It's getting harder and harder to justify a "neck and neck" narrative – polls now span a range from tied to the Conservatives 5 points ahead, essentially a small spread around the general election result. The latest offerings from YouGov and Survation are little changed from each pollster’s previous, but both have shown upwards of 3 per cent swings (or 6 point net changes) over the last few months. And on Brexit, BMG‘s latest poll suggests the public are very unclear on the parties’ positions.
The local elections were neck-and-neck, but as I explained in my debrief piece for the Fabians, that and the polling aren’t mutually inconsistent.
Some have interpreted the local election results as evidence of being past “peak Corbyn”. Keiran Pedley isn’t buying that. Personally I’m not sure I’d call it a “myth”, so much as a theory that will eventually be proved either spectacularly wrong or spectacularly right, and it will be a while before we know which.
Tony Travers has also given his take on the local elections.
The locals also saw voter ID being piloted in five council areas. I’ll have more to say on this in the coming weeks, but I sat down with Ian Dunt and Alex Runswick for the Politics.co.uk podcast to talk about what we know so far, and some related issues.
Returning to Westminster elections, the Lewisham by-election is confirmed for 14th June as expected. Most of the attention has been on the Labour selection process (which is ongoing) given that party’s status as favourites to defend their 45-point majority. But the Lib Dems have made their move, selecting Lucy Salek, who previously stood for them in a council by-election in the Evelyn ward of the neighbouring Lewisham Deptford constituency. Mark Pack notes that Salek is former WEP member, though I’m unsure whether that would make it more or less likely that her former party stands (in Westminster by-elections they’ve typically endorsed Lib Dem or Green candidates).
The “will they, won’t they” speculaton could carry on for a few more days, and it includes the Greens, who had a strong showing (albeit for a lone candidate) in the local elections in the 7 wards making up this constituency, and UKIP, which didn’t put up a candidate in 5 of them.