Labour is on course for a comfortable 56-seat majority at the next election, according to a new multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) poll by Savanta ComRes for LabourList.
The MRP model, conducted in conjunction with Electoral Calculus, shows Labour (45%) with a 12pt lead over the Conservatives (33%) in Great Britain, generating a commanding majority if such a result were to play out at the next election.
The model suggested that, with such a lead, Labour would regain many so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats – constituencies traditionally considered to be safe Labour seats but many of which returned Conservative MPs at the last election – including Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Blyth Valley, Sedgefield and Workington.
The seat-by-seat analysis also showed Labour taking seats held by prominent Tories MPs, including those that were thought to have considered leadership bids in Steve Baker (Wycombe) and Ben Wallace (Wyre and Preston North), and the former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (Uxbridge and South Ruislip).
However, the polling did show some traditional bellwether constituencies – those that tend to indicate the winner of an election – not going Labour’s way, with the Conservatives holding Dartford, Portsmouth North, Nuneaton and Great Yarmouth.
Of the 357 parliamentary constituencies currently held by the Conservative Party, voters in 279 said that they trusted Labour more to manage policies related to the rising cost-of-living than the Conservatives, including 132 constituencies in which the model shows Labour not gaining from the Conservatives at the next election.
This lead over a policy area likely to define the next election, though, is not replicated to the same extent when it comes to the ‘Best Prime Minister’ metric.
Keir Starmer leads Liz Truss in just 53 of the 357 current Conservative-held seats, with the MRP model indicating that Labour are the most likely winner in 52 of those at the next election.
There are a handful of Labour-held seats, however, which say that Truss would be a better Prime Minister than Starmer, including Wakefield, the site of Labour’s most recent by-election victory.
The model also shows Labour gaining more than 20pts on their 2019 result in a number of seats, most notably leading to victories in the aforementioned Ashfield, and Eddisbury, which Labour didn’t win even in 1997.
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “This MRP model highlights both the potential and precarious nature of Labour’s polling lead at the moment.
“Many traditional polls, and this MRP model, show Labour enjoying double-digit leads over the Conservative Party, but one percentage point either way could be the difference between a sizable Labour majority, a small Labour majority, or no majority at all.
“While this model gives Labour a 56-seat majority with a 12pt lead over the Conservatives, a 1pt swing the other way could reduce that majority considerably, and any bigger swing back towards Liz Truss’ party could deprive Labour of a majority at all, even if their national vote share trumps the Conservative figure by 8-9pts.
“Labour need to hope that any Truss bounce is short-lived, and capitalise on an economic outlook that rarely rewards governing parties at the ballot box.
“If Labour can consistently generate double-digit poll leads over the government, Keir Starmer will be well on course for Downing Street, and therefore this conference feels a crucial moment in his leadership.
“He has an opportunity now to really differentiate Labour from the economic policies of a Truss-led government, and if he can convince voters that it is Labour, rather than the Conservatives, that have the answers to tackle the multitude of issues the country faces, the poll lead Labour have enjoyed throughout 2022 may start to feel more secure than it currently does.”