- Stefan Wermuth / Reuters
LONDON – Jeremy Corbyn’s momentum is showing no signs of slowing down as a new opinion poll shows Londoners would prefer him over Theresa May as prime minister for the very first time.
The YouGov survey published on Thursday said that 37% of people living in London think Labour leader Corbyn would make the best prime minister, while 34% went with May. This poll comes just a week before the day of the vote, on June 8.
The poll also revealed that Labour now has a 17% lead over May’s Conservatives in the capital. This puts Labour on par with the lead it had over the Tories in the party’s 1997 landslide victory under Tony Blair.
Here are the full results of YouGov’s London poll (with changes against 2015 election vote share):
- LABOUR 50% (+9)CONSERVATIVES 33% (-3)LIBERAL DEMOCRATS 11% (-3)UKIP: 3% (-3)GREENS 2 (-1)
When May first called the election in April, the Tories led Labour by leads of up to 20 points in national polls and were ahead of Corbyn’s party in London, too. This early domination pointed towards a number of gains for May in the capital on June 8 and a landslide victory at national level.
However, this new YouGov poll is just the latest indication that the tide has recently turned in Corbyn’s favour, particularly in the capital.
Speaking to the Evening Standard about the poll commissioned by the newspaper, Professor Philip Cowley, director of Queen Mary University’s Mile End Institute, said: “This wasn’t part of the Conservative script for the election.
“They didn’t expect to be looking at potential losses in London. It’s also striking how the smaller parties are struggling in the capital. The combined Labour and Conservative vote in London is now higher than at any time since 1979.”
Today’s poll is the second piece of research YouGov has published this week that has caused a stir in British politics.
On Tuesday, YouGov projected that Britain is headed for a hung parliament as a result of the Tories losing 20 seats and Labour gaining 28. A number of academics, pollsters and politicians have expressed doubts about the findings.
YouGov’s Joe Twyman told Business Insider on Wednesday night that his confidence has not been knocked by the reaction the poll received. “We knew it would attract attention,” he said.
“It hasn’t knocked our confidence because we will be tested on election day. Nobody knows what the true story is here, but we will find out on June 8.”
Corbyn is due to deliver a speech on his vision for post-Brexit Britain in Basildon, just outside of London this afternoon. May was in the northeast earlier today to rally supporters ahead of the vote on Thursday, June 8.