The Labour vote is actually the strongest of all parties

9:00 am - August 23rd 2013

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by Neil Foster

How strong is Labour’s support right now? YouGov have just published the full data tables from a poll they recently conducted for Prospect last month.

What I find interesting is that contrary to the suggestion from some areas of the press that Labour’s support is ‘soft’, it actually is the firmest of all the four leading parties.

The poll asked:
‘The next general election is due to be held in May 2015. Have you decided definitely how you will vote then, or will you wait until nearer the time before deciding how to vote?’

55% of respondents said they’ve ‘definitely decided how to vote’, 42% said they’d wait nearer to the time and remainder didn’t know. However it’s the party breakdown of those who’ve already decided vote that will give cheer to Labour.

Two years away from a general election 66% of current Labour supporters say will definitely vote for the party, compared to 58% of Conservatives supporters who say they will vote for their preferred party.

The Liberal Democrats however can only rely on 33% of their current supporters to definitely turn out and vote for them – which must be alarming given the much-reduced poll figure since the general election. 42% of UKIP supporters say they will definitely vote for their party which is a big enough figure to worry the Conservatives and make a mockery of those who hope that UKIP support will return closer to the 3.5% they picked up in 2010 by the time of the next election.

The poll then asked those who were currently intending to vote for the Conservatives, UKIP and the Liberal Democrats whether they would consider backing Labour at the next election. 18% of current Conservative supporters said they would, 30% of UKIP supporters said they’d consider voting for Ed Miliband’s party and a sizeable 46% of current Liberal Democrat supporters said they would consider voting Labour as well.

There is real cause for encouragement from this poll. Not only is Labour resting on the firmest electoral foundations of all four parties, but that it has the potential to win many more supporters, although by and large not from Conservatives.

There is a gulf between poll leads and election victories and turnout and enthusiasm really matters. Labour’s poll lead over the Conservatives may fluctuate but do not make the mistake of thinking this must mean support for Ed Miliband’s party is ‘soft’.

These YouGov findings for Prospect show that in the run up to 2015 Labour’s support is currently the firmest of them all.

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