The last couple of weeks have seen a potential Labour rout turn into a mere defeat, as the party climbs in the polls to stand some way clear of its 2015 share of 31.2%: at the moment, an average of the last six polls taken before the tragic events in Manchester puts Labour on 33.8%. This is a long way behind the Conservatives’ score 45.3%, to be sure, but that represents a swing to the Government of only 2.5% or so since 2.5%.
It is important to be clear about where these voters are coming from, as we seem to live in an era when ‘classic’ swing voters who alternate between the Conservatives and Labour seem few and far between. Although the Conservatives’ vote share is being swollen by defectors from the United Kingdom Independent Party, Labour are benefiting from smaller numbers returning to them from the same source, and from some left-leaning Liberal Democrats and Greens attracted by Jeremy Corbyn’s new-look Labour Party.
So although the Conservatives have surged to a share of the vote they have not really dreamed of since the 1980s, Labour has been chasing them upwards.