General Election 2019: This is Only the Beginning

 

2nd November 2019

And we’re off! The third national election campaign in five years has finally begun and the Conservatives look to be in a strong position in the polls, but there is still a long way to go and the battle Boris Johnson faces to stay in power has really only just begun. The polls have been moving in the Conservative's favour since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister and Deltapoll’s latest results in today’s Mail on Sunday have the Conservatives on 40%, slightly down on their share of the vote in the 2017 election, but well ahead of Labour on 28%. Behind the headline figures the situation continues for look good for the Conservatives generally, and Boris Johnson in particular, when it comes to the underlying data. Nearly half (48%) of people say the Prime Minister is doing well in his job compared to only a quarter (25%) who say the same for Jeremy Corbyn. Similarly, when given the choice between the two main parties, the Conservatives are seen as the best party, by some distance, to deal with the issue of Brexit and to manage the economy. It has never been the case in the history of British politics that a party has come from behind on both leadership and economic management ratings to win the most seats at a general election, so the data is on Johnson’s side. With six weeks still to go, however, things could all change. We are only at the very start of the campaign and polls are not a prediction, only ever a snapshot of public opinion at that specific moment – and they are all subject to a margin of error. The 2017 general election demonstrated just what potential the campaign has to make a difference to the end result. In 2017 the Conservatives enjoyed a large lead in the polls over Labour at the start of the campaign, but while Jeremy Corbyn exceeded expectations and the Labour Party’s position improved, Theresa May was to be found wanting. This time around the situation is different. While both leadership candidates were relatively unknown in 2017, Jeremy Corbyn has now been in the job for more than four years and Boris Johnson has been among the best-known politicians in Britain for much longer, albeit not as Prime Minister Will Corbyn be able to help turn around Labour’s fortunes in 2019 the way he did in 2017? Will the Conservatives make the same sort of mistakes as previously? Only time will tell. Throughout the campaign Deltapoll and the Mail on Sunday will be tracking all the key results to see the direction in which things are moving and identify the important trends – separating the turning points from the talking points. A full copy of our results is available to download here. Deltapoll surveyed 1,500 respondents online between 31st October and 2nd November 2019. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Deltapoll is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. A version of this article originally appeared in the Mail on Sunday.
Joe TwymanAuthor: Joe Twyman