Labour’s huge poll lead over the Tories may be more precarious than previously thought, new analysis suggests. The report by the Best for Britain campaign group found that wavering voters could scupper a victory for Sir Keir Starmer by backing Rishi Sunak.
A survey of 10,010 people by pollsters Focaldata carried out around the time Liz Truss in October, with a further poll of 2,000 people after Mr Sunak became PM, show Labour is projected to win 517 seats at the next general election.
But that is slashed to a much weaker 353 – a majority of just 28 – if the impact of the high number of “don’t knows” is factored in.
Best for Britain warned that any narrowing of the polls in the run-up to the country taking to the ballot box – expected in spring 2024 – could cost Labour the election.
The campaign group said its analysis suggests the bulk of the undecideds are likely to be “timid Tories” as they closely resemble the age and education profiles of people who say they intend to vote Conservative who could return to the Tory fold come polling day.
According to the report, unsure voters are projected to swing more than 160 seats when the country takes to the polls.
The findings will hearten the Tories who have been trailing behind in the polls amid the Partygate saga surrounding Boris Johnson and the disastrous mini-budget during Ms Truss’s short-lived premiership, while there has been little bounce since Mr Sunak entered No 10.
Labour has maintained a consistent 20-point lead over the Conservatives in recent polling.
In the latest survey by People Polling released on Friday, Sir Keir’s party was on 45 percent, 26 points ahead of the Tories on 19 percent.
It comes as the Government enters the new year with an overflowing in-tray, from the continuing cost of living crisis to Channel migrant crossings and the war in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister yesterday insisted he is confident “better times lie ahead” in a video posted on social media on Saturday.
Mr Sunak said he wanted people to feel “hopeful” going into the new year after a “tough” 12 months.
He said: “I just want people to feel hopeful. I know it’s been tough but I am really confident that better times lie ahead.
“I may have only had the job for several weeks at this point, but actually I feel good about the future.
“I feel positive about the change that we can bring so that we can improve everyone’s lives, so that we can deliver the peace of mind that people are looking for in the here and now.”
And writing in today’s Sunday Express, Mr Sunak said there is “every reason to believe we will emerge stronger” from a year of upheaval.
The Prime Minister insisted the Government was “working flat out to provide peace of mind” to the nation after 12 months marred by war, inflation and political turmoil.