The party is haemorrhaging votes in the mistaken belief that the leave tendency is driven by its working-class base
One of the wisest, if least obeyed, maxims of political debate is: don’t argue about facts, check them out instead. In the case of Labour’s strategy towards next week’s European parliament elections, one central fact is now beyond dispute. The recent slump in the party’s support has been caused by the desertion of voters who want the UK to stay in the European Union: not partially caused, or possibly caused, but totally.
This is clear from a detailed analysis of recent YouGov surveys by its political team. In common with other pollsters, it has picked up a sharp reduction in Labour’s support, from 21% in late April to 16% last week. Uniquely, YouGov can link its data to how people voted in the 2016 referendum and the 2017 general election – relying not on voters’ sometimes fallible memories, but how they told YouGov they voted at the time of both contests.