Keir Starmer CRISIS: Boris surges ahead of Labour even after Corbyn departure – POLL

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The latest Times/YouGov voting intention results suggest the race between the UK’s two dominant political parties has now stabilised after Labour had appeared to close the gap on the Tories over recent weeks. The poll of of 1,614 adults from July 8-9 shows Conservatives have now increased their lead to 10-points. When asked who they would vote for if there was a general election tomorrow, the results showed the Tories would receive 46 percent of the vote compared to 36 percent who said Labour. Prior to this, they had stood at 45 percent and 37 percent respectively.

On January 26, the gap between Britain’s two ruling parties had been a huge 20-points in the same Times/YouGov poll.

This came six weeks after Jeremy Corbyn led Labour to a crushing defeat in the general election on December 19, with Mr Johnson and his Conservatives gaining a huge 80-seat majority in the House of Commons.

Millions of UK voters turned against Labour, with the party’s infamous ‘Red Wall’, which had held the party steady for several decades, collapsing around the opposition.

A humiliated Mr Corbyn stepped down as Labour leader, and was replaced by former Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir on April 4 following a lengthy party election contest.

Two days before his appointment as Labour leader, the same Times/YouGov poll showed the Tories with a massive 24-point lead, pulling in 52 percent of the vote compared to the opposition’s 28 percent.

But as the Government came under increased pressure over its handling of the coronavirus crisis, and was accused of not doing enough to curb the spread of the killer virus by enforcing lockdown measures early enough.

In just under two months, Labour had closed the gap to the Tories to just six points in the same poll on May 26, pulling in 38 percent of the vote compared to 44 percent for Mr Johnson’s party.

Sir Keir used Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons to pick apart the strategy of Mr Johnson and his Government, targeting different lockdown measures, deaths in care homes and missed targets on coronavirus testing.

But over the past six weeks, Sir Keir has seen that progress quickly eroded, with it now extending into double figures.

Elsewhere in the latest Times/YouGov poll, the Liberal Democrats have six percent of the vote (from five percent) the Greens have three percent (from four percent) and and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party are unchanged on two percent.

Last week, Sir Keir was told by political experts he faces a challenge of “Everest proportions” if the Labour Party is to have any chance of wresting the keys to 10 Downing Street from Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party.

They warned just three months into his new job, the magnitude of the task ahead of Sir Keir is already evident, as would have to create British political history to topple the Prime Minister and the Tories.

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John Macdonald, Head of Government Affairs at the Adam Smith Institute think tank, told “Sir Keir has benefited not only in not being Corbyn, but in demonstrating a degree of competency at the opposition dispatch box not seen in a Labour leader for a long time.

“However, no major party has ever increased their number of MPs by over 60 percent, which Starmer would need to accomplish to win in 2024.

“To do what no opposition party has done before is no ordinary mountain to climb.

“Sir Keir is facing a challenge of Everest proportions. Time will tell if he, or another Labour leader, is the one to make it to the top.”

Alex De Ruyter, professor at Birmingham City University who also serves as Director of its Centre for Brexit Studies, warned: “Labour is faced with a series of structural challenges that make winning the next election unlikely.

“Key to this is the loss of Scottish seats to the SNP and these look unlikely to return barring a major reshaping of the political landscape.”

These warnings come two weeks after Labour was told it has a “mountain to climb to get back into power in the next five years” in a damning report that laid bare the crumbling leadership of Mr Corbyn and huge challenge facing Sir Keir.

A major report looking at the disastrous general election defeat, put together by Labour Together and prepared by a a 15-strong panel of commissioners, warned the party will “not win” unless urgent and immediate changes to its culture and foundations are made.

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