In the battle of the manifestos, Jeremy Corbyn is the clear winner. At least according to a new poll from YouGov released on 25 May. Not only is the key point most people remember from Theresa May’s launch the ‘dementia tax’. Labour are also leading on having good, well thought out policies.
Who remembers what?
One key question was whether respondents remember any of the policies from the manifesto. And there was a similar result for both parties, with around 60% remembering something. But the big difference was in what they remembered. The take home point from the Conservatives’ manifesto was the ‘dementia tax’, which was cited by 36%.
But then there was a sudden drop, with 12% saying Brexit, 10% the Winter Fuel Allowance, 8% ending free school meals, and 7% immigration. And this has to be bad news for the party. Its most remembered policy is its most hated one. Set against the fact that Theresa May has staked her claim to leadership on being supposedly ‘strong and stable’ through the Brexit negotiations.
Meanwhile, the key points from the Labour Party were positive policies. 32% cited abolishing tuition fees, 21% more funding for the NHS, and 20% nationalisation of key services:
And what do you think about them?
This is where the poll gets really interesting. People were asked a range of questions about policies and how well they were thought through. Labour has seen a massive climb from 10% on 3 May saying “they have policies that seem well thought through”, to 19% on 15 May, and to 24% on 23 May. And most of the figures indicate significant increased approval for the party:
Meanwhile, the Conservatives have taken a dramatic tumble. The party’s well thought through policies peaked on 15 May at 25%. But this has now dropped to just 12%. And 33% of people don’t think its policies are well thought through:
Why this matters
Yes, this is just another poll. Yes, polls get things wrong. And yes, what people think about the manifestos might not end up in votes cast for a particular party. But this is a massive achievement. Alongside Corbyn’s gains in other polls, it is a clear sign that his message is getting through. And it is also seen in the crowds that are turning out to hear him speak across the country.
It’s also important to remember where things started. When May called the election, the Labour Party was polling at 25%. This has now increased to 38%. And it’s important to remember that Tony Blair won the 2005 election with 35% of the vote. And in 2015, when Ed Miliband was at 34%, he was only one point behind David Cameron, with many polls predicting a hung parliament.
May entered the election with an unbearable arrogance. She thought her lead was so strong she could rob pensioners and steal children’s dinners and it wouldn’t make it difference. But it appears she was wrong. And alongside a meltdown in her policies, support for Labour is surging.
The Tories may still be ahead in the polls. But this is a different type of campaign with a different sort of politician. And a combination of popular policies, the youth vote, and a genuine desire to build a fairer more compassionate society could still see a massive upheaval in British politics. So let’s all play a part in trying to make that happen.
– Vote on 8 June!
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
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