Labour members’ pessimism about the party’s electoral chances fell further between March and June

Patrick EnglishResearch Manager
July 12, 2021, 1:06 PM UTC

Labour members had little faith in their party’s ability to win the next election, and mixed views on which types of seats they should target

In March this year, our poll of Labour members found mixed views about the party’s chances at the next general election.

If it were held the next day in a snap contest, the March results found that just 12% believed Labour would win. However, asked if the vote were to take place in May 2024 (when the next election is officially scheduled to take place), this figure rose to 43%.

Now, in a newly-released poll of the Labour membership, there is even more pessimism about the party’s electoral fortunes. In the new survey, only 8% of members thought Labour would win a snap election, and just one-third (36%) believed that their party would win in 2024.

Nine in ten (89%) believed that the Conservatives would emerge victorious in a snap contest, while half of the membership (49%) felt their Tory foes would win a 2024 contest.

It is important to note that the survey was conducted prior to the recent Batley and Spen by-election, in which Labour defied much of the political commentariat by narrowly holding on to the Leave-voting West Yorkshire constituency. The positive result there may have subsequently boosted members’ views on their chances at winning an election.

Even still, it is clear that the Labour membership is not optimistic about returning to government any time soon.

We also asked Labour members for their views on which types of seats the party should prioritise in the next election. In terms of where the party should focus its efforts and resources, 21% of members expressed a preference for targeting their former constituencies in the North Midlands, and Wales – the so-called ‘Red Wall’.

Only around one-in-six (13%) members suggested that the party should focus its efforts on Remain-voting, Conservative-held seats in the South and East of England – the so-called ‘Blue Wall’. Just 2% of members felt the party should focus on tackling SNP-held seats in Scotland. The majority (59%) of Labour members however believe that the party “should target all of the above equally” in a blanket vote-winning strategy.

See the full results here