In Brief

Five reasons why the Conservatives will (probably) win the election

Signs point to Boris Johnson returning to the Commons with a majority

Labour is expected to lose to the Tories in next Thursday’s general election despite a late surge in support for the opposition party.

Here are five reasons why Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely to be taking over at No. 10:

Boris Johnson is winning the popularity contest

As Jean Quatremer, Brussels correspondent of French newspaper Liberation, writes in The Guardian, Johnson’s critics consider him to be “the epitome of what is worst in the English (not British) elite”.

But polling shows that Johnson far outstrips Corbyn in terms of both popularity and suitability to be PM.

According to YouGov, 44% of people think Johnson is the best bet for the top job, double the 22% who think Corbyn is best suited to the role.

While both are pretty unpopular overall, Johnson is the least unpopular option, recording an approval rating of -6 compared with Corbyn’s -42.

Voters are not sure what Labour stands for

The Conservatives have framed their campaign in very simple terms – “Get Brexit done” – while Labour has a plan to resolve Brexit in six months, which is more complex and requires a second referendum.

Polling shows that 65% of voters say that Labour’s policy on Brexit is unclear, compared with just 29% who think the Tories’ position is complicated.

This confusion about Labour’s policy is also not confined to Brexit.

Brits consider Labour to be less clear than the Conservatives when it comes to the environment (48% not clear), health (45%), immigration (48%), education (39%) and the economy (46%).

By comparison, just a third see a lack of clarity in Conservative immigration (33%), NHS (39%), education (36%) and economic (32%) policies.

Corbyn has lost Labour Leave voters

The Brexit Party has agreed to stand down candidates in the 317 seats the Tories won in 2017, while the Conservatives also have a 15-point lead over Labour among pro-Brexit voters, according to polling expert John Curtice.

Not only are the Conservatives leading among leavers generally, Labour’s Brexit policy appears to have left Labour voters who voted to leave unconvinced too.

YouGov polling shows that half of Labour Leave voters do not like Corbyn’s policy towards Brexit. Asked if a second referendum in which the options were Labour’s renegotiated deal or Remain, 48% of Labour leavers said this would be a “bad” outcome.

Younger people still vote less than older people

According to the government’s live statistics on voter registration, just over 1.3 million people under the age of 25 registered to vote in November.

But millions of people are still missing from the electoral roll, with senior director at the Electoral Reform Society, Willie Sullivan, telling The Guardian that “younger people and renters are most at risk of being missing from the register”.

The number of young people missing from the electoral register was also highlighted by the Electoral Commission when it published research that said one in three eligible teenagers still hadn’t registered to vote.

In 2017, young people turned out to vote in higher numbers than in recent general elections, with a majority of people between 18 and 29 years old backing the Labour Party.

But, turnout among older generations is still higher than among younger people – and a higher percentage of older voters vote Tory.

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The polls do not look good for Labour

In the 2017 general election, YouGov’s MRP poll correctly called 93% of the seats and predicted that the result would be a hung parliament.

This time around, the same polling model has predicted a sizeable Tory majority – suggesting Johnson will win 359 seats, a majority of 68.

The poll also says that the “red wall”, described by the Mail on Sunday as “the constituencies in the Midlands and the North which have historically voted Labour”, is crumbling, leaving Labour without support in its traditional heartlands.

Of the 76 Labour-held seats where they lead the Tories by fewer than 8,000 votes, Jeremy Corbyn’s party is currently behind in 43 of them.


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