Today is the three year anniversary of the 2019 Tory landslide. Today the Win As One campaign launches to ensure the Tories are not dealt a fifth victory in a row.
Today, we release new research with new polling revealing deep dissatisfaction with our political system, suggesting any future Labour government working alone would face a huge uphill battle to tackle the big challenges of our time.
The polling confirms our fears – and our plan.
The report reveals that 63% of the public think Labour’s poll lead is largely against the government, with only 11% saying it is based on support for the party itself, so any upturn in support for the Government over the next two years could sabotage the chances of a progressive victory at the next election.
Labour’s current lead in the polls is built on weak foundations and is already beginning to slip away.
Cross-party co-operation and an overhaul of our political system provides our way forward.
Because of the way the current voting system punishes Labour, the party needs a lead of 12% to win a majority of just one in the Commons. With recent polls showing Labour’s lead dropping to an average of 20% from the mid 30s, regression analysis of how mid-term leads like this translate to a general election are revealing. Analysts predict that a 28% Labour poll lead now would likely result in an 8% lead at the election itself. If the analysis is right then the next election could be neck and neck.
And the recent perceived big win in the Chester by-election doesn’t give Labour a lot of comfort, with seasoned polling expert Peter Kellner writing of Labour’s 15.8 swing:
“It’s not nearly big enough to produce a Labour majority at the next election…. If I were a Labour strategist, I would be more nervous today in private than the party claims to be in public—and if I were a leading Tory I would not be quite as downcast as the headlines suggest I should be.”
Labour still needs a bigger swing than either 1945 or 1997 to win a majority of just one. Boundary changes next summer will almost certainly see Labour lose at least a dozen more seats, making outright victory harder, as could voter ID rules, which might see many Labour voters not going to the polls.
Our report lays out that even if Labour can win, voters now have little belief our political system can address the big challenges of our time:
- 51% say on the critical issue of climate the system is unable to address the challenges we face
- 50% don’t think the system can address inflation and the economy
- 63% don’t believe it can address immigration and where some
- 63% starkly say our politics is failing on wealth inequality
- 64% say the system isn’t able to cope with the housing crisis.
Then things get worse:
- 73% of voters believe the political system mostly serves the rich and the powerful
- 71% say it doesn’t work for ordinary people
- 63% say it puts too much power in the hands of a small number of swing voters
- 64% see the system as too short term,
- 67% as far too London centric and
- 64% as failing to bring people together and unite the country
Now more than 62% say our system fails to produce strong and stable governments – the central argument made by those who oppose fundamental reform to our voting system.
But there is hope for the party and progressives – the polling shows that an overwhelming majority of voters now want a future Labour government to work with other parties.
71% of those who say they will vote for progressive parties at the next election would support an electoral alliance that would see candidates standing aside for the best placed progressive candidate to beat the Conservatives.
71% of progressive voters support alliances.
Even if Labour did manage to win the next election outright, those backing the party want to see it work with other progressive parties to pass legislation – supporting cooperation across party-lines by some 78% to 8%.
Support for Proportional Representation (PR) is rising, with 56% of people – including 71% of Labour voters – now backing a change to the voting system.
The message for politicians is clear – politics as normal is not an option and cross-party working must now take centre stage to create a winning coalition that can transform our democracy.