Is the next election a foregone conclusion?
I just got back from the Red Wall - here's what I heard
Speak to many people in the world of Westminster and they’ll all tell you the next general election is a foregone conclusion. Labour is still more than twenty points ahead in the polls, there’s been no visible “Rishi Bounce”, and now all of the toxicity of the Tory brand has been underlined by the release of the Lockdown Files -a massive leak of Whatsapp files which are reminding voters up and down the country of just how badly the government managed some of the decisions regarding the pandemic.
Britain, in short, is heading for its first Labour majority since the election of 2005 and most likely a big one at that. Remember, to win a majority Labour has to be about 12 points ahead in the polls (it is currently averaging a 20 point lead), while the Tories have to be 3.5 points ahead (they are currently well behind). So, all things considered, the next general election looks like a done deal. But is it really?
I’ve just got back from sitting in focus groups with voters, including those in the all-important Red Wall in northern England, listening to their concerns and their fears about the state of Britain and our political class in Westminster. So, for our active supporters, who I’m going to be writing more regularly for, here’s what I picked up and why I think the dominant narrative is wide of the mark.