Sir Keir Starmer blames Tory poll surge on 'vaccine bounce'

Sir Keir Starmer blames Tory poll surge on ‘vaccine bounce’ but admits he has ‘got to do better’ to reverse Labour’s fortunes and vows to ‘sweat blood’ to win the 2024 general election

  • Sir Keir Starmer said there is ‘undoubtedly a vaccine bounce going on’ in polls
  • Labour leader said he has ‘got to do better’ and he is ‘going to sweat blood’ to win
  • Comes after an opinion poll gave the Tories a 13 point lead over the Labour Party

Sir Keir Starmer today claimed a Tory poll surge is the result of a coronavirus ‘vaccine bounce’ but admitted he has ‘got to do better’ for Labour to win the 2024 general election. 

Sir Keir said Boris Johnson and the Conservatives had ‘undoubtedly’ enjoyed an uptick in support because of the nation’s massive vaccination drive.

The Labour leader admitted the party has ‘got a job and a half to do’ to win power as he vowed to ‘sweat blood’ to make it happen. 

His comments came after a post-Budget poll gave the Tories a 13-point lead over Labour.  

Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, today blamed a Tory surge in the polls for Boris Johnson on a ‘vaccine bounce’

Research by YouGov published last week found Conservative support had surged four points to 45 per cent – while Keir Starmer’s party tumbled to 32 per cent

The YouGov survey published last week showed the Tories had surged by four points to 45 per cent while support for Labour had tumbled to 32 per cent.     

A Deltapoll survey published earlier this month showed Sir Keir’s personal net approval rating had fallen to its lowest ever level of zero. 

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson had pulled ahead of his counterpart for the first time since last May, recording a number of plus 10.  

Sir Keir was grilled on his party’s polling performance during an interview on BBC Radio 2 this afternoon.   

It was suggested to the Labour leader that Mr Johnson appeared to have benefited from a ‘vaccine bounce’ and Sir Keir replied: ‘There is undoubtedly a vaccine bounce going on. The vaccine roll-out is going very well, all tribute to those on the ground. 

‘I have been in a vaccine centre a number of times including this morning and the NHS, those on the frontline, are doing an incredible job. 

‘And of course, you can feel it, you go into the vaccine centre with anxiety written over your face and then you see people coming out the other end with a smile.

‘It is an incredible feeling and of course that leads to a bounce I think in the polls. 

‘I also think in a pandemic, something like this, people tend to gravitate, to pull towards their government because they want the government to get it right because they themselves and their family depend in it. 

‘So there are factors there but let’s be honest, we have got to do better as the Labour Party. I have got to do better. We have got a job and a half to do. 

‘I never thought for a moment that we could turn around the loss we had in December 2019 at the last election in a matter of a year or so, I have always thought it would take longer than that. 

‘But have we got a long way to go? You bet we have. Have we got more work to do? You bet we have.’ 

Told that Labour would need a bigger victory than Tony Blair’s in 1997 to win power in 2024, Sir Keir said: ‘Yes, it is a big ask, I am determined we can do it, I think we can do it. 

‘I think we have got to rebuild the party, deal with anti-Semitism, we have done some of that we have got to do more on that, rebuild trust with voters and be much more connected with voters. 

‘I think we can do it but it is going to take every day, every week, every month and every year until the next general election to do it. 

‘I am going to sweat blood to do that but… that’s the worst loss we have had as the Labour Party since 1935. 

‘I think suggestions by some people that we could turn it around in a year were unrealistic.’   

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