Another day, another miserable bit of news for the Labour party. This time it’s in the form of an ICM/ Guardian poll, which puts Jeremy Corbyn’s party 16 points behind the Conservatives. While the Tories are riding high on 44 per cent – their highest share of the vote in more than seven years – Labour’s share sits stagnant on 28 per cent. Admittedly, Labour hasn’t lost any support. But the stasis makes it clear that the party is doing little to close a chasm which is widening further and further. Worryingly for Labour, ICM’s analysis shows that the Tories’ share of the vote is hovering close to a level which has only been reached five times: three of which were shortly after John Major’s election win in 1992; and the other two after the 2008 crash, when Gordon Brown’s economic credibility hit the floor. The implication is obvious: if there was a general election tomorrow, Labour would be wiped off the electoral map.
What’s particularly interesting about the ICM figures is just how comprehensive the Tories’ support is across almost every age bracket and social group. Even among those in the DE category (essentially the lowest earners), the Conservatives pip Labour by one percentage point. While Theresa May’s vow to reach out to those ‘just managing’ also appears to be paying off, even if her words so far have failed to offer up much in the way of actual policy. Among those in the C1 social class, the Tory share of the vote rises up to 49 per cent, compared to Labour’s 27 per cent. The only social group in which Labour retains a healthy, or indeed, any lead over the Tories is among 18-to-24 year olds. But by every other measurement today’s figures make grim reading for those worried about the future of the Labour party.