challenge as well as in seats such as Finchley and Golders Green.

“We are therefore now at a position in the polls where any seat changes are likely to be minimal, and the result of specific local factors rather than any London-wide swings,” he added.

Other small parties are also suffering, with the Green Party down to four per cent while support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has “almost evaporated” to just three per cent.

Among the four in 10 Londoners who backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum, Labour support has risen sharply from 15 per cent to 25 per cent. That suggests Brexit is becoming less of a priority for Leave voters as the election campaign goes on, Cowley said.

Labour has improved among Remain backers, from 52 per cent to a 60 per cent share. The Liberal Democrats are down among Remainers from 26 to 21 per cent.

And Corbyn’s personal ratings have improved, with the number of Londoners who think he is doing a bad job dropping from 65 per cent to 57.  Conversely, Johnson’s “bad job” score has risen from 59 to 62 per cent. 

Main image: Getty