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Labour could be tearing ahead in polls: Survey
January 03, 2018
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LONDON: Labour would be much further ahead in the polls if Jeremy Corbyn could convince people who share his party’s values to back it at the ballot box, a study has revealed.

YouGov research indicates that while more than 40 per cent of people feel Labour shares their values, far fewer are yet prepared to support the party with their vote.

The Fabian Society, which commissioned the study, said it points to an untapped pool of support ahead of crucial elections in May, but it also comes amid criticism from Labour insiders that Corbyn should be further ahead following Theresa May’s chaotic autumn.

Senior figures in the party also raised concerns with The Independent that the polling indicates Labour may suffer a “reckoning” if voters who want a more anti-Brexit stance become disillusioned.

The YouGov poll of more than 3,600 people showed 31 per cent of voters would back Labour in an election, but that 41 per cent of adults said the party shared its values.

Meanwhile, 29 per cent said they would vote Conservative in an election, compared with 33 per cent of adults who said the party shared many or all their values - leaving Labour with a larger pool of potential support.

General secretary of the Fabian Society Andrew Harrop said: “This is promising news for Labour as many more people say the party shares their values than voted for the party at the last election.

“There is therefore a significant pool of voters the party should be able to reach out to.” The pollsters also asked respondents how well the two main parties understand people who live in their area - 38 per cent said Labour understands people very well or fairly well, while 18 per cent said that the party did not.

For the Conservatives, 27 per cent of adults said the party understands people in their area very well or fairly well, with another 27 per cent saying it did not.

Harrop went on: “Labour’s task is clear. The party needs to reach out to people of every age and background who are not Labour voters now, but believe that the party shares their values and understands their community.

“If it can do that then Labour victories at local and national level will come.”

Remain voters, women and the under-50s were particularly likely to feel that Labour was in touch locally, the poll conducted in November said.

The Independent

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