Polling expert Sir John Curtice explains why Labour did so badly

15 December 2019, 10:41 | Updated: 15 December 2019, 19:38

The political scientist and polling expert thinks it came down to Brexit and the perceived capability of Jeremy Corbyn.

Curtice said: "Well, I mean, it's a combination of two things. One, indeed is that it was suffering as a result of Brexit and its approach to Brexit. And secondly, it was suffering because people did not think it was capable of delivering and governing effectively, including, not least, Jeremy Corbyn."

He explained: So there is no doubt that some of the voters did not vote Labour Party because they thought it would become too pro-Remain but equally, however, it wasn't doing well enough amongst Remain voters to have squashed entirely the challenge that came from the Liberal Democrats.

On the second point, he said that people thought Boris Johnson and his team would be better equipped to run the NHS than Corbyn's team.

He added: "More broadly, all the questions on competence as well as of course the people's perceptions of Jeremy Corbyn were ones that were relatively negative."

Polling expert Sir John Curtice explains why Labour did so badly
Polling expert Sir John Curtice explains why Labour did so badly. Picture: PA

He also said: "Labour's policy stance does indeed seem to have been broadly popular, part of the problem was not the ideas, the problem was the perceived capability of those who were promoting those ideas to actually deliver them."

In his own judgement, he also said: "In the end, there wasn't a consistent strap line that explained to people what kind of country these policies were going to achieve. We certainly know that the only slogan in the campaign that got through was 'Get Brexit Done'."

Andrew Castle asked if Corbyn's image on the doorstep was a problem - and more so than Brexit.

He replied that it was an interaction and combination of him being perceived as a "metropolitan liberal" and his Brexit stance that led to the party struggling.