Blog: Brexit to bite Labour again as Starmer facing by-election horror – Opposition in chaos – Express

Keir Starmer has ‘zero charisma’ says PR expert

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Ahead of the by-elections in Chesham and Amersham, and Batley and Spen, Sir Keir’s approval from Leave voters in his own party remains low. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Chris Curtis senior research manager at Opinium, revealed Sir Keir’s high approval rating last year has now “disappeared”. With both seats voting for Brexit and Sir Keir failing to match the Prime Minister’s popularity, the pollster warned Labour could be set for more electoral heartache.

Mr Curtis said: “All you need to do is try to pick up a few more Leave voters and start to win back some of those red wall seats.

“Though as things currently stand, he’s not doing a particularly good job.

“So in our most recent polling, just 17 percent of Leave voters approved of the job he was doing compared to 36 percent of Remain voters.”

Last month, Labour lost Hartlepool to the Tories for the first time in 62 years which was only the second time a governing party has taken a seat from the Opposition in a by-election.

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Brexit news: Keir Starmer faces a tough election by-election campaign (Image: GETTY)

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Brexit news: Keir Starmer faced humiliation after losing Hartlepool (Image: GETTY)

In the wake of the by-election result, Sir Keir’s approval rating plummeted within his party, while Boris Johnson’s has remained high.

The Prime Minister has benefitted from the rapid vaccine rollout, while the public has also acknowledged the difficult decisions the Government has had to make during the pandemic.

Mr Curtis added: “So if we look at people who voted Labour in the last election, just 44 percent approve of the job he is doing, while 27 percent say they neither approve nor disapprove while just 29 percent approve of the job he’s doing, which are not good numbers.

“That’s not good levels of faith in your own leadership.

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Brexit news: Tracy Babin was the previous MP (Image: GETTY)

“If we compare that to Boris Johnson conservative voters, 68 percent of Conservative voters approve of the job Boris is doing.

“He’s just doing a lot better at his keeping his base.”

Although the Tories are expected to win Chesham and Amersham – a historically safe Conservative seat – pressure has started to build over Labour’s hold of Batley and Spen.

The seat has been held by the Labour Party since 1997 and was vacated after Tracy Babin was elected as mayor of West Yorkshire.

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Brexit news: Sir Keir lost the Labour stronghold (Image: GETTY)

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Brexit news: Kim Leadbeater was selected as the Labour candidate (Image: GETTY)

The seat is being targeted by the Tories as part of their second wave push on Red Wall seats.

Ahead of the election, former Shadow Cabinet member, Diane Abbott claimed the Labour leader should step down if he loses the seat.

After the humiliating loss of Hartlepool, Ms Abbott warned it would be “curtains” for Sir Keir if were to lose a second seat.

Ms Abbott also indicated the left-wing of the party may support Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham for a leadership bid.

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Brexit news: Local election results (Image: Express)

She told The Guardian: “Support from the large minority ethnic electorate may enable the party to hold the seat and Starmer to hang on as Labour leader.

“But if Labour loses again, it must surely be curtains for him.

“And then it may be that Andy Burnham’s time will have come.”

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Brexit news: Some criticised the party for selecting a pro-Remain candidate (Image: GETTY)

Although a Labour stronghold, in 2019 Batley and Spen was won by a majority of just 3,525 votes.

Hartlepool, which is now Tory, was won by a larger majority of 3,596 in the last general election in a worrying sign for Sir Keir. 

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