We are just over 3 years and 10 months from May 2nd 2024 which is the final date that the next general election can be held. That’s the time that the new Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has got in order to put himself into position where LAB can take enough seats to make the party electorally competitive.
LAB’s seat total from GE2019 was 202 – the lowest total that the party has achieved since 1935. To get a majority Labour needs to get 322 seats which is a massive gap to make up particularly as the SNP is increasing its strength in Scotland and the chances of Labour recovery there look very slim indeed. Back at GE2010 LAB took 41 of the 59 Scottish seats. Now they have just one.
So where are the votes that could help drive the Labour recovery that Starmer is very much hoping for going to come from. One group that looks quite promising are those Conservatives who voted with their party last December but who also opted for Remain in the referendum. They represent between a fifth and a quarter of the overall Tory vote.
Currently when asked the polling voting question Tory remainers are still staying largely with their party but there is some suggestion in the leader ratings that indicates that many are feeling quite positive about Starmer.
Generally those polled respond to leader questions in partisan terms thus Labour voters generally give very low ratings to Johnson. The interesting thing that is happening at the moment is that GE2019 CON Remainers are nothing like as negative about Starmer as you might expect. In fact in the recent deltapoll for the Mail on Sunday 40% of this segment gave a positive number to the Labour leader with 35% negative one.
There were even better numbers for the LAB leader in the latest Opinium where 49% of CON Remainers approved of Starmer with just 14% disapproving. At some stage the former DPP must be hoping that this can be converted into votes.