The Tories have pulled fourteen points ahead of Labour in the polls, the party’s biggest lead since last spring.
YouGov’s latest poll of voting intention for The Times reveals that the Conservatives have doubled their lead in the space of a week, their lead ticking up two to 43 points – while Labour are down five on 29 points. Both the Liberal Democrats and Greens are up two, on eight points.
Not only does the poll give the Tories their clearest lead of the year, it also sees Labour’s popularity sagging to below levels recorded when Jeremy Corbyn has been in charge.
According to The Times, the slippage in Keir Starmer’s support does’t just come from the right: both the Greens and Lib Dems appear to be making ground at Labour’s expense.
Starmer, the Labour leader, has warned that the Tories may enjoy a vaccine bounce in the polls ahead of the local elections – and this latest poll appears to show the extent of the uphill struggle faced by the party come May.
TIMES EXCLUSIVE— Patrick Maguire (@patrickkmaguire) April 16, 2021
Tories *14 points* ahead of Labour with YouGov: their biggest lead this year AND since last spring.
Usual caveats apply, but these numbers would confirm Starmer's fears of a vaccine bounce.
Full analysis in @timesredbox this morning: https://t.co/XpaedmAxtE pic.twitter.com/wp7Ccfkrtp
Meanwhile Starmer, on a campaign visit to Wales on Thursday, said pro-independence Labour candidates standing in the Welsh Parliament election should focus on Wales’s coronavirus recovery.
Asked whether he was comfortable with pro-independence candidates being allowed to stand for the party, Sir Keir said: “I want to see a strong Wales in a fair United Kingdom. I think at the moment the absolute focus in politics has to be on the recovery.
“That’s why it’s core to to what Welsh Labour are saying going into this election.
“I know people will have different views on independence. But I think most people would say that coming out of this pandemic the simple and core focus should be on the recovery.”