Considering the recent Brexit turmoil, it’s not unthinkable that a general election could be on the horizon. If May’s deal fails to pass parliament next week (15th January 2019) then there will likely be a lot of change in the UK. There could be a full vote of no confidence in the government, May could step down, there could be a second referendum OR there could be a general election.
A general election would let the British people completely reshake Brexit and could end up in another party taking control of negotiations. So what would happen if there was a general election held today? Who would win? and what is it that the electorate actually cares about right now?
Who Would Win?
The latest YouGov polling results show that things would be incredibly close between the two largest parties, the Conservatives and Labour. 41% of those surveyed said they would vote for the Conservatives, but Labour aren’t far behind with 39%. 7% of people say they’d vote Liberal Democrat, 5% Scottish National Party/Plaid Cymru and 4% UKIP.
YouGov says that those results are weighted by likelihood to vote, excluding those who won’t vote, don’t know who they’d choose or refused to comment. However, in reality, a lot of people wouldn’t actually vote.
Respondents were asked how likely they were to vote if an election were held tomorrow. They responded on a scale of 0 (certain not to vote) to 10 (absolutely certain to vote). 58% said that they were absolutely certain to vote, while 9% said they were certain not to vote.
When you look at the data more closely you can glean a few extra insights (at least based on what voters say they will do):
- Those who voted to leave in 2016 are less likely to vote than those who voted to remain
- Women are slightly more likely to vote than men
- Those in higher income groups are more likely to vote than those in lower income groups
- Scottish people are ‘certain to vote in the next election’ at a significantly higher rate than any other region.
May vs Corbyn
YouGov has also been asking people what they think about the party leaders.
33% of people think that May is doing a good job as Prime Minister and 56% think she’s doing a bad job. Compare that to 19% who think that Corbyn is doing a good job as leader of the Labour party.
May’s poor ratings might be the result of her mishandling of Brexit. Only 6% of the public think that she has negotiated a good deal and 20% think that another leader could have got a better deal. That being said 53% seem to think that negotiations are pretty hopeless saying that the deal she’s got is bad, but no other leader could have done a better job.
13% of people think that Corbyn could get a better deal than May has. 66% think that Labour wouldn’t be able to achieve a better outcome.
What Do People Care About?
Brexit is unsurprisingly the topic most people care about at the moment. 60% of people said that it was the most important issue that the UK is facing currently and 74% of people put it in the top three issues.
8% of people said that health was the biggest issue that the UK is facing at the moment, 6% the economy and 6% immigration and asylum.
It’s not surprising that the economy ranks so highly on the list of concerns. YouGov’s analysis found that only 18% of people think that the economy is doing well, leaving 41% of people who think that UK’s economy is doing badly.
Concerns about the economy likely lead to people having a negative outlook on their personal finances. 40% of people think that their personal finances will get worse in the next year and only 13% think things will get better.