That’s the headline on a new poll finding reported by The Sunday Times:
Labour would fall behind the Liberal Democrats in the polls if Jeremy Corbyn helps the Tories to secure Brexit, according to a huge new poll.
The YouGov survey of 5,000 voters, commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign, shows that support for Labour could fall from 36% to 22% if they helped the Tories to pass a compromise deal with Brussels like the one advocated by Theresa May.
Under those circumstances, the Lib Dems would soar from 10% to 26% — their highest rating in any poll since they entered coalition government with the Tories in 2010.
We have been here before with other polls likewise pointing to a big Lib Dem surge if Labour is seen as a pro-Brexit party.
Such hypotheticals always need to be treated with caution. There are though three straws in the wind that make this one a plausible – if far from certain – scenario:
- 26% would be a high level of support for the Lib Dems, one which the party can only dream at enviously at the moment. But it wouldn’t be a particularly high level of support in the context of either the party’s pre-2010 polling or the evidence about how many people share the party’s values.
- There may have not been much movement of voters from Labour to the Lib Dems, but there is evidence of some, and in particular of members and activists.
- The aborted Manchester Gorton by-election in its early days showed sign of a major Labour to Lib Dem swing if voters are thinking about Europe and not about a close battle for 10 Downing Street.
Those three points are a long way from ‘hey, 2019 is going to be the year of Lib Dem revival’. Rather, they help substantiate just how large the potential for the Liberal Democrats is – and hence why it is so important for the party to get its own act together.
It’s also why it is so important for us all to the most we can individually – and here’s a simple way you can boost your own online efforts.