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Jeremy Corbyn victory ‘straightforward’ if Tory government falls, claims polling expert

Jeremy Corbyn victory ‘straightforward’ if Tory government falls, claims polling expert

John Ashmore

3 min read

A general election victory for Labour would be “relatively straightforward” if the Conservatives were to lose a no confidence vote, according to one of the UK’s top polling experts.

After a barnstorming election campaign, Jeremy Corbyn’s party are currently on 262 MPs, still well off the 326 they would require to form a majority government.

However, according to Strathclyde University academic Professor John Curtice, Labour’s task would be a lot easier if the Tories are unable to sustain a minority government.

With Theresa May yet to come to an agreement with the DUP on a confidence and supply arrangement, there are question marks over whether she will win key parliamentary votes on the Queen’s Speech due at the end of this month.

There have been rumblings of discontent among Tory backbenchers angered by the party’s election showing, with one MP telling PoliticsHome the Prime Minister is “on death row”.

But Prof Curtice’s analysis suggests any attempt to get rid of Mrs May carries serious risks for the Tories.

“Let’s talk brass tacks here. The aim of the Labour party has to be to bring down the Government as soon as possible,” Prof Curtice told an event hosted by the Social Market Foundation thinktank.

“The Labour party therefore is going to be duty bound to vote against the Government on whatever the Government brings forward with respect to Brexit, virtually in its entirety in the hope that at some point either the Government loses a by-election, or there are defections, or the Anna Soubrys of this world can no longer put up with things so the Government loses a vote of confidence.

“If Jeremy Corbyn wants to be Prime Minister he wants a general election off the back of a Conservative government that has collapsed, lost a vote of confidence, is in disarray, is internally divided etc etc.”

However he said it was not clear whether Mr Corbyn would be able to attract enough extra votes in different circumstances.

“I think it’s an absolutely fascinating question as to whether or not indeed he can now get the 3-4% extra that’s needed to win in order to become Prime Minister.

“Now, if we have an election off the back of a collapse of a Conservative government, that will probably be relatively straightforward.

“If it’s in different circumstances then, sure, whether or not he can win over enough new voters, including, frankly, winning over some Conservatives, is I think an interesting question.”

Theresa May yesterday insisted she is "getting on with the job" despite the continued speculation about her future.

A Cabinet minister told PoliticsHome that Tory MPs are focused on getting to parliamentary summer recess in five weeks before "re-assessing" the situation ahead of the Conservative party conference in October.

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