Labour is set to regain 42 of the 45 so-called ‘Red Wall’ constituencies lost in the 2019 general election following the numerous reports of Covid rule-breaking parties held in Downing Street throughout the pandemic, a poll has found.
According to a survey by JL Partners, commissioned by Channel 4 News and published today, support for the Tories in the previously safe Labour seats is now at its lowest since the political tracker series began in November 2020.
Researchers found that Labour now has an 11-point lead in the crucial seats, after polling two points behind the Conservatives last month. 48% of the voters in those areas now back Labour, up five points, compared to 37% for the Tories, down eight.
Applying a uniform swing, JL Partners predicted that this would result in all but three of the constituencies – Dudley North, Bassetlaw and Great Grimsby – being regained by Labour if a general election were held today.
The polling comes amid the turmoil caused by numerous allegations that Covid rule-breaking parties were held in Downing Street and other government buildings throughout the pandemic, including at the height of the first lockdown in 2020.
Keir Starmer demanded the resignation of Boris Johnson last week after the Prime Minister apologised for attending a Downing Street gathering in his garden in May 2020 but insisted that he believed it was “a work event”.
According to the poll released earlier today, Johnson’s personal ratings in the ‘Red Wall’ are at their lowest since the research series began, having rapidly fallen over the course of the last month. His net rating fell from -9 in December to a net score of -35. 2019 Tory voters gave him a net score of -2.
“He has lost all authority,” Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds told Sky News this morning, highlighting that Johnson himself had introduced the public health restrictions and saying there would soon be a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister.
At least 11 of the 2019 Tory intake have submitted letters of no confidence to the 1922 committee, according to The Telegraph. Letters from 15% of the parliamentary Tory Party is required to trigger a leadership contest, which is currently 54 MPs.
The latest poll suggests Labour is now winning the support of one in ten ‘Red Wall’ 2019 Tory voters, with the Conservatives retaining 58% of their general election support, down from 72% in December. 22% said they do not know who they would vote for.
Throughout 2021, 38% of those who backed the Conservatives in 2019 – after having previously not voted for the party – told JL Partners that they would not do so again. According to this latest instalment of the tracker, that figure has now risen to 52%.
The Prime Minister still leads the Labour leader on patriotism and charisma but Starmer is now ahead of Johnson on all other leadership attributes identified in the survey. The research also showed that, for the first time, Red Wall voters prefer Starmer over Johnson as their choice for Prime Minister by 37% to 35%.
Research by YouGov, also published earlier today, placed the Tories 32 points behind Labour in London. This represents the biggest gap between the Conservatives and Labour for at least 12 years and, if maintained at the next general election, would see the Tories lose eight seats and left with just 13 of the 73 in the capital.