Britain in numbers

  1. Elections
February 16, 2024

Is Labour set to win again? Follow the latest polls

See how Keir Starmer’s party performs on the key indicators of whether the party will win or lose the next election.

During the 2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, Ed Miliband’s Labour enjoyed a regular poll lead over the Tories. At times, the party’s lead stretched to 12 points, enough to give it a landslide victory. But it was not to be. David Cameron’s Conservatives ended up winning a parliamentary majority with a six-point lead over Labour in the popular vote.

When we talk about opinion polls, we don’t just mean headline voting intention. The latter are instructive but by no means a guarantee of who the public will side with in the privacy of the ballot box.

How the polls have changed

To be sure of which way the political wind is blowing, you need to track the other indicators of public opinion that show how robust (or not) a party’s lead is. Labour may be ahead on voting intention but is its leader ahead too? How does he compare to the Prime Minister? And does Labour command credibility on the economy? (Perhaps the most crucial test of a party’s readiness for government.)

We’ve built this four-part tracker using Britain Elects data to answer that very question. Because in Britain, to tip the scales in your favour, it is vital that you lead not just on voting intention but on all these indicators too.

The 2015 general election result came as a shock to many but it shouldn’t have done. As the campaign wore on, Labour commanded small but solid leads over the Tories. Miliband’s own ratings, however, as compared with Cameron’s, were poor. Only on a few occasions did the Labour leader poll ahead of his rival as the public’s preferred prime minister. And on the economy, Miliband’s Labour barely came close.

Similar trends were witnessed in 1992. While Neil Kinnock’s Labour led the Conservatives numerous times, Kinnock himself invariably polled behind John Major and the Toris polled ahead of Labour on the economy. 

Voting intentions make for easy copy, but they don’t tell you the whole story. And that is why this tracker exists today.