Last night, YouGov released its latest poll, putting Labour just four points behind the Conservatives. Four points.
This was a gain of +3 on the last YouGov poll, which put the Conservatives 7 points clear.
But this is only half the story.
YouGov also came-up with a seat-projection, based on a “complex model and 7,000 sample over 7 days.” The result was alarming.
The Conservative Party would – if the poll is accurate – lose its majority, falling 16 seats short.
Labour would gain 28 seats.
Should the SNP, Northern Ireland, Green and Lib Dem projections hold, Labour could form a rainbow coalition on June 9th, and Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister.
But the polls have been wrong before. Brexit, with a turnout of over 72%, was widely expected to fail, given polls indicating a strong vote to Remain.
Donald Trump, similarly, suffered in the polls before clinching the presidency (despite losing the popular vote).
In the 2015 General Election, pollsters projected a Hung Parliament (much like today’s YouGov poll), only for the Conservatives to win a majority.
The point is this: there is a clear trend – which shows no sign of stopping – of Labour catching the Conservatives. There is also a clear trend that, in recent elections and referendums, the underdog has done better than projected (the exception out of the three examples above is the 2015 general election).
It is also the case that, the higher the turn-out, the more inaccurate polling tends to be.
So, if the polls are wrong, it could well be that they are wrong in Labour’s favour.
If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the past week, you’ll know that – clearly – I’m biased. But the poll trend is undeniable. Labour is gaining. Jeremy Corbyn is rising in popularity. And the more people see of Theresa May and the Conservative Party the more they realise they simply don’t like her.
In a day which started disastrously for Labour, with Jeremy forgetting a figure on childcare costs, the Labour leader turned it around with a speech on racial inequality, launching a “Race and Faith Manifesto,” and then an affable, endearing and personal interview on the BBC One Show.
It is this quality – this ability – which draws people to Corbyn: his willingness to admit his mistakes, his ownership of them, taking responsibility for his actions and his humility in learning from them and moving forward.
Had anyone else suffered the morning he had, they’d be locked away for the rest of the day, barred from appearing in public again. Corbyn finished his by appearing on prime-time TV, gifting BBC presenters some homemade jam from his allotment.
Tonight, the BBC will host a debate with senior Party members in what will be one of the final debates of the election.
Labour doesn’t need to win this debate. It just needs the Conservative representative to lose.
If all Parties unite against the Conservative rep. then Labour should – as the second biggest Party – win by default.
The SNP have been open about their willingness to join a Labour coalition. The Lib Dems have said they’d be open to joining the Conservatives.
But if Labour offered a second referendum on a European exit, the Lib Dems would quickly change their tune; joining a Labour/SNP coalition.
I therefore don’t expect any of the other Parties in tonight’s debate to attack Labour in any significant manner this evening.
tonight’s debate will be about undermining the Conservative lead, which benefits everyone, and keeps options open for a coalition government.
With the election just over 1 week away, only one thing is certain: this eleciton will radically change the way we – as a society (and as a country) – work.
The question is: how do we want it to change?