Tories just 12 points behind Labour in new election poll

Rishi Sunak
The poll delivered some good news for Rishi Sunak after his gamble on a snap election - Alastair Grant/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Tories are just 12 points behind Labour, according to a new poll.

Labour’s lead has narrowed by three points since Rishi Sunak called the general election, in a faint glimmer of hope for the Prime Minister.

The lead has dropped from 15 points in early May and 18 points in April, the JL Partners poll, for The Rest is Politics, has revealed.

Other polls released on Tuesday have the Tories at over 20 points behind, with Survation and Redfield & Wilton Strategies both putting Labour 23 points ahead.

Labour has held a commanding lead over the Conservatives since Liz Truss’s time in No 10 in September and October 2022. But the latest results raise the question about how significant the Labour lead will stay.

It comes after the Tories unveiled two significant new policies, bringing back a form of national service for 18-year-olds, and the “triple lock plus” for the state pension.

The JL Partners poll puts Reform UK third in voting intention at 12 per cent, followed by the Liberal Democrats at 10 per cent.

The shift that has caused Labour’s lead to slip is among the over-65s, traditionally a cohort more supportive of the Conservatives. Among that age group, the Tories are 20 points ahead.

James Johnson, of JL Partners, said it was “only one poll, so let’s see if the trend continues. But what is behind this tightening since April is the Tories going from an eight-point lead to a 20-point lead with over-65s. The pensioner squeeze is on.”

By calling a snap election last week, the Conservatives would have hoped to be on the front foot with campaigning.

Their announcements on national service and the state pension were likely to shore up their core support – older voters – and they have also put out attack adverts claiming that Labour “has raided your pensions before. It’ll happen again”.

But Redfield & Wilton had Labour leading the Tories among every age group, including the over-65s.

Among undecided voters, the pollsters found that 20 per cent were leaning closest towards voting Conservative, and 19 per cent towards Labour, but 27 per cent of those who had not yet decided said they were leaning closer towards not voting than voting.