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Election ’24 – weekly insight and analysis

Weekly insight and analysis: 13th June 2024

The poll spectrum

At the halfway mark in the election campaign, the opinion polls continue to disagree on the level of party support and, therefore, how big Labour’s lead is. Where they do concur is that Labour’s lead over the Conservatives is widening, not narrowing. Across the twenty different organisations publishing voting polls, Labour support ranges from a low of 38% to a high of 46%, Conservative support between 18% and 26%; Labour’s lead is somewhere between 16% and 26%, but all the polls show a larger lead than a week ago. If the lower leads are right, Labour is on course for a landslide majority of well over 100. If the higher leads are right, the Conservatives are headed for an extinction-level event, reduced to being only the third largest party in the House of Commons, with fewer than 50 MPs.

The Farage Factor

The polls also disagree about the level of support for Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party (currently in the range of 9%-17%) and how far they are behind the Conservatives (somewhere between 2% and 15%). They agree, however, on two crucial points. Firstly, most people saying they will vote for Reform UK were previously Conservative voters.

Secondly, support for Reform UK has ticked up markedly since Nigel Farage announced that he would assume the party’s leadership and stand as its candidate in Clacton. Before that announcement, the party’s average level of support in the voting polls was 9%. In the ten days since then its average support has been 14% – two-thirds of which comprises people who voted Conservative at the last general election.

There have been no MRP polls – which project national support into results at constituency level – since Farage’s entry into the election, so there is no data to evidence his prospects for becoming, at the ninth attempt, an MP. The betting markets have him as strong favourite to win in Clacton; the MRP polls before his announcement all showed Reform UK finishing third in that constituency. Bookies and polls align in predicting that if Nigel Farage does become an MP, he will be Reform UK’s only one. Whether he then succeeds in his declared intention of a reverse takeover of the Conservative Party is unknowable, but a poll this week found that 48% of those planning to vote Tory in this election think a Farage takeover would be “a good thing”, with only 39% regarding it as “a bad thing”.

Download the full analysis here.