Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has a clear lead in UK election polls
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a press conference in Brussels, October 2019.
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With a new U.K. election cycle about to begin, some voter polls and British bookmakers are already suggesting that the ruling Conservative Party will win a clear majority in Parliament.
A vote on whether to hold an election on or around December 12 has not yet taken place in Westminster on Tuesday. But a significant barrier to the motion being approved was removed when the opposition Labour party said it would back an early poll amid continuing uncertainty over Brexit.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement Tuesday morning that he was satisfied that conditions had been met to go to the polls before Christmas.
“I have consistently said that we are ready for an election and our support is subject to a no-deal Brexit being off the table,” Corbyn told his senior colleagues.
Polls show that a snap vote might not end well for the party, however, and there appeared to be rumblings of discontent among some Labour lawmakers on Tuesday, ahead of the vote.
The Britain Elects poll tracker that aggregates various voter opinion polls, updated on Sunday, puts the ruling Conservative Party (that does not have a majority in Parliament) ahead in the polls, with 35.1% of the vote.
Labour stands seconds with 25.4% and the Liberal Democrats, a staunchly anti-Brexit party, is seen third with 18.1% of the vote. The Brexit Party, a new rival to the Conservatives among Brexit supporters, is seen with 11.3% of the vote and the Green Party with 4%.
An individual poll conducted by YouGov and The Times newspaper on October 21-22 of 1,689 people put the Conservative Party ahead with 37% of the vote, Labour with 22% and the Liberal Democrats with 19% of the vote.
The voting intention polls work out simple percentages but may not translate to the final vote as the U.K. has a completed first-past-the-post electoral system to fill the 650 seats in the House of Commons.
Bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes were also predicting Tuesday that the likely outcome of the election is a Conservative majority in Parliament, a result that would make it easier for the party to push through its legislative agenda. The election in 2017 resulted in a hung parliament whereby the Conservatives had to rely on support from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.
It will be the first U.K. election held in the winter months since 1974 and the first December election since 1923.