Oh dear, Keir! Tories open up seven point gap as pressure mounts on Labour leader Starmer

Keir Starmer is in 'big trouble' with Labour voters says Bridgen

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The poll will make worrying reading for Sir Keir, who is struggling to gain traction almost a year after beating Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn last April. Savanta ComRes puts the Conservatives on 43 percent, up three points, with Labour slipping two to 38. The Liberal Democrats (seven percent), SNP (four percent) and Greens (three percent) are all unchanged compared with last week.

Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said: “In our first look at the Coronavirus Tracker since the government announced its roadmap out of lockdown, it’s encouraging for them that perceptions on their handling of the pandemic continue to increase.

“While there’s much still to navigate over the coming weeks and months, namely hitting the targets laid out in the roadmap which, one would assume, will be used by the public as a yardstick to measure the government’s handling of the pandemic for the rest of the year, clearly the public have been receptive to the first steps of the great unlocking.”

Mr Hopkins added: “This plays out in the voting intention, showing our largest Conservative lead since last May.

While Labour continue to be deafeningly quiet on almost all fronts, it’s no wonder that they’re giving up such a lead to the Conservatives

Chris Hopkins

“Voting intentions, though, are not solely a measure of how well one party is doing, but rather a reflection of the alternatives too, and while Labour continue to be deafeningly quiet on almost all fronts, it’s no wonder that they’re giving up such a lead to the Conservatives “

Additionally, net approval for the Government’s handling of the pandemic is two points to +5 percent, while net approval for Boris Johnson’s handling of COVID-19 is at -5 percent, unchanged compared with last week, according to Savanta’s Daily Coronavirus Tracker, which has been running since last March.

Mr Johnson’s lowest score was -22 for the week ending November 1.

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Just over two in five people surveyed (42 percent) said the NHS was not being well-enough supported by the Government, down one point compared with last week and seven points below the high of 49 percent recorded for the week ending January 17.

However, almost half (48 percent) said that the Government is not doing enough to support small businesses, with a similar proportion saying the same for the self-employed (49 percent).

Former shadow cabinet ministers yesterday warned Sir Keir he will be making a “fatal error” not to listen to grassroots activists ahead of the Budget.

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The warning comes in a paper co-written by Jon Trickett and Ian Lavery, both of whom served in Mr Corbyn’s top team but who were overlooked by Sir Keir.

The pair, plus former Labour MP Laura Smith, said Sir Keir was wrong to argue against corporation tax increases.

In their paper, they said “even a Tory Chancellor wants to see increases in corporation tax”, with Rishi Sunak widely rumoured to be planning an increase as part of a bid to cover the costs of the pandemic.

They argue: “We must remember that corporation tax is a tax on big business profits – not families.

“Having spoken to many members of the Labour movement over the last year, it is becoming clearer that the party is becoming more disconnected from its movement and values.”

Highlighting Labour’s inability to build an opinion poll lead, they added: “It would be reasonable to predict that the blunder and incompetence of the Prime Minister’s response to the Covid crisis, and his failure to implement adequate emergency measures such as test and trace, would lead to a big hit in the polls. This has not happened.”

In his foreword to the No Holding Back report, Mr Trickett wrote: “There are many who feel that there is a determined effort to silence the voices of rank-and-file socialists in the Labour movement.

“Numerous examples of this tendency are being cited. There has been no policy-making party conference since Keir Starmer was elected as leader.

“Many comrades were suspended for discussing resolutions in solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn.”

He added: “Many leaders from all sides of the political spectrum often make the mistake of cutting links with the movement that elected them.

“This can be a fatal error, for it is only the movement that can sustain and strengthen a leader.”

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