Labour election polls: Starmer at risk as Labour split erupts – Tories closing gap

Labour MP says Tories are trying to 'drag them into the guttter'

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A split in the Labour Party has emerged as Lisa Nandy takes on Sir Keir Starmer’s approach to the partygate scandal. Sir Keir has relentlessly taken down Boris Johnson for his party-going antics during coronavirus lockdowns.

According to reports, Ms Nandy confronted the Labour leader at a shadow cabinet meeting last Thursday.

In her argument, she said Labour should be prioritising the public’s anger over soaring prices caused by inflation and the cost of living crisis, instead of on the Downing Street parties fiasco.

Her comments come shortly before the May 5 local elections, where Labour are currently expected to make gains from the flailing Tories.

The shadow Local Government secretary warned Sir Keir that Labour would appear out of touch at a time when UK families are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table due to soaring costs.

One shadow cabinet source said: “She p****d everyone off because we’ve hardly seen her in the local election campaign.”

Another insider said: “There was a bit of confusion in the room as the shadow cabinet, the party and Keir have dedicated the entire election campaign to cost of living.

“But we can’t just ignore partygate when the PM literally has to come to the House to explain himself on it.”

But one shadow cabinet member said: “Lisa’s not alone on this. There was strong agreement in the room to focus on the cost of living.”

A source close to Ms Nandy said: “It was less of a criticism of the partygate strategy, more a warning for the future.

“Lisa doesn’t think that partygate is irrelevant at all, but the cost of living matters as well and we mustn’t lose sight of that.”

Labour are expected to make considerable headway in the local elections on May 5, as polls are united in a significant lead for Sir Keir’s party.

But the Techne UK/Express.co.uk poll shows the Prime Minister may be bouncing back in the minds of the electorate, managing to close in on the gap between the two major parties.

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The tracker poll has shown that support for Labour is stuck at 40 percent with no change, but the Conservatives have gained a point, taking them to 35 percent.

It is the second week in a row where Labour’s lead has shrunk.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with only a third of those polled saying they are confident in the performance of this Government – with an overwhelming majority of 63 percent having no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Michela Morizzo, chief executive of Techne, said: “It is now clear that Keir Starmer’s focus on Partygate has reached its limit and voters are beginning to turn off.

“This does not mean though that the Conservatives will not face problems on Thursday.

“Confidence in them as a government is negative and it may be that many Conservatives who would vote in a general election and show up in this poll will stay at home for the local elections where turnout is traditionally much lower.”

What’s more, Sir Keir’s constant berating for the partygate scandal is not even the top concern for British people.

Recent polls have shown that the cost of living crisis is the number one concern for around six in 10 voters, as energy bills go through the roof and Rishi Sunak raises taxes for millions of workers.

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