Kay Burley quizzes Wes Stressing on former Labour ‘sleaze’
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The Labour Party has struggled to regain ground lost in the past few years since the devastating general election result of 2019. The latest YouGov poll had the party trailing behind the Conservative Party by one percentage point at 35 percent support for Labour. But now the Opposition may be regaining ground with the public – or potentially simply benefitting from major missteps made by Boris Johnson as Labour attained its first win in a poll against the Tories since January.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will challenge Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons today (Monday, November 4) amid the ongoing sleaze debate.
The PM will not be in attendance today as he is travelling to Northumberland by train, but his Opposition leader Sir Keir is expected to urge the PM for an apology and call for more scrutiny regarding the refurbishment of Mr Johnson’s Downing Street flat and his Spanish holiday.
Polls since the 2019 election have more or less consistently placed the Conservatives far ahead of Labour – but now a new poll indicates the Tories popularity could be faltering.
The Conservatives have lost their lead in the polls for the first time in months – as the PM’s popularity ratings also slumped.
Prior to the Owen Paterson row and subsequent outrage, the Tories had 35 percent support, which was down four percentage points on September, according to the Ipsos MORI survey for The Evening Standard.
The survey, conducted from October 29 to November 4, saw no change in the voting intention for the Labour Party from the poll conducted from September 17 to 23 at 36 percent.
The Green Party saw the largest rise between the previous and latest surveys of five percentage points – climbing to 11 percent according to the poll of 1,007 British adults.
The Liberal Democrats were unchanged on nine percent.
Mr Johnson has also suffered a sharp fall in his personal ratings according to the survey.
In the poll, those who would describe the PM as “a good Prime Minister” dropped to its lowest level since he entered Downing Street.
Overall, 55 percent of respondents disagreed that he is a good Prime Minister with a net score of -21.
This is down from +2 in June, which means he is on his lowest rating since June 2019.
However, despite the grim rating drop for Mr Johnson, Sir Keir has not made any dramatic headway during the Tories’ hardship.
Of those polled, 41 percent do not believe the Labour leader would make a good replacement for Mr johnson.
Sir Keir’s net score was -16, which has in fact improved from -24 in June.
As a whole, the Government fared the worst with 62 percent of those polled saying they were dissatisfied, compared to just 29 percent who said they were satisfied.
There was a net score of -33 in support for the Government as a whole, compared to -16 in September – which is the lowest score since last October.
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Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, told The Evening Standard: “The Conservatives are facing challenges on a number of fronts.
“The pandemic is far from over with high levels of infections, while we are also seeing worries about the economy, the NHS, the knock-on effects of Brexit, and other issues, all leading to rising concerns about the direction of the country – even before any long-term impact of the standards row last week.
“Climate change is also in the news and in the public’s priorities, which may help to explain the notably good figure for the Greens.
“So the Conservatives are no longer in as strong position as they were over the summer – although the public are still not convinced by Labour as an alternative.”
The poll was largely undertaken before the ongoing Owen Paterson sleaze scandal broke out in Westminster.
As a result, the Tories have faced mounting scrutiny, criticism and outrage from MPs and members of the public.
This afternoon MPs will take part in an emergency debate of MP standards after the Government’s controversial intervention into the recommended suspension of Mr Paterson.
Last week, 250 votes were made in favour of preventing Mr Paterson’s 30-day suspension from the House of Commons – prompting some MPs to shout “shame”.
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