Keir Starmer discusses being behind in the polls
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Sir Keir Starmer faced questions over why Labour was lagging behind the Tories in the polls despite the many criticisms over the Government’s handling of the pandemic. Sir Keir claimed one of the reasons Labour was not doing well in the polls was that he could not campaign or give speeches in person because of the pandemic. According to Politico, Labour trail four points behind the Conservatives at 41 to 37 percent.
LBC host Nick Ferrari challenged the Labour leader over his party’s recent performance in the polls: “You’re the Leader of the Opposition, with a Government that’s been there for 10 years in various guises.
“Some would say austerity measures, not a great start to the pandemic, and yet you’re still behind in the polls and if I now (looked at) Tony Blair’s (record), he was 10 points up at the same stage you’re four or more points behind.
“Why do you suppose that is?”
Sir Starmer replied: “Well, I think there are a variety of factors, we lost in December 2019 really badly.
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“I inherited a Labour Party that just lost an election, that’s the worst election loss since 1935, but I don’t want to compare that with Tony Blair but that’s a very bad starting place.
“This time last year actually we were in the leadership race, running around the country, and the question people were putting to me then was ‘Is the Labour Party even going to survive?’ through this terrible election result, is it going to survive.
“Now the challenge to me is, are you going to form the next government.”
Nick Ferrari pointed out he could not if he looked at where Labour’s position in the polls is at the moment.
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The Opposition Leader continued: “The other thing that’s a bit difficult is being the opposition in the pandemic is difficult because there are times where rightly we should support the Government.
“And we’ve done that on the major lockdowns, we’ll have a look at what the package is this afternoon in terms of coming out of the lockdown.
“I think it’s right to support the Government where they’re getting it right but to challenge where they’re getting it wrong, so that’s made it difficult.
“And the other thing, I haven’t been able to get out and about and I haven’t given a speech to a human being as leader, apart from the camera person.
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“Every speech every press conference is down the barrel of a camera, and I want to get out there and make the argument, the sooner the better.
“But, you know, the thrust of the challenge, do we need to do more, yes.
“I never thought picking the Labour Party up would be a one year exercise, I always knew it was a four-year exercise and it’s going to take us every day, week, month and year into 2024.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s popularity slid by nearly 20 percent in May 2020 after he defended his advisor Dominic Cummings for breaching lockdown rules.
However, apart from some slips down the road, the Conservative Party has consistently remained in the lead in voting intention polls ahead of Labour.
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