In the run-up to this year’s General Election, only two pollsters got close to accurately predicting the outcome: one was the “large sample” poll performed by YouGov (their standard poll was less close to Election Day reality), and the other was Survation. So when the latter is the source of a national poll, people take notice. And today has been one of those days - in the Mail on Sunday, of all papers.
The alarmist tone of the headline tells you the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker would rather not have brought readers this news: “Shock EIGHT-point lead for Labour: Corbyn stretches his lead over Tories to largest gap for five months, says only pollster to call the Election right … Jeremy Corbyn has raced into an eight-point lead over the Tories, one poll says … The poll is from Survation, the only pollster to correctly call the General Election … A previous Survation poll, on October 5, gave Jeremy Corbyn a six point lead”.
There is then understandable understatement as to how the news would go down with the Tories: “The findings will be greeted with dismay inside No 10, which had taken heart from the fact that despite Theresa May’s multiplying political problems - her disastrous conference speech, the loss of Sir Michael Fallon from her Cabinet in the sex harassment furore and the pornography row hanging over First Secretary Damian Green - it had not fed through into a significant lead for Mr Corbyn”. Well, maybe it had.
And the Survation poll, as Mike Smithson at Political Betting has pointed out, has a lot more bad news for The Blue Team than Jezza eight points ahead of them, with that 45% to 37% lead being well into overall Labour majority territory. The questions on Brexit make grim reading for all those wanting Britain to carry on and leave the EU.
To the question “Should there be a second referendum on the final Brexit deal?” those responding “Yes” make up a full 50% of respondents, with a 16% lead over those choosing “No”. That might just move further in the Yes direction in the coming weeks and months.
As to “Who has done best in the Brexit talks, EU or UK?” the all-too-obvious most popular choice is a resounding “EU” - 27 points ahead of “UK”. It gets worse: to the question “Will Brexit leave you better or worse off financially?” the “Worse” side has it by 21 points over “Better”. And “How do you feel about Brexit?” shows “Fearful” leading “Excited” by 11 points. The electorate is not convinced by those smiling and saying all will be fine.
Yet former Labour deputy leader Roy Hattersley has fetched up in the Observer today to tell that Labour is in crisis. In response, Owen Jones mused “Roy Hattersley has written an article saying Labour is in its greatest ever crisis … Meanwhile, on planet Earth”, noting this latest opinion poll result - suggesting the Tub Of Lard called this one wrong.
And for all those who have spent the past few weeks investing credibility in those chirping “Why isn’t Labour further in the lead if the Tories are so dire?” there is now an answer - as Kenneth Wolstenholme might have observed, they are now.