Labour surge in polls down to Keir Starmer's leadership, commentator suggests

30 August 2020, 11:57

By Seán Hickey

This political commentator explained that the appointment of Sir Kier Starmer as Labour leader has been instrumental in narrowing the gap with the Tories.

A recent opinion poll has put both the Labour Party and the Conservatives at 40% - the first time Labour have seen such a high share of support in recent times.

Political Commentator for The Independent John Rentoul told Tom Swarbrick that the recent poll has "something in it for both sides."

"Conservatives can say well, forty percent isn't so bad for a mid-term government and actually the main reason that the Tory lead has dropped so dramatically since March is because Keir Starmer is now the Labour leader and not Jeremy Corbyn."

Tom wondered what the results say about the government's handling of coronavirus, hinting that the drop in support is down to public anger at Boris Johnson's pandemic response.

Mr Rentoul argued that until the controversy surrounding Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings' trip to Durham, the government had widespread public support for their response.

Labour are now neck and neck with the Conservatives in a recent poll
Labour are now neck and neck with the Conservatives in a recent poll. Picture: PA

He told Tom that the Cummings fiasco "really undermined the government," and this showed in subsequent polls.

Tom went further to point out that such public anger is seen in how some Conservative MP's have shown frustration at U-turns and having to show support for cabinet members in the eye of political storms.

Mr Rentoul accepted that "the Conservatives have a much more serious internal problem than the Labour party does" mainly down to being the party in government.

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