–Updates with weekend polls
LONDON (MNI) – Latest polling data
Con Lab LD UKIP Green SNP
YouGov/Sun Times 14/5/2017 49% 31% 9% 3% 2% ComRes 13/5/2017 48% 30% 10% 5% ORB 13/5/2017 46% 32% 8% 7% 2% Opinium 13/5/2017 47% 32% 8% 5% 2% Survation 5/9/2017 47% 30% 7% 4% 3% Kantar 5/9/2017 44% 28% 11% 8% 5% 4% ICM 5/7/2017 49% 27% 9% 6% 3% YouGov 5/7/2017 47% 28% 11% 6% 2% ICM 5/7/2017 46% 28% 10% 8% 3% ORB/ Sun Tel 5/7/2017 46% 31% 9% 8% 2% Opinium 5/6/2017 46% 30% 9% 7% 2% YouGov/Times 5/4/2017 48% 29% 10% 5% 2% Panelbase 5/2/2017 47% 30% 10% 5% 2% ICM/Guardian 5/2/2017 47% 28% 8% 8% 4% ICM/ Sunday Sun 4/30/2017 47% 28% 9% 8% 4% YouGov/Sun Times 4/30/2017 44% 31% 11% 6% 2% ORB/ Sun Tel 4/29/2017 42% 31% 10% 8% Opinium 4/29/2017 47% 30% 8% 7% 3% YouGov/Times 4/28/2017 28% 18% 7% 2% 3% 41% YouGov/Times 4/26/2017 45% 29% 10% 7% 3%
The UK Parliament was dissolved on Tuesday May 3, triggering a near 6-week campaign ahead of the June 8 election.
To win an outright majority in the UK, the winning party must pick up 326 of the 650 constituency seats fought, although 323 will normally be enough for a working majority, as the likely 4 or 5 Sinn Fein MPs will not take their seats at Westminster.
The latest polls show the governing Conservative Party will easily reach this target, surpassing the majority 330 seats they won at the 2015 election.
Historically, the two main parties are the centre-left Labour Party and the centre-right Conservative Party. As last time, the economy will be a major battle ground, but analysts expect Brexit to be the overriding feature of the election.
The Conservatives are led by current Prime Minister Theresa May, who assumed the role last July in the wake of the EU referendum defeat for David Cameron. Jeremy Corbyn has led the Labour Party since the summer of 2015.
The Scottish Nationalist Party are to surrender some of the spectacular gains made in 2015, perhaps to a resurgent Scottish Conservative Party, but look to remain by far the largest party north of the border..
With Brexit all but secured, the UK Independence Party, UKIP, will likely see a fall in their overall share and it seems unlikely they will return any MPs. Douglas Carswell, the only UKIP MP in the last Parliament, resigned from the party earlier this year and said he would not seek re-election in 2017.
The Liberal Democrats look set to pick up some seats, particularly in areas that voted heavily ‘Remain’ in 2016, but they enter the election at a very low base. They won just 8 seats, down sharply from the 56 held at the 2015 dissolution.
UK Brexit Minister David Davis said Sunday sequencing of exit negotiations with the EU would be the ‘row of the summer’, saying it was illogical to discuss the status of the Northern Ireland Border with the Republic of Ireland before terms of a trade deal were known.
The Crown Prosecution Service said Wednesday that no charges would be brought against Conservative politicians and officials over the infringement of campaign expense rules in the run-up to the 2015 General Election. However, the CPS said one file would remain open – the investigation into irregularities in the South Thanet constituency.
Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday the Conservatives will include a plan to ‘cap’ certain energy prices, ending the “injustice” of rising costs. In an interview with the Sun, published overnight, May said “Like millions of working families, I am fed up with rip-off energy prices. Gas and electricity bills only ever seem to go in one direction, eating up more and more of your monthly pay packet.”
The week ahead is likely to see the publication of the main party manifestoes, outlining their campaign platforms for the forthcoming election.
Final results from the UK local elections confirmed a very good night for the Conservatives, as they picked up more than 500 new councilors and 4 of the 6 new metro mayors. For Labour, the night was seen as a ‘disaster’ by some party officials, as they lost more than 300 elected representatives, although looking at a less worse than feared showing in Wales for some solace.
Early reports from local and mayoral elections in the UK has seen Conservatives fare well, concurring with recent polling data. A BBC report says “on early declarations in England, there had been a substantial swing from Labour to the Conservatives while the UKIP vote appeared to be collapsing heavily and the Lib Dem performance was “very patchy”, Professor John Curtis told the BBC.
Although the election campaigns officially get underway this week, Brexit remains on the front pages of Tuesday’s papers, as Prime Minister Theresa May dismisses Brussels leaks of a recent Downing Street dinner as ‘Brussels gossip’. Whatever the truth of the leaks, the weekend revelations certainly underline that any Brexit phoney war is now over and full on negotiating is beginning.
In a weekend interview, Prime Minister Theresa May said there would be no increases in VAT rates through the next Parliament. However, she was not forthcoming with promises over income tax or national insurance. In an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr, May said the Conservative’s would make no pledges on tax unless she was “absolutely sure they could be delivered”.
Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday she needed to be given the ‘strongest possible hand” ahead of Brexit negotiations, as all 27 remaining members of the European Union were queueing up to oppose the UK. The leaders of the remaining 27 EU nations meet in Brussels on Saturday to formally adopt their Brexit negotiating document.
Thursday is the last day Parliament will sit before Dissolution on May 3 and a General Election on May 3. The official Prorogation ceremony, when all Acts passed in the previous parliamentary session are read into law, is expected around 1400GMT.
MPs return to Westminster from the hustings Wednesday, as Prime Minister Theresa May is set for a grilling at the last PMQs of the current Parliament.
Following PMQs, PM May will meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the lead EC Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Downing Street. With the leaders of the European Union rump countries meeting in Brussels Saturday to finalise the EU negotiating document, Wednesday’s meeting is seen as a clarification opportunity between the two parties.
There will be a different background to the quizzing of Bank of England and Treasury officials when they attend Parliament following the General Election, as Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Treasury Select Committee is standing down as an MP after 20 years of service.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May will campaign in Wales Tuesday, attempting to capitalise on signs the Conservatives are set to make sweeping gains there. A YouGov poll published Monday showed the Conservatives were set to pick up 40% of the vote compared to 30% for Labour. That would leave the Conservatives with 21 seats in Wales, a majority for the Principality for the first time since before World War 1.
Labour’s spokesperson on Brexit, Keir Starmer, is expected to lay out the party’s strategy on Tuesday. Starmer is expected to say Labour accepts the UK will be leaving the European Union, but will seek a deal on transitional arrangements looking to smooth the 2019 exit. Labour, if they win, are also set to unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU workers in the UK.
MONDAY, MAY 15, 2017 – 01:19
–MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: firstname.lastname@example.org