Labour is now 18 points behind the Tories, a recent voting poll has revealed.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has been publicly accused by one of his MPs of lacking substance and being “invisible”.
Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck in the northeast, said he questioned “who on earth is running the Labour Party at this moment in time”, The Independent has reported.
Starmer has reshuffled his top team after the Hartlepool by-election loss, by promoting moderate Labour figures.
But the new front bench team has so far failed to break the narrative that the party does not have distinctive policies or have fixed principles.
Mr Lavery said activists at a recent by-election in Hartlepool were ‘were frightened to knock on doors because they weren’t sure what they actually stood for anymore’. He said this approach would “never, ever” lead to power.
To the left
The MP added: “A lot of people feel really let down and as what’s happened in the last few weeks, for example, people are saying what on earth do we stand for, what does Keir stand for?”
He advised the party should move back to the left, as promised during the leadership election last year.
He criticised Starmer and the party as it currently is: “Where is he? He’s invisible, where is the Labour Party, who are the Labour Party, who’s making the decisions, what are the policies anymore?”
What the poll reveals
The new poll, conducted by YouGov and released yesterday, showed Labour scored only 28 per cent of the voting intention. This is four points less than Jeremy Corbyn’s 2019 general election result, and 12 points less than his 2017 result.
The poll also puts Starmer’s Labour below the 29 per cent Labour managed to win when it was kicked out of office at the end of the 2010 New Labour period, and the 30 per cent obtained when Ed Miliband was leader.
The survey has the biggest Tory lead and lowest Labour score since April 2020 when Starmer took over as Labour leader and appeared to be an electoral asset to his party.
The Conservatives are polling at 46 per cent, their best rating this year and the highest since May 2020, when they scored as high as 55 per cent in some polls.
The YouGov survey had Labour on 28 per cent (down two), the Liberal Democrats on eight per cent (up one) and the Greens and SNP staying on eight and, respectively five per cent. Reform UK, previously known as the Brexit Party, is polling at two per cent.