It is always good to start a new year – particularly this one – with some good news. A recent and authoritative opinion poll shows Labour in a clear second place in Guildford and rapidly challenging the Conservative majority.
This is, of course, no surprise. I have always been confident that Labour will soon win in Guildford simply because of the demographic changes in the area. Every year, every month, every week, more people move to Guildford and the villages from the Labour heartlands of London. They broadly fit the demographic which is more likely to support Labour (age, educational attainment, etc) and are used to voting Labour and having labour MPs and councillors.
Polls like Survation use a statistical polling method to give greater insight into voting intention in specific areas. They take a much larger sample size than other polls (often over 15,000 and up to 100,000) and adjust the headline data with other statistical sources to create the final constituency predictions. They are often used by the Liberal Democrats to show local voting intentions, and as we can see their conclusions for Guildford are very clear:
Survation Poll for Guildford Constituency (December 2021):
Liberal Democrat: 17%
As we all know, our Liberal Democrat friends love a bar chart, so here is the above result:
None of this is surprising. The Guildford Liberal Democrats will never have another opportunity like 2019 where a split Tory vote (with Anne Milton challenging Angela Richardson for the Conservative vote), a huge investment in the constituency by the Liberal Democrat central office and (we have to admit) a shockingly poor central campaign for Labour should have given them victory. It didn’t happen then, and it is not going to happen in the foreseeable future.
Remarkable though it may seem to some, it is only a matter of time before Guildford elects its first Labour MP.