Keir Starmer: George Galloway fires warning ahead of by-election
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However, other polls have offered a different picture, with one suggesting the Tories had seen their lead cut from 13 points to six. Meanwhile, one political analyst has suggested the former Director of Public Prosecutions is struggling to gain traction in the face of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s enduring popularity.
A poll by Number Cruncher Politics for the Daily Telegraph, carried out between May 27 and 28 and with a sample of 1,001, suggested the Tories were on 44 points (up one), with Labour on 32 (down two).
However, more worryingly for the Prime Minister, his net favourability rating was at -3, with 45 percent dissatisfied with the job he was doing, and 42 percent approving.
A separate Opinium poll in the Guardian, also based on interviews on May 27 and 28, and with a sample of 2,004 UK adults, put the Tories on 42 points (down two compared with its previous survey) and Labour on 36 points (up five).
The Lib Dems were on six, and the Greens and the SNP were on five.
The fact that Labour continues to lag behind the Conservatives more than a year into his tenure as leadership, and with the Batley and Spen by-election looming, will unquestionably be of grave concern to Sir Keir.
Speaking to Express.co.uk on Friday, prior to the publication of the polls, Professor Tony Travers, the director of LSE London, told Express.co.uk: “He’s recognisable. He’s common sensical, he’s moderate, he’s a perfectly good speaker.
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“He’s got many of the attributes that a political party would want.
“He’s just unlucky that he happens to be leader when Boris Johnson is Prime Minister.
“Boris Johnson has completely settled characteristics, which are unique to him, and which makes him very difficult to challenge.”
Prof Travers added: “I think privately the Conservatives see Keir Starmer as a huge improvement.
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“They see him as, if he were Prime Minister, the Conservatives now can see that, unlike Jeremy talking, having Keir Starmer as Prime Minister would not be in the Conservatives’ terms, the disaster that they thought having Jeremy Corbyn would have been a disaster.
“Having said that, Keir Starmer hasn’t quite got the cut-through Keystone may just be the wrong hasn’t quite got the cut-through he needs against Boris Johnson.”
Following Mr Cummings’ remarkable criticism of both Mr Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock on Wednesday, Sir Keir said “mistakes are being repeated” as the Government considers whether to further ease coronavirus restrictions.
Writing in the Observer he said: “Weak, slow decisions on border policy let the Indian variant take hold.
“Lack of self-isolation support and confused local guidance failed to contain it.
“We all want to unlock on June 21 but the single biggest threat to that is the Government’s incompetence.”
Mr Johnson’s foot-dragging when it came to imposing a second lockdown in autumn last year had meant “avoidable and unforgivable” deaths in the second wave of the virus, Sir Keir said.
He added: “The first wave we faced an unprecedented crisis. Decision making was undoubtedly difficult.
“Mistakes were inevitable. And the British public understand that.
“But by the summer, we knew much more about the virus.
“The Prime Minister was warned to prepare for a second wave. He did not do so.
“And over twice as many people died in the second wave than in the first.”
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