Boris Johnson’s Tories have shot to a 13-point lead over Labour, as new polling shows Keir Starmer’s popularity plunging amid the hangover from the party’s trouncing in the Hartlepool by-election.
It is the widest margin recorded by Opinium since Starmer took over from Jeremy Corbyn as leader in May last year.
The poll found that one-third (33 per cent) of 2019 Labour voters want Starmer to resign, compared to 49 per cent who do not.
The survey – of over 2,000 adults, conducted on 13 and 14 May – found 44 per cent plan to vote Conservative – up two per cent from a fortnight ago.
Labour, meanwhile, dropped six points to 31 per cent – meaning an overall increase in the Tory lead of eight points in just two weeks.
Adam Drummond, Head of Political Polling at Opinium, said: “Keir Starmer’s ratings have taken a tumble as Labour voters begin to fear that he isn’t the one to lead the party back to power.
“The Labour leader has taken a significant fall across all metrics in the last two weeks, particularly being a strong leader, looking like a prime minister in waiting, and being able to get things done.
“Any opposition would be struggling against a government riding the success of the vaccine rollout and the last time the government’s approval figures for the pandemic were this positive the Conservatives held a 17 point lead.
“However, at least then Labour could console itself that their leader was new and making a positive impression. Labour’s poor position today is the result of factors both out of their control and things they should be deeply concerned with.”
UK, Opinium poll:— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) May 15, 2021
CON-ECR: 44% (+2)
LAB-S&D: 31% (-6)
LDEM-RE: 8% (+1)
GREENS-G/EFA: 7% (+3)
+/- vs. 28-30 Apr
Fieldwork: 13-14 May 2021
Sample size: 2,004
➤ https://t.co/7gcpMz8djk#UK #BorisJohnson #KeirStarmer pic.twitter.com/pqeYM3GFqd
Meanwhile, Andy Burnham has claimed that Labour would not have lost so many seats to the Tories in the north of England if he had defeated Jeremy Corbyn in the race for the leadership in 2015.
In an interview with the Observer – in which he made it clear that he plans to run for the leadership again after the next general election if he had enough support – the newly re-elected mayor of Greater Manchester was scathing about Labour’s failure to be bolder on major policy issues, like social care reform.
Polling places Burnham as the most likely and able successor to Keir Starmer, who is facing questions on whether he can return Labour to power after a crushing defeat in this month’s elections.
Had he beaten Corbyn in 2015, Burnham believes he would have had more success preventing the Tories from shattering Labour’s “red wall”.
“I still think life would have been different if I had won in 2015,” he said. “I think we would be stronger in taking on the government on levelling up. I don’t think we’d have lost as many northern seats had I won.”