Labour’s own polling suggests losses in London and wipeout in Scotland

I think the Lib Dems need to declare the cost of staging Labour Conference as an election expense

So said a Labour friend of mine on Twitter in deep frustration at his party’s failure to unequivocally back Remain in chaotic scenes yesterday.

I genuinely feel for my friends in Labour who are horrified at what their party is doing. Some, like Alastair Campbell, voted Lib Dem in the European elections. I hope that they will feel able to do so at the forthcoming General Election, even  if they don’t want to say so out loud.

When a party gets it as badly wrong on the major issue of the day, the chances are that it will be punished at the ballot box and two reports suggest that this is exactly the fate awaiting Labour candidates.

And what is more bizarre is that it’s Labour’s own internal polling that is predicting the disaster.

The Scotsman reports that we and the SNP will be the beneficiaries of a Labour wipeout in Scotland:

Across the UK, only 58.7 per cent of 2017 Labour voters would stick with the party under those circumstances. The Lib Dems would take 19 per cent of the 2017 Labour vote, with 7.4 per cent going to the Greens, 3.5 per cent to the SNP, and 0.7 per cent to Plaid Cymru.

The figures are even worse in Scotland, where just 49.2 per cent of 2017 Labour voters would stick with the party. The SNP would take a fifth of Labour’s vote at the last election, with 15% going to the Lib Dems, 6% to the Brexit Party, and 3% to the Conservatives.

And the Evening Standard suggests that we will benefit from Labour’s losses in London:

The picture is even more stark in the South East, where nearly 34 per cent of Labour backers two years ago could switch to the Lib Dems or Greens, and slightly more than 11 per cent to the Tories and Brexit Party.

This would appear to make it very difficult for Mr Corbyn’s party to hold on to seats such as Canterbury or to take constituencies such as Hastings and Rye, currently held by former Cabinet minister Amber Rudd.

Nationwide, just over 30 per cent of the Labour vote could shift to the Lib Dems or Greens, according to the analysis, and slightly more than 12 per cent to the Tories or Nigel Farage’s party

Labour’s position is all the more perplexing given what the author of Article 50, Lord John Kerr, told the Edinburgh March for Europe on Saturday.  He said that UK negotiators had asked for all the bits relating to environmental, labour and social protections to be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement.

We now face the real possibility that some sort of repackaged version of Theresa May’s deal will be supported by enough Labour MPs to let it through.

Future generations will surely not forgive a party that does that to their futures.

In contrast, they will have us to vote for. Our policy to stop Brexit by democratic means, whether by revoking Article 50 if we get a majority or a People’s Vote in other circumstances, is clearly appealing to people. The polls suggest another Conference bounce for us. And possibly another one after Labour’s Conference too.

We need to get out there with confidence and work as hard as we can to deliver not just tens but hundreds of MPs. In the end of the day, what matters to Jo Swinson on the morning after the Election is the number of bums on seats. For the first time in generations, we have the chance of a spectacular result. Let’s go for it.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in News.


  • John Marriott 24th Sep '19 - 8:36am

    Labour tying itself in knots? Lib Dems going for broke? What happens if Johnson gets a Deal (still possibly less certain than finding Elvis riding Shergar on the moon) and, thanks to Kinnock Jnr and his crew, gets it through Parliament? Game set and match to the blond one?

  • Richard Underhill 25th Sep '19 - 12:07am

    Lib Dems have won Islington Council in the past.

  • I think Labour voted for Remain as party policy,but not having sorted themselves out to discuss then vote if it had gone Leave, they got in a mess with plan B, which is to negotiate a better deal and put it to the people. It must include freedom of movement. The media ignored the first part and showed the mixed up Labour movement voting to have a people’s vote and “not” try and influence it for Remain, to get leavers to support them . As ever they shoot themselves in the foot. Also Corbyn’s superb address to the conference, with a superb wish list of proposals if he got into office, was ignored by the BBC and others to pretend hours on Johnson losing the court case was the issue of the month, not the future policies of our country. We need to ally with Labour in certain constituencies, perhaps Totnes, to not waste the Remain vote. The public are still not educated as to what leave means – duties on food, higher taxes, no right to roam, with no advantages to us as our paperwork still has to fit the rest of the world’s before we are allowed to travel or work or export or import. There is no such thing as a clean break, just what the EU has agreed with us in pity for us being wrecked by our own government and understanding how life wrecking it actually is for those we promised could move and trade in and out of UK and are now, in ignorance or don’t give a damness, shafting.

  • Jayne Mansfield 25th Sep '19 - 12:41pm

    @ siv white,

    I think that the idea of the current Liberal Democrat party giving any acknowledgment that there are worse things than a short temporary leadership by Jeremy Corbyn are nil. The preference seems to be to be to replace Labour as the main opposition party. If that means standing in areas where the vote is split to allow the Conservatives to come through the middle, that seems to be acceptable.

    Ken Clarke, the ‘Father of the House’ demonstrated how far some [politicians would compromise to stop a no deal Brexit. With many caveats, he stated:

    “I would support Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister if it was ‘the only way’ to stop a no deal Brexit” . Sky News and the Daily Telegraph 30th August, 2019.

    “A no -deal Brexit could cause more damage to our future economic success than a Corbyn Government” The Observer 8th September, 2019.

    In my opinion, all options should have been explored and should be explored if one wishes to stop a no deal Brexit, rather than take positions that make a no-deal Brexit more likely.

  • Suspect that is Ken Clarke sounding sympathetic to Labour to get their support for him as interim leader of the alternative government.

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