Conservatives ‘spooked’ by early gains for Labour

Early polls have shown Jeremy Corbyn's Labour making gains on the Conservatives and activists in Eas

Early polls have shown Jeremy Corbyn's Labour making gains on the Conservatives and activists in East Anglia are reporting positive reactions on the doorstep. Pic: Aaron Chown/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Labour has enjoyed a spike in the polls since the general election was called – and activists claim the party is also gaining growing support across Norfolk.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

The latest polling, by YouGov, shows that nationally Jeremy Corbyn's Labour has jumped six points since backing a pre-Christmas election.

And as activists begin the arduous task of knocking on doors across the East Anglia they claim Labour will cause some upsets on December 12 with one saying: "Even at this early stage people who were thinking about not voting Labour are coming back to us."

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Labour began the election campaign as heavy underdogs but are hoping to gain on the Conservatives as polling day nears as they did in 2017.

But a Number 10 source said voting for Labour would "wreck" East Anglia's economy and if voters wanted to secure the best Brexit deal they should back Boris Johnson.

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Clive Lewis, Norwich South Labour MP, said he was not surprised to see the polls tightening.

"I think we're now beginning to see the difference between abstract preferential polling and the more considered position voters will now begin to focus their minds on as the general election begins," he said.

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"I think we can all see this is possibly the most important election of the past 75 years. As such, many voters understand the future of our country - everything from the NHS through to our response to the climate and place in the world, will be decided by it.

"I think after nine years of economic failure many will be looking for real change. I also think a growing number of voters realise our political voting system requires tactical voting if they're to get the outcome they really want. That fact may well change the polling of the two main parties as that realisation occurs. Something we may just be starting to see."

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One East Anglian Tory MP said he was a "little spooked" by the polls but believed Mr Johnson was a better campaigner than Mr Corbyn and the Tories would not lose any seats in Norfolk.

In response to the Tories' claim over Labour's handling of the economy, Mr Lewis added: "Businesses want stability and they want investment in the people and our country's ageing infrastructure. Only Labour is promising to get Brexit sorted by giving the public the final say - no more uncertainty over transition periods and endless trade deal negotiations. It's time for real change and I think businesses understand that."

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