Tory lead cut to just 5 points in new YouGov poll

Tories just 5 points ahead of Labour as Lib Dems drop 4 points to 24 per cent.

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Latest poll (YouGov/Sun): Labour 49 seats short of a majority.

The latest daily YouGov poll has just been published, and it's not good news for the Lib Dems. The poll puts Nick Clegg's party down 4 points to 24 per cent, its lowest figure in a YouGov poll since the first leaders' debate. Now, this could be a sign that the Lib Dem bubble has burst or, like the Ipsos MORI poll that put them on 23 per cent, it could just be an outlier.

We'll get a better idea when the latest ComRes/Independent poll is released later tonight, although, since their fieldwork is a day behind YouGov's, any decline in Lib Dem support may not be picked up.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives' lead over Labour has been cut to just 5 points. The poll has the Tories unchanged on 35 per cent, with Labour up 2 to 30 per cent. If repeated at the election on a uniform swing, those figures would leave Labour as the single largest party in parliament, 49 seats short of a majority.

New Statesman Poll of Polls

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Hung parliament: Conservatives 53 seats short.

UPDATE: The latest ComRes poll has just been published and there's not much to report there. The Tories are unchanged on 37 per cent, Labour is unchanged on 29 per cent and the Lib Dems are, you guessed it, unchanged on 26 per cent.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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