The YouGov/Sunday Times poll this morning has topline voting intention figures of CON 49%, LAB 31%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 3%. As with most other recent polls, it shows a very large Conservative lead, Labour creeping up slightly and the smaller parties being squeezed. This is the first time YouGov have shown the Lib Dems in single figures this year and the first time UKIP have been as low as 3% since early 2012.

Labour’s manifesto promises are, once again, individually popular, but overall the party’s platform is not. 65% thought a cap on rents was a good idea, 58% increasing taxes on those earning over £80,000, 49% the abolition of tuition fees, 46% the nationalisation of the National Grid, Royal Mail and railways. Asked about their policy offering overall however, by 50% to 25% people think Labour do not have a sensible plan for how they would run Britain.

By 59% to 22% people support the Conservatives’ aim of cutting net immigration to the “tens of thousands”. While a clear majority, this is substantially down from when we asked the same question in 2014 when 76% supported it. Only 25% of people thought that May would be able to hit the target, though again, it has changed significantly from 2014 when only 9% thought that Cameron could do it. By 59% to 28% people do NOT think that students should be included in the immigration target.

Finally, in the light of the CPS decisions this week there were some questions about limits on election spending. 77% of people think that there should be a spending limit at elections, and the Conservative party are perceived as being worse than the other parties at obeying the rules. 44% think the Tories often break spending rules at elections, compared to 24% for Labour, 19% for the Lib Dems, 24% for UKIP.

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409 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 49, LAB 31, LD 9, UKIP 3”

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  1. Talking of which, I wonder how the HoL will respond to a large Tory majority, and presumably a toothless opposition in the HoC.

  2. I’ve posted a couple of times about my surprise that Labour are still polling at around 30%. Although there is quite a bit of movement this time round compared to 2015, largely due to UKIP voters going Tory, the default state of most voters is inertia. They will either vote the same as they always do, or stay at home like they always do.

    What has really brought this home to me is the fact that even when they can easily save money, the majority of people do not regularly change their energy supplier. If they won’t take a few very simple steps to save themselves hundreds of pounds per annum are they really going to bother examining party manifestos to find out exactly what the parties stand for?

  3. @ Danny

    As to what Corbyn is doing to the labour party, what he has done is change its voter base to be more in accord with the left of the party.

    Yes, Corbyn has certainly changed the Labour Party’s voter base. Those voters on the left of Labour may well be staying but vast swathes of the voter base have moved to pastures new.

    I think Labour’s only hope of avoiding catastrophic defeat is if people like their sitting Labour MP and vote for them because they know Corbyn hasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of becoming PM.

    I voted Labour since 1974 and I just hope that when we are faced with five year’s rule by a Tory Government, Corbynistas finally get the message.

    Hope springs eternal.

  4. Of course, it should be years’ not year’s.

  5. Millie

    With a bigger majority the Tories would just swamp the HoL with new Tory Lords. And if that did not work, they would legislate to remove powers to block bills for more than a few months before the Parliament Act can be used.

  6. A polster’s nightmare..anekdote from the locals.

    There was a small village in our ward, a few labour members and some labour voters. Door knocking established 70 definite labour votes, they were then leafleted or door knocked on election day.

    When the polling box was tipped out….only 20 labour votes… eh? WTF?? 70 people looked us in the eye and said they would vote labour then didn’t.

  7. @Valerie

    As Corbyn’s Labour is polling about the same as Milliband’s Labour did at the election I can’t really see how he has lost you ‘vast swathes of the voter base’ unless you don’t count getting in vast swathes of the voting base from the left?

    It seems to me to simplify he has just shifted the voter base leftwards and the tories have expanded right and left to fill the vacuums

  8. @BARDIN1 – yes, Kingston&Surbiton looks close. Bermondsey&Old Southwark as well (missed that earlier as it would be a LAB-LIB switch)

    Digging into YouGov archive I found a recent London poll that split the London vote by inner/outer:

    The Inner/Outer breakdown is:

    CON 24/38
    LAB 41/36
    LD 20/12
    UKIP 6/10
    Other(Green) 8/4

    The CON/LAB split is not surprising but the difference in LD for Inner/Outer would suggest Outer London is v.close to GB wide (note the poll was from end Mar’17 and perhaps the London total we saw recently overstate LD’s chances? I’m still digging to see if I can find another YouGov poll with the split so i can see the changes.

    If you make the assumption that most of UKIP will vote CON and most of Green will vote LD (either due to pulled candidates or tactical voting) that makes LD’s chances even harder.

    Hopefully future London polls will make an Inner/Outer split or we get some borough specific polling.

  9. Not surprising if Edinburgh South were to remain Labour this time out, bucking the wider picture.

    Like Dumbartonshire East it is said to be a very refined area.

  10. Trevor Warne @ 11.56 am

    There are equivalent LibDem pockets in Aberdeen to Edinburgh West.

    In the Hazlehead/Queen`s Cross ward LibDems received 44% of 1st preference votes, and had 2 candidates elected with 1725 and 1592 1st pref votes.

    In several other middle-class city areas the LibDem vote was 50-100% greater than the Cons vote.

    It`s a combination of university and oil/gas workers pushing this vote, many of them Remain supporters and English. I would think that Scots were only 60-70% of the electorate in these districts, reducing SNP`s share of centrist Remain voters.

    But outwith the city, in rural Aberdeenshire, farmers and landowners boost the Tory vote, making it hard to predict the June GE results here.

  11. @Trevor

    The outer London LibD vote is very concentrated – they have controlled all the South West Councils (Sutton, Kingston, Richmond) in the past and have squeezed the Labour vote – it’s not easy to generalise therefore on the basis of inner/ outer.

  12. @Trevor Warne

    The Dunbartonshire seats are very different beasts!
    I used to live in East, and have also worked in West.
    East is very suburban. It was a super marginal as far back as 1974 when it was SNP before rotating between Labour, Conservative and LibDem. It fell to SNP (as did so many) in 2015, but if LDs have any advances, this may be one.
    West was former industrial areas, and fairly solid Labour until 2015, but SNP had been encroaching. They’ll hold it.

  13. @ Trevor Warne on LibDem pockets.

    In the Queen`s Cross ward, the big kirk installed a gay minister some years ago, one of the first in the Church of Scotland to do so. This kirk has always been “advanced” and liberal since its opening as a Free Kirk in the C19.

  14. Millie,
    “Certainly LD improved as a consequence of a robust Remain stance. But that factor is declining, and quite rapidly. Firstly, people are bored with it. Secondly, A50 has been triggered, and the vast majority of voters are now reconciled to the fact that we are leaving”
    Ah, but where is the evidence for this? 35% of voters supporting May? All chanting ‘leave, Leave, leave’?

    “how you voted June 23 obviously becomes less of a factor as time elapses.”

    yes and no. One might expect this to be the case, but little has happened as a consequence of the vote despite it being a year ago. We are in suspended political animation. On this I might even agree with TOH, that everyone IS impatient for us to get on with something, and reach a final conclusion whether we leave or not. May is stalling. It proved impossible to go ahead without preparation, and may still be impossible. She has needed to ask the Uk for extra time, and I expect she will be doing the same to the EU. This will go on and on and on, but it will never disappear from the top of politics until it concludes.

    I think you mistake people who vote liberal for diehard liberal voters. I fancy they are in reality tactical voters and always have been, who want something and are experienced in voting for whoever will best do that. Sometimes this means a show of support for your local liberal candidate. Sometimes it means voting lab or con on one overriding issue. This is a time of one overriding issue, not a time for wasted votes just showing solidarity with a dream. And so I predict massive tactical voting by Remain just as has happened with Leave.

    The change in the proportions of leave and remain supporters in the three parties shows either massive numbers of people have changed their view on leave/remain, and have done so both ways, or the voters in each camp have undergone huge churn. I wouldn’t be surprised if half the voters have changed party since the last election. One might wonder whether this will in due course be a death to party loyalty as we have known it.

    However, Brexit has not ‘broken the mould’. What it has done is energised two new politcal parties, leave and remain who are aquaring up to each other under the guise of labour and conservative. FPP does what it sets out to do, create two winners.

  15. @BARDIN1 – I agree S.W.Outer London is fairly unique (I lived there 1992-2003) and still have friends there.

    My suspicion is that a Remain voter in those areas was mainly influenced by Project Fear (recession, higher interest rates, loss of job, etc) rather than a genuine belief in the EU. Richmond Park by-election can be explained by a protest vote + motivation of voters by party. The clock has moved on a lot since 23June16 and 1Dec16.

    If LD were going to win enough seats to make the election a contest then I’d be more inclined to think Remain=LD would be how people vote. However, with the election looking more and more like a coronation then the protest vote support for LD seems less plausible for 8Jun17 than it did 1Dec16. IMHO the cognitive dissonance in a Rem-CON voter is looking more likely to be resolved in favour of CON loyalty than switch to LD. Also plenty of polls showing people think we should accept the referendum and not have a 2nd ref so the cognitive dissonance in Braccept-LD will present a challenge that might result in more abstentions for them (at a national level they only have around 50% loyalty)? Of course CON voters generally might also feel complacent and not be bothered about a few seats going to LD if LD campaign strongly for a few individual seats.

    Obviously some polls to indicate whether this suspicion is true or not would be useful.

    Someone seemed very keen on LD winning Twickenham putting 4,000 on it at 2/1 on (triggering my/other bets at 2/1 for CON win). I see Twickenham as roughly evens using a blended GB-London weighting. The odds have slipped a little now (7/4 for Con). Richmond Park and Kingston and Surbiton are close to evens LD or CON – I think LD chances a little high in those two but awaiting more polling info to confirm my suspicions. Given the similarity between all three constituencies I think it will probably be 0 or 3 for LD (or they just take Twickers and miss the other two).

  16. Andy T,
    “Corbyn on Brexit has long ago lost any credibility on Brexit. ”

    But thats wrong. The question for voters is not who would I choose to represent me ideally, but out of those on offer who can I choose. May is gung ho remain. Farron is leave sceptic and keen for a second decision point after negotiations, but his party will not win. It will have fewer MPs than the SNP. Labour is the only party with any chance of rivalling the conservatives and at least inconveniencing them on actual issues. On a local basis, it will in most places be a choice between lab and con. Libs will be squeezed badly because even if they have a slightly more pro remain stance than labour, they cannot win.

  17. An interesting development in East Devon, where Claire Wright is standing as an independent. Close observers may recall that she finished a strong second to the Tories last time with over 13,000 votes and 24% of the vote.

    This means this time round she has the added status of being the only possible alternative winner to the incumbent Tory, around whom tactical voters may coalesce. And she recently performed very impressively in the locals. Plus local residents are angry about hospital closures.

    One to watch.

  18. Writes Matt Singh (Britain Elects etc)

    On YG regional swings from Lab to Con:

    “…the Tories are NOT piling up votes in their own seats, they seem to be getting them in exactly the places they want them…”

  19. Alec

    “Right now, the future is up for grabs. I get the sense that Labour are going in the right direction but for the wrong reasons, while the Tories are trying to half heartedly follow the winds, with a typical complete lack of conviction.”

    It would appear that the voters disagree with you. They seem to think that TM is runnng the better campaign with policies that are affordable whereas they may like many of Corbyn’s policies but dont consider they are affordable or that his campaign is going well.

  20. @Rob Sheffield
    I can’t see how you can tell that from the data. There is a mix of marginals and safe seats in all regions.

    I’m not saying it isn’t true, but how can you tell?

  21. Danny.

    The polls are very clear and consistent.

    When asked to choose between May or Corbyn as PM and as best to lead negotiations with EU.

    Rightly or wrongly most people think Corbyn could not negotiate his way out of a paper bag.

    And since when could you class TM as a gung ho remain. TM seems from the polls to have strong credibility with voters( including Labour voters) on Brexit.

  22. @ Bardini
    My understanding is that when UKIP were riding high in the polls, their support was deemed to have come from Labour as well as the Conservatives. In this poll UKIP have 3%. Where have those voters gone? Certainly not to Labour. Likewise, where have all the disaffected Lib Dems gone?

    As others have said, at this stage in the electoral cycle, the Opposition should have considerably more support than when it lost power seven years ago .

    IMO Corbyn is overseeing the decline of the Labour Party – he is turning it into the Labour Movement. A political party, to form a government, needs a leader who has the support of its membership, its MPs, and, last but not least, the voters.

    Corbyn has only the first of these. Without all three, he is doomed to failure.

  23. Alec

    “In this sense, people like @TOH are now swimming against the tide.”

    As it happens I cannot swim but I feel I am swimming stongly with the tide as far as the GE and brexit is concerned. As for Denmark, my daughter in law is Danish who moved here for a better life which seems a bit strange bearing in mind what you say. She appears very happy with her life here. When I first saw that statistic about Denmark i had a chuckle with the thought that being so happy must explain all those dark thrillers full of angst.

    “while our government pursues an politically extremist target of 36%, with no reasoned economic or social evidence that this is a good or desirable target.”

    See no sign of that from May’s Government, one of the problems I have with the Tories.

    @ MILLIE – perfect description of the lost opportunity for LDEM, thank you!

    Totally agree , a good piece from Millie.


    I suspect that the 600 target will bve quietly dropped, not what i wand but i think that’s what will happen.

  25. Chrislane
    I am not aware of any poll that has shown a national swing of 10% to the Tories. That would imply a Tory lead of circa 27%!

  26. @ABERDEENANGUS on Andrew Murray

    I’m gobsmacked – but shouldn’t be. Parachuting Murray into run the campaign at this late stage and sidelining Labour HQ is a virtual declaration of war with any moderate Labourite. This plays directly into the Tory narrative of Corbyn being a marxist union stooge.

    Are they even attempting to win this election or are they simply gearing up for the knife fight for the future of the Labour party afterwards?

  27. @ TOH dark thrillers

    The accepted view of those who research these things is that when societies are in trouble their entertainment is of the light and fluffy escapist variety (e.g. spate of musicals after 1929) and that the converse is true for those who are having good economic times.

  28. WB

    Just joking :-)

    My daughter in law is one of the most balanced people I know, as is her mother. I have a high regard for the Danes.

  29. Sea change

    I was also g smacked.

    Murray was in the communist party until December 2016.

    Len will be very happy as well.
    How is this meant to help the Labour Party remain as a future government let alone decent opposition.

    The Tories will have a field day with this latest Corbynism. In the middle of an election this smacks of a real head in the sand moment.

    J McD is already there as he says the polls already show that Labour are going to win.

    Assuming a defeat, will the moderate wing of Labour finally split?

  30. @ Valerie

    Clearly the UKIP voters, who all wanted Brexit, have gone to the Conservatives – under a centrist Labour leader I can’t see anything in the polling to suggest they would ave gone to Labour, or can you?

    The LibDems haven’t gone anywhere – they havent taken Labour or Conservative voters – again you can’t blame Corbyn for that.

    You could blame him for removing the chance to win the Conservative remainers over, I guess, but to balance that out he has brought in new members many of whom probably din’t vote for the non socialist Lab party of Blair and Milliband

    That’s the way I see it and I haven’t seen any evidence a centrist Labour leader would have fared better.

  31. As far as I can gather there is still a belief among the Corbynistas (by which I mean recent Labour members and perhaps left-wing young people in general) that they can still win the GE.

    If the predicted massive Tory majority happens I wonder what they will do? Presumably they will be massively disillusioned at the result. Will they give up activism and even voting, or will they start protests and move even further to the left? I suppose it will be a mixture. Will some of them think that democracy doesn’t work for them so violent revolution must be the answer? I just hope the police are ready in case their is a violent reaction in some places.

    I do find the visceral hatred of the Tories by some left-wingers very hard to understand. I don’t know anyone opposed to Corbyn who hates him. They just think he’s a bit of a joke but potentially dangerous if he gets to power because of the company he keeps.

  32. JC

    Maybe JC is playing us or fools. There is us playing the bourgouise election game working on the premise that the object is to win when the real game is to change the Labour party. Only out of defeat will come Phoenix labour the true party of the masses.

    I saw a clip of Tony Blair chairing a discussion with a panel for some foundation or other that included Matthew Eliot who ran brexit campaign.Blair comes across as frighteningly competent. I think TM was wise to call election before he could mobilise for 2019.He didn’t win 3 elections for no reason. Toast if TM wins,of course.

  33. @ AndyT

    “Assuming a defeat, will the moderate wing of Labour finally split?”

    A question that is being asked ever more frequently. In my view….it depends.

    I think it depends upon whether the breakaway moderates (Progressive Democrats?) outnumbered the PLP and hence became the official opposition. Without that I think MPs would be wary of repeating the SDP experiment.

    John Rentoul wrote yesterday that unless Labour slips below 25% and 140 seats (and it might) there would not be enough Corbynistas in the PLP to nominate a candidate for leader from his wing. If that is correct then JC might have to continue. That might provoke a split. Alternatively if there was a Corbynista candidate was nominated and won the membership vote then that might provoke a split too.

    The article on the EU issue; about the three categories of ‘Hard Brexit’ and also ‘re-Leavers’ and then the ‘Hard Remain’ was by Chris Curtis in the FT, using YG diagrams.
    I will try to get the link; not so clever at that!

  35. Forget 52%. The rise of the “Re-Leavers” mean the pro-Brexit electorate is 68%

  36. @ Bardini
    It seems to me as likely that Labour supporters who voted UKIP have gone on to the Conservatives, precisely because Labour has moved leftwards.

    It’s just as likely that people who voted Labour when its policies were more ‘centrist’ and then voted UKIP, would have returned to the party if there was a leader who espoused more middle-of-the-road policies.
    You can blame it all on the MSM, but Corbyn has a lot of baggage.

    FWIW I don’t think the PLP were ruthless enough and were guilty of not planning the so-called coup better. I guess they thought once Corbyn realised he did not have the support of the Parliamentary party, he would follow precedent and resign.

    Little did they know.

  37. And on the regional polling, which looks as the situation is on a tipping point between big tory win and a huge tory win, in the original sense a catastrophe:
    Regional voting intentions show Tory tide rising across country

  38. Chipping in as a long-time lurker, has anyone taken a look at this article about ICM’s polling:

    That lead of 20% on average in seats Labour held with a majority of up to 15% last time is enormous. The midpoint of those is about 8%, so does that indicate an average swing of 14% in those seats as opposed to 5% nationwide, or is my maths off? It does seem to contribute to a narrative of the Tories piling up votes where it counts, while Labour’s gains are coming where they need them least.

    In relation to the Lib Dems and their dismal numbers, I’d say that a lot of the ‘voted remain but just want to get on with it’ voters are Tory remainers, and will stick with May. The hardcore anti-brexit crowd probably have a lot of overlap with the hardcore Corbynite crowd, and they’re more interested in voting for that platform than they are in supporting Lib Dems. The useless campaign doesn’t really help, they should have put more of a focus on the things they got right in government and presented themselves as the sensible centrist moderates, instead we get 50000 refugees and legalising cannabis. I don’t really know what they stand for any more.

  39. On Surbiton, Hugo Rifkind in the Times said he found many Labour voters switching to LibDems, but no Tory Remainers going in the same direction.

    That may be enough for Surbiton, but if accurate and replicated will make it very bad for the LibDems.

  40. @ Valerie

    Fair enough. Personally I doubt many would have come back to a Labour party which would presumably have had a ‘oft Brexit’ line even if there was a different leader?

    Maybe it’s pertinent to think of the longer game after Brexit deal is agreed. That would be when some of those Labour to UKIP /Brexiteers would be up for grabs, not now.

  41. To clear up any speculation, Corbyn stays until an appropriate successor is groomed and ready for it I believe is the official line.

    Securing enough delegates to pass the McDonnell Amendment at Labour conference this year was what the Corbynite left was focused on prior to the election. They were upbeat about their chances of getting it through, and the Watson/Nicol faction currently in control of the NEC were talking up a compromise of 10% but aren’t trusted enough by the left to follow through. My gut tells me Corbyn was planning on standing down either at this conference or the conference in 2018 before the election changed things.

    There will definitely be an immediate challenge, Corbyn will respond by buying time until the amendment is passed, and if they force the issue stand again as incumbent.

    The Labour right will probably settle on Yvette Cooper as their standard bearer and her chances will depend largely on 1) how many MP’s they lose (and how that changes the composition of the PLP) and 2) the overall share of the vote compared to recent election.

    So there’s two scenarios that are most likely on June 9th – If Corbyn can outdo Miliband by 2 or 3% in the share of the national vote, he can show to the members that we’re making progress in spite of a hostile PLP and split party and will probably be able to see off any leadership challenge. If the share of the vote comes in below the 30.4% that Ed Miliband got and Labour loses half it’s MP’s he’ll probably have to go.

    Corbyn could step down at conference, then nominate a successor who would face Cooper. Angela Rayner, Clive Lewis and Rebecca Long-Bailey are the three leading contenders for this, and each of them could probably secure the nominations a bit easier than Corbyn could. Their problem is all of them are talented and poll well, but lack experience. Lansman an co. had hoped to give them a few years on the job before throwing them into things, but it’s desperate times all round so needs must. John McDonnell very unlikely to stand, only if he had to.

    This i my 4th general election campaigning for Labour and thus far it’s been not too different from previous ones. In my area the vote is holding up fine, but it’s a strongly Labour area. I hear it’s much harder on the doorsteps elsewhere. Our MP should be safe. Tories look like they’re swallowing UKIP whole and the Brexit vote is coalescing around them, so they will get an improved majority. I would say 32% Labour and 44% Tory with Labour losing about 40-50 MP’s, wouldn’t want to speculate about the size of majority cos that depends on more than just Tory-Lab gains. I am encouraged by how poor May is at actual human interaction and campaigning, I heard it said she was a doorknocking machine by some on here. Corbyn is not much use in Westminster but he loves campaigning, it’s literally all he’s interested in beyond the allotment, he’s capable of drawing a crowd. Definitely get the vibe he’s preparing his support base for a leadership challenge by visiting safer areas, lot of party recruitment going on at these big events.

  42. @ S Thomas – Blair IS frighteningly competent. I woudln’t rule out him becoming PM again one day. Stranger things have happened.

  43. ‘Soft Brexit’

    ‘Oft Brexit’ would be a gtood shorthand for Brexit 2, Brexit 3…….

  44. At what point did we start being frightened by competence? I find it a rather reassuring quality.

  45. @ CHRISLANE – thank you for the links.

    @ ROBSHEFFIELD – looking forward to Singh’s analysis. My guess is he goes 420-440 area for CON, maybe higher.

  46. @valerie
    FWIW I don’t think the PLP were ruthless enough and were guilty of not planning the so-called coup better. I guess they thought once Corbyn realised he did not have the support of the Parliamentary party, he would follow precedent and resign

    I think you are spot on.

    The problem with tracking/predicting were voters are going is that the electorate itself changes, and the one that exists on 8th of June 2017 will differ from the 7th May 2015. Some of UKIP/Trad Lab/Leave voters that are reportedly moving to the Tories may not have voted in ’15. I remember one of the observations from the EU ref was that people were turning in trad Lab areas who hadn’t voted in years to vote Leave. Driven by Brexit such voters may turn out in large numbers. In addition, this time round there may be a significant number of trad labour voters who abstain. The latter may be compensated for by previous abstainers who are genuinely attracted to Corbyn and his message.

    One of the reasons why I think the current polls are not reflecting the likely % share on the 8th June is Tory campaign is relentlessly targeting the first group, whilst Labour’s current campaign is focusingon the third group but nationally Corbyn isn’t doing anything effective to target the second group. Local campaigning by MP’s and the occasional comment of the need to prevent a Tory landslide can only do so much.

    I don’t think Labour’s overall campaign is as shambolic as ’83 – but its obviously disjointed atm.

  47. Red R

    There is evidence that Corbyn is targeting Labour held non marginal seats( either by strategic design or because local candidate does not want him there)

    TM is targeting Labour marginals which the Tories hope to capture.

    Corbyn clearly hopes to shore up Labour vote, but not in marginals so much.

    TM is meeting the challenge head on in the marginals( I guess it is easier to convince the waivers) whereas Corbyn receives a better reaction when he is addressing believers.

    This may have limited impact upon the polls, but it might increase the size of the Tory majority.

  48. While I have no doubt on the outcome of the election, I don’t think cons can get half of total votes IF lab does 30% like Miliband and holds in urban areas

  49. Albert.

    You may be right, although I think TM has a 50% + as a real target.

    However, I think another more realistic target is to win a very large majority.

    A successful Tory campaign of targeting marginal seats aided in part by shift of UKIP voters. I think Labour is focusing more and more on retaining its core support in the cities which could help their overall vote share( but will be concentrated where they are already strong)

    Are Labour serious about winning enough seats to win this election-or maximising vote Share to sustain the left dream at future elections.

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