We now have both the BBC’s projected national vote share and Sky’s Westminster projection of what this result would mean in parliamentary seats. Both show Labour ahead but not by much. They are on 31 percent of the vote to the Tories’ 29 according to the BBC. While Sky’s parliamentary projection has Labour a handful of seats short of a majority.
With a year to go, and with the economy expected to grow strongly, in the next 12 months, this is not a comfortable place for Labour to be. There’s a reason why more Labour MPs than Tory ones have been taking to the airways to sound off about their party’s direction. Of course, Labour still has big structural things in its favour. The boundaries give them an advantage and the left-wing Liberal Democrat vote has collapsed.
Normally, you would add the rise of Ukip to this list of Labour advantages —and Douglas Alexander pretty much did that with his comments about 4 party politics on the Today programme. But these elections have shown that Ukip is beginning to make inroads into the Labour vote. Indeed, Farage thinks these voters are more likely to stick with him than those Tories who are using these elections to send a message to Cameron and Brussels. Whether Farage’s analysis of this is correct is going to go a long way to determining the result of the general election.