Until recently the Conservative party were enjoying a comfortable double digit lead over Labour. A sweeping victory for Boris Johnson's party seemed assured. However in the past few days a spate of polls now indicate that Keir Starmer's Labour are making rapid gains. The pollster Survation have recorded a seven point swing since the 10th of April, putting Labour just one point behind the Tories.
Redfield and Wilton Strategies have recorded an eight point swing, and place Labour two points behind the Tories.
And Opinium have recorded a six point swing, putting Labour five points behind.
Given that many of the council seats being contested on Thursday were last up for grabs when Theresa May held a twenty point lead over Jeremy Corbyn, this sudden poll slump, if born out in reality, would herald serious losses for the Conservative party this time around.
With elections to key mayoralties, local councils, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament, and Police and Crime Commissioners all taking place on the same day, and including those elections which were deferred from 2020 due to the Coronavirus, the victor will stand to gain serious ground in local government.
Are these polls an indication that the Tory 'sleaze' fiasco is cutting through with voters? Or are they an anomaly? Is it a vindication of Keir Starmer's leadership of the Labour party, or symptomatic of a mid-term protest vote? Either way things are now looking much worse for the Prime Minister, who is looking to hold onto the West Midlands and Teesside mayoralties, held by Andy Street and Ben Houchen respectively, and to pick up the parliamentary constituency of Hartlepool, which is in the midst of a by-election. Those aims could now be imperilled.