Owen Jones: The question Labour must answer: why isn’t it further ahead in the polls? | Owen Jones

To win the next election the party has to appeal to pensioners and get more working-class young people to turn out to vote

If this Tory parody of a government is so shambolic, so chronically divided, so utterly directionless, then why no astronomical Labour lead in the polls? If we have a prime minister in name only, afflicted by cabinet resignations, presiding over falling wages and a chaotic Brexit process, then why has Labour not opened up a 20-point advantage over its crisis-stricken rivals?

It must be said that, in the different political era that was April, Labour polling more than 40% and holding a consistent but small lead over the Tories would be considered a nice problem to have. The party entered the general election campaign on 24% – half the Tories’ poll rating. Labour, it was widely predicted, would slump to its smallest parliamentary caucus since 1935. Instead, it added 10 percentage points to its share in 2015, a surge without precedent since Clement Attlee more than seven decades earlier. What should disrupt the sleep of Tory MPs now is what happens if Labour goes into the next general election starting on more than 40%.

Related: Such is the poverty of Tory ideas that they deny poverty even exists | Zoe Williams

To win even a sliver of extra support among pensioners would make a decisive difference

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