British Labour Party takes lead for first time since Johnson becoming PM

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The British Labour Party have moved ahead of the Conservative Party for the first time since Boris Johnson became prime minister, an opinion poll has indicated.

The survey by Opinium for The Observer newspaper gave Labour a three-point-lead over the Tories, with 42%, compared to 39%.

The Observer reports “Labour has recorded its first poll lead since Boris Johnson became prime minister, marking an extraordinary changes in fortunes for the two main parties.

Keir Starmer’s party now has a three-point lead over the Conservatives, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer. In a result that will stir more unrest among Tory MPs over the performance of the prime minister, the poll put Labour on 42% support, with the Conservatives on 39%.

It is the first Labour lead since early July 2019 – the end of Theresa May’s doomed premiership, when the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party were polling strongly. Labour then recorded a two-point lead.

This represents a rapid reversal. The Conservatives recorded a 26-point lead only six months ago, in the early stages of the Covid-19 lockdown. Approval of government handling of coronavirus then stood at two-thirds (65%) of the public. The latest poll shows only 30% now approve.

Starmer now leads Johnson by four points on who would make the best prime minister. More than half of voters (55%) believe he is ready to be prime minister, and 40% believe Labour is ready to form the next government.

The underlying polling results suggest that government failings have contributed to Labour’s lead. Starmer’s approval ratings are very similar to those recorded in an Opinium poll a fortnight ago, but Johnson’s approval ratings have dropped since then from -6% to -12%, his lowest since the pandemic began.

Half of voters (50%) disapprove of how the government has handled the crisis, and 57% disapprove of how it has handled testing. The public backs the new tough policies announced last week, although 60% think more measures will be needed to stop a second wave.

The Guardian / Observer / Sky News

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