A Deltapoll survey for today’s newspaper puts Labour on 38 per cent, with Mr Johnson’s Tories on 37 per cent – the first time the party has scored below 40 per cent in the company’s polls since last year’s General Election.
It comes as Sir Keir spends the weekend discussing his strategy with aides for Tuesday’s crunch Commons vote on the tiers. Mr Johnson yesterday tried to placate more than 70 Tory MPs threatening to rebel by offering them a chance to vote down the rules in January but he could be forced to rely on Labour for Tuesday’s vote to pass.
Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has taken the lead over the Conservatives in a Mail on Sunday survey for the first time since March 2019
A Deltapoll survey for today’s newspaper puts Labour on 38 per cent, with Mr Johnson’s Tories on 37 per cent – the first time the party has scored below 40 per cent in the company’s polls since last year’s General Election
The poll also suggests that the growing economic impact of the pandemic is finally starting to register with voters as a problem as bad or worse than the threat to health posed by the virus.
After last week’s Spending Review, in which Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out the eye-watering £394billion borrowing bill for the crisis and a projected fall in GDP of more than 11 per cent, a total of 57 per cent think the economic impact of Covid-19 is the biggest problem facing this country in the next five years, compared with 36 per cent who rate the impact on health as the most significant issue.
When asked about the level of Government borrowing to pay for Covid, 71 per cent were worried about it, with just 18 per cent saying they were not concerned.
Most respondents, 53 per cent, expect the general economic situation in this country to deteriorate over the next 12 months, and 29 per cent believe their household finances will decline over the same period.
Among those who anticipate the economy will get worse, more than three quarters expect it to take at least three years to recover, while more than half, 54 per cent, think it will take more than five years.
The dawning realisation of the likely final costs also appears to have taken some of the shine off Mr Sunak’s soaring ratings. The Chancellor’s net approval has dropped by seven points to 24 per cent, while Mr Johnson’s is effectively static.
A graph shows the number of coronavirus infections per day in the UK
A graph shows the number of coronavirus deaths per day in the UK
No 10’s plan to let families meet for five days at Christmas in England gets a thumbs-down from the public as well as the Government’s scientific advisers, who warn it could lead to a spike in cases and a harsher lockdown to start 2021.
Only 27 per cent back lifting the restrictions, while 64 per cent are opposed – suggesting many secretly hoped for a state-sanctioned excuse to avoid the in-laws. The bleak mood is reflected in the fact that 49 per cent expect Christmas to be worse than last year. The rise in Labour’s ratings will be seen as a vindication of Sir Keir’s low-key strategy, described by one party source as ‘sitting back and watching the Tories f*** it up’.
Sir Keir has also effected a break with the media tactics of Jeremy Corbyn by engaging with Right-leaning newspapers and agreeing to projects such as his well-received appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs this month.
Deltapoll director Joe Twyman said: ‘With the national lockdown about to come to an end in England, the Conservatives find themselves trailing Labour in the polls and concern over the economic situation in this country growing. The pessimism shared by so many in Britain when it comes to the economy is likely to make those in Downing Street anxious. As the pandemic continues, the deteriorating position for the Government will provide ammunition for opponents to Boris Johnson’s approach.’
- Deltapoll interviewed 1,525 adults online between November 26 and yesterday – results were weighted to be representative of the adult population as a whole.