UK’s opposition Labour on course for landslide election victory, poll predicts

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party is on course to win a landslide victory at a national election expected next year, according to an opinion poll published on Saturday.

Most polls put Labour, which gathers in northern England this weekend for its annual conference, about 20 points ahead of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s governing Conservatives, although commentators say the lead is potentially fragile.

The Survation poll, carried out for campaign group 38 Degrees and published by the Observer newspaper, questioned more than 11,000 voters between Sept. 11-25 and then used a model to generate constituency-by-constituency results.

Its central projection was that Labour would win 420 seats, the Conservatives 149 seats and the Liberal Democrats 23, leaving Labour, who have been out of power since 2010, with a 190-seat majority in parliament’s lower House of Commons.

It predicted a range of 402-437 seats for Labour, and 132-169 seats for the Conservatives. At the last national election in 2019, the Conservatives won 365 seats and Labour 203.

Survation used modelling known as multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) to reach constituency-level findings. Pollsters using the method successfully predicted the 2017 UK election result.

The Observer said under the projected results, 12 of Sunak’s cabinet ministers, including deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden and defence secretary Grant Shapps, faced losing their seats.

The polling, which took place before the Conservatives’ annual conference this week, found that in every constituency, the cost-of-living crisis and the state of the National Health Service were the two most important issues to voters.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Nick Macfie)