Our newslinks of Monday June 8 carried reports of the violation of Winston Churchill’s statue and the destruction of Edward Colston’s.
According to Politico’s poll of polls above, the Conservative poll rating had been sliding slowly since about April 23rd, when it stood on 51 per cent, to June 2nd, when it reached 43 per cent.
Today is June 20th, the best part of three weeks later, and that Tory rating is still 43 per cent – for all the recent dramas involving children’s meals, the NHS App, closed schools, falling vacancies and so on.
The Politico chart doesn’t take into account a Redfield Winton poll released yesterday, but that shows the same concluding figures as the graphic: Conservatives 43 per cent, Labour 38 per cent.
Explanation One: until the effect of closures and sackings work their way through the economy, there is a floor beneath which the Tories won’t fall of 40 per cent or a bit above – all other things being equal.
By the same token, there is a limit to which Keir Starmer can squeeze the Liberal Democrats and others, so for the moment there is also a ceiling above which Labour can’t rise.
Explanation Two: the race and riots row is helping to solidify the Conservative vote, now that Boris Johnson, after an uncertain initial response, is gradually toughening up his position.
Similarly, it is helping to pause the progress of Starmer, who after all decided, as the Prime Minister did not, to be photographed “taking a knee”.
Or maybe a bit of both. As academics like to say, “we need more research,” but it is noticeable that the Tory rating, having fallen by about seven points, seems to have stabilised for the moment.