General Election blog: opinion poll results for Labour

Labour is set to lose nearly half of its vote across the Midlands according to a major new opinion poll.

If the findings published today by YouGov are accurate, and if voters behave the same way in every area, it would mean Labour is set to lose the following Midlands seats at the election next month:

  • Dudley North

  • Newcastle-Under-Lyme

  • Stoke-On-Trent North

  • Warwick & Leamington

  • Wolverhampton South West

  • Ashfield

  • Derby North

  • Lincoln

  • High Peak

  • Peterborough

But while the poll is good news for the Conservatives, those ten Midlands gains might not be enough to help secure a majority for Boris Johnson because of predicted defeats to the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party elsewhere.

And while the Labour vote has fallen dramatically, there has also been a decrease in support for the Conservatives, which explains why more Labour heartland seats in places like Coventry, Nottinghamshire and the Black Country aren't at risk.

The analysis might also underestimate Labour seats because it doesn't take into account local issues, or tactical voting where Lib Dem and Green supporters might vote Labour in order to keep a Conservative MP out.

The polling by YouGov questioned a much higher number of voters than usual, and for the first time in this campaign it gives specific figures for the different English regions.

In the West Midlands, Labour's support has fallen from 43% in 2017 to just 23% now. There is a similar fall in the East Midlands - from 41% to 22%.

But the Conservatives have also slipped back. In 2017, they picked up more than half of all votes cast in the East Midlands. That's now down to around 45%. And there was a similar decline in the West Midlands.

There has been a dramatic improvement in the fortunes of the Liberal Democrats in the last two years, trebling their support to 14% in the West Midlands and 15% in the East, although that's only likely to win them one new seat in the region - at Cheltenham.

Coming in fourth place in both Midlands' polls is the Brexit Party with 12% ... a significant level of support which could be distorting the polling of both main parties.

And the Greens have also seen an improvement in both the East and West Midlands, again trebling their support.

As ever, opinion polls should be treated with caution. The research for this polling was carried out before the official start of the campaign, and a lot can change in the next five weeks. If Labour can make the campaign about public services and the NHS, they might be able to shore up their support and defend more seats.

And this voting is likely to see tactical voting on a scale not seen in the last twenty years, which makes any sort of prediction very difficult.

Read more: 60 Sec Elec updates: Midlands politics in a minute