The first YouGov poll since the British snap election show Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party with an 8-point lead over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tories. This comes following an election when Corbyn stunned May. May called the snap election to increase her party’s parliamentary lead and get a ‘mandate’ for a hard Brexit.
May looked well positioned to do so, as initial polls showed her nearly 30 points ahead of Corbyn. As the election neared, however, Corbyn began to gain major ground. His call for expanding social programs and a soft Brexit negotiation became very popular amongst young people, who showed up the polls in incredible numbers. In the end May ended up losing over 20 seats, a stunning defeat considering her purpose for calling the election.
Today’s YouGov poll shows that Corbyn’s momentum continues. May’s struggles to connect with voters and her conservative policies have made her something of a villain in the country, as her approval rating continue to drop.
As Britain was reeling from a horrific terrorist attack in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert, May claimed her government was willing to change human rights laws if it meant hunting down terrorists. When London’s Grenfell tower burned to the ground last month, killing more than 80 people, critics pointed out the May had cut funding for structural improvements for buildings like Grenfell through austerity.
Obviously those aren’t the best optics for a Prime Minister already facing an tough election result and attempting to navigate Britain’s exit from the European Union.
But more so than May’s unpopularity, Corbyn seems to have his finger on the pulse of the British people much more effectively than was assumed. Criticisms of Corbyn often suggests he’s an anti-intellectual left wing extremists, but polls show that voters aren’t buying it.
If Corbyn continues to climb in the polls, and there’s ostensibly no reason why he won’t, Prime Minister May is going to have a crisis of leadership in what’s shaping up to be an extremely volatile moment in Britain.
May could very well be pressured to call yet another snap election in the near future to reaffirm her leadership. If she has to do so, Jeremy Corbyn could become Britain’s next Prime Minister.