There have been three GB opinion polls published over the last few days –

YouGov/Times (4th/5th Nov) – CON 35%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 7%(+1) (tabs)
Opinium/Observer (5th/6th Nov) – CON 38%(nc), LAB 42%(+2), LDEM 7%(+1) (tabs)
Survation (5th/6th Nov) – CON 39%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 9%(+2) (tabs)

YouGov and Opinium both have Labour clearly ahead (in Opinium’s case that’s confirming the lead in their previous poll; for YouGov it’s the first Labour lead since the election. They come after a ComRes poll last week showing the parties equal and an Ipsos MORI poll that also had a five point lead. While there will always be some volatility in individual polls, looking at the average across all of the polling companies it now looks as if Labour have moved into a small lead.

Back in the summer the Conservatives had a consistent lead averaging around five or six points – since then Labour have been chipping away at it. The most obvious explanation is the generally negative perception of the government’s handling of Corona and Boris Johnson’s leadership, married to the generally positive public attitude towards Keir Starmer.

Despite the timing I would be cautious about reading too much into the impact of Labour’s internal battle and the expulsion of Jeremy Corbyn – while the polling certainly suggested that it had boosted perceptions of Keir Starmer, that increase was largely among Tory voters. In reality, most of the daily soap opera of politics doesn’t have a noticeable impact on voting intentions (especially if it is so rapidly pushed off the front pages by events across the Atlantic) – my guess is that this is more just the continuation of a trend that has been apparent for months, which happened to reach the crossover point in this past fortnight.

Does it matter? In a predictive sense of course not – there are years until MPs have to face the electorate. In terms of it’s impact on politics? Of course – it strengthens Keir Starmer’s hand in internal party fights if he is the man who put Labour back ahead. Equally, it weakens Boris Johnson if he is no longer seen as a popular election winner, something that was once his main selling point to the Tory party.