Wednesday, 10 December 2014

London: Swing to Labour drops as Greens pick up left-wing Labour votes.

London at election 2010

I have decided that I am going to go under the microscope and take a deeper look at what is happening in the capital. The General Election is only 5 months away, and the capital is going to be a key battleground, where Ed Miliband needs to do well if he is to get a majority and become Prime Minister. For the purposes of this examination, I shall be using YouGov regional extrapolations, from the 1st-10th of December, calculating the swing toward or against Labour since 2010, and showing how this would impact on how many seats Labour is set to gain in London. Firstly, here are the Labour target seats:

And, here are the regional extrapolation figures from 1st-10th December: Sources for extrapolations can be found here.
                                          Lab 36.2%, Con 34.4%, LD 8.4%, UKIP 11

The findings came as quite a surprise to me, as the extrapolation suggested that there has been no swing at all to Labour in London since the last election. On this kind of result, only the 3 Liberal Democrat seats and maybe Hendon would fall to Labour, and all of the rest of the marginal seats would remain held by the Conservative Party. As early as this May, Labour was polling at 40% plus in London, and surveys from a few months ago indicated that there was a huge swing to Labour in London. What is the reason for the sudden collapse?

I did some digging, and pretty quickly discovered the reason. The Green Party has eaten substantially into the Labour Party support in London, and is polling at 8-9%, slightly higher than it is nationally. The Greens have picked up some of the left-wing liberal democrats who defected to Labour earlier in the parliament but are now slowly drifting away. My suspicion is that the party knows that this has been happening, slowly but surely, as they have appointed a London MP, Sadiq Khan, as head of the Labour taskforce on how to deal with the Green Party. Labour must persuade these voters to lend their votes to the party for the general election. If they do not, the prospect of a Labour majority government becomes very unlikely.

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