Labour’s opinion poll ratings “worst since Second World War”

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn address the Unite Scotland 1st Scottish Policy Conference at the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel earlier this week. Image: Lisa Ferguson

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn address the Unite Scotland 1st Scottish Policy Conference at the Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel earlier this week. Image: Lisa Ferguson

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Labour has failed to recover in the polls since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, according to analysis by the Press Association.

The party’s political woes continue as it has been revealed that they trail the Conservatives by an average of eight points.

This is the biggest poll deficit recorded by Labour eight months after an election defeat since regular opinion polls began in Britain in the late 1940s.

At this stage in the last parliament, the party was ahead of the Tories by an average of five points and eight months after losing the 1992 election, Labour had opened up a lead of 10 points.

The last time the party was still polling behind the Conservatives this long after an election defeat was in 1988, when it trailed by five points.

But it is impossible to find any record since the Second World War of a gap bigger than eight points at this stage in any electoral cycle.

To add to Labour’s woes, the party has failed to come first in any opinion poll published since the Tories won the general election in May 2015.

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Some pollsters have warned that Labour’s current ratings may even be too high.

Commenting on the latest poll from ICM, which shows the Tories on 40 per cent and Labour on 35 per cent, ICM director Martin Boon said: “This may be overstating Labour’s strength. 35% is probably too high.

“We can see in the small print of this poll that we’ve still got too many respondents who recall voting Labour.”

ICM has adjusted its methods since the general election in an attempt to better reflect the views of people who decline to reveal their intention.

Labour’s current poll deficit of eight points is not the biggest the party has experienced while in opposition. The Tories enjoyed a 10-point lead just 12 months after winning the 1959 election, for example.

A gap of eight points has never opened up this quickly, however.

It is also in stark contrast with how quickly Labour has bounced back following previous election defeats.

In 1992, the party had overtaken the Conservatives within five months of losing the election, while in 2010 they had established a lead after seven months.

And after losing the 1979 election, the party was back ahead of the Tories in the polls within just one month.

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