EUROPE

What the polls say in UK’s snap elections

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In the UK, elections don’t always happen as part of a regular schedule. The prime minister, with the approval of two-thirds of the current Parliament, can call for what’s called a “snap” election, where a national election is held off schedule.

Theresa May kicked off her reelection campaign in April with all the confidence and support from her party and voters.

Her Conservative Party maintained a huge margin over left-wing Labour party since the Brexit referendum last year. At the start of the snap elections campaign, the Conservative party led the polls by more than 16 points. Leader of Labour Party faced a ton of criticism from his party and supporters due to his dwindling popularity and lag in the polls.

Recent terrorist attacks have led to Conservative party’s drop in the polls, a day before the elections the lead has reduced dramatically by a huge percentage. The drop in the polls have shocked pundits following the elections because Corbyn had been written off as taking a major loss in the elections.

What do the polls say?

Source: Britainelects.com

The critical turning point came when the Conservatives released their manifesto detailing their plans. Following the release, the Conservatives led Labour by 47.2 to 31 — a 16.2-point margin.

However, lag in the polls shocked everyone who expected that Labour party stood no chance in this election. Experts on UK politics say that the failure of the Conservative party is partly Theresa May’s fault. She ran a less than stellar campaign filled with unpopular policies and embarrassing incidents that have shaken confidence in her ability to govern.

May’s party is still expected to win the elections on Thursday despite her unpopularity, They’re still ahead in the polls by a wide margin, and May is still viewed more favorably than Corbyn in opinion polls.

The Tories have an advantage in the make-up of British politics, their supporters are more likely to vote and live in advantageous areas.

There’s also reason to believe the polls are underestimating May’s support, Corbyn’s recent surge seems to be coming from an unusual support base. The surge comes from first time young voters who are less likely to vote at the polls.

Finally, the national polls aren’t a true reflection of the election. There are also local dynamics at play. Labour’s voters tend to be younger and better educated. The Conservatives appeal to more working-class voters.

While the Labour surge in the polls is clearly real, it’s unlikely it will translate into an electoral victory for the party.

 

The views expressed in this post are of the author’s and in no way reflect those of The Election Network. 

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