With just two weeks to go before Britain votes in its snap general election, campaigning intensified following the latest poll predicting a massive win for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.
The so-called super poll by YouGov predicts that Johnson will return triumphant to 10 Downing Street after the Dec. 12 election with 359 seats, giving the Conservatives a comfortable 68-seat majority in the House of Commons.
According to YouGov, Jeremy Corbyn’s main opposition Labour Party will lose 51 seats, taking their total to 211.
The poll has sent shockwaves through the political world as YouGov was the only major pollster to correctly predict in the 2017 snap election that the then Prime Minister Theresa May would lose her small majority to head a minority government.
More than 100,000 people were canvassed in the biggest poll so far in the election campaign.
If the predictions are accurate, the election would see the Labour Party suffer its worst defeat since 1983 and the Conservatives win the largest number of seats since 1987.
Anthony Wells, director of political and social research at YouGov, said: “If the election were held today, we project that the Conservatives would win 359 seats, a gain of 42 from 2017; Labour would win 211, down by 51; the SNP (Scottish National Party) 43, up eight; and the Liberal Democrats 13, a gain of one.
“The Brexit Party would not take any seats at all.”
YouGov said that the bulk of the projected Conservative gains would come in northern England and the urban West Midlands, as well as in former mining seats in the East Midlands.
Prof. John Curtice from the University of Strathclyde said on Thursday that the poll confirmed that the Conservative vote was going up more in places that voted strongly in favour of leaving the European Union (EU) than in places that voted strongly to remain.
Curtice said that if there was a surprise in the poll it would be the suggestion that the minority Liberal Democrats were not going to come up with much in the election with only 13 projected seats, only one more than they got in 2017.
Undaunted by the poll, Labour leader Corbyn on Thursday continued his attack on Conservative plans for the National Health Service (NHS), which he said would see major U.S. organisations making bids to run chunks of the UK’s health service.
Corbyn made headlines on Wednesday, brandishing a secret report of more than 400 pages detailing meetings between the Conservatives and U.S. officials discussing health being included in a future trade deal.
Speaking in Southampton on Thursday, Corbyn also vowed that a Labour government would plant two billion trees across the country by 2040 as a contribution to climate change mitigation.
Corbyn also said that a Labour government would create 10 new national parks as part of a new “Plan for Nature”.
The aim would be to ensure that 75 per cent of the population would live within half an hour of a national park or an area of outstanding natural beauty.
As part of Labour’s environment strategy, Corbyn said new laws would encourage cleaner transport, with clean air zones around schools. (Xinhua/NAN)