The Labour Party’s poll lead in a key set of ‘blue wall’ seats in southern England has narrowed to a record low, new polling data has revealed.
Sir Keir Starmer’s party is leading the Conservatives by just two per cent among affluent Tory shire constituencies – a joint record low and a six point drop from last month.
But support is split on crucial areas of policy, with voters backing the Tories on Ukraine but Labour on the NHS.
Pollsters at Redfield and Wilton Strategies found support for Labour appears to have decreased in the forty-two ‘blue wall’ seats they track – traditionally Conservative-backing areas including Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire, Putney and Wimbledon in Greater London, and South Cambridgeshire.
The data will be welcome news for the Conservatives after support for the governing party has ebbed away in recent years following controversies over Brexit and Partygate.
Labour v Tories?
Labour received 37 per cent from blue wall voters – after losing two points – while Rishi Sunak’s government achieved 35 per cent for the first time, with a four per cent increase in backing.
The Liberal Democrats were on just 20 per cent in these seats, with a one-point drop.
Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of those who voted Conservative in 2019 now say they would support the party again if a general election were held tomorrow – the highest number since the tracker began.
And 91 per cent of those who voted Labour in 2019 say they would back the party again, while 61 per cent of Lib Dem voters would stick with their choice.
Sunak v Starmer?
Voters were almost evenly divided on whether Sunak or Starmer would make a better prime minister, with 38 per cent saying Sunak and 37 per cent Starmer, while a quarter were unsure.
Sunak’s net approval rating in the blue wall was a positive two per cent in the blue wall seats, creeping up by five points from late March, compared to Starmer’s consistent positive eight per cent.
It marks Sunak’s first net positive approval rating in these seats since late November.
On policy, the Conservatives came out as more trusted on Ukraine, with 33 per cent to Labour’s 22 per cent; managing the economy (29 to 28 per cent); and foreign affairs (28 to 27 per cent).
But Labour scored well on the NHS, with 39 per cent over the Conservatives 18 per cent; tackling poverty (36 to 19 per cent); and housing (35 to 20 per cent).
And in a boost on the cost-of-living crisis, just 59 per cent of blue wall voters said the government was not taking the right steps to address the crisis – the lowest number since January.