Labour set to win Wakefield by election

Survation conducted a constituency poll in Wakefield ahead of the by-election on 23rd June. Polling of 519 residents was conducted via telephone and online panel between 24th May and 1st June 2022. 


Headline voting intention – 56% said that they would vote for Labour in the upcoming by election, with 33% saying that Conservatives would win their vote, putting Labour at a 23 point percentage lead. Reform UK are on 3% along with Independent candidate Akef Akbar, with the Lib Dems and Green Party on 2%.


The seat was won by Conservative Imran Ahmad Khan in 2019, turning the seat blue for the first time since 1932. Following his expulsion from the party and resignation, the Tories are set to lose the seat to Labour.


Why might this be?

We know that the Conservatives won the seat in 2019 with an 8% lead over Labour, gaining 21,283 votes to Labour’s 17,925 on a 6.1% swing. So where have those 2019 Conservative voters gone? 


Significantly, considering Conservative voters from 2019,  the polling has 14% switching to Labour, while 18% are still undecided. And while we see vote switching from Conservative to Labour ahead of this by election, we did not interview a single voter who has switched the other way (from Labour to Conservative). 


Further still, 2019 Conservative voters were also less likely to say they would vote, with 62% saying they were certain to vote and 10% saying they definitely won’t vote on 23rd June. 2019 Labour voters, however, were more likely say they will turnout than Tory voters, with 74% of respondents saying they are certain to vote. 


55% of respondents view Boris Johnson unfavourably including 37% of 2019 Tory voters and 47% of 2016 Leave voters, despite Johnson’s claim to have “got the big calls right” which includes “getting Brexit done”. 



Rishi Sunak (43% unfavourable) and Keir Starmer (38%) are less unpopular than Johnson with Wakefield constituents, but both have net negative approval ratings (-17%, -8%) respectively. 


51% of all respondents view the Conservative party unfavourably, with a net approval rating of -24. The party overall was seen less unfavourably than Boris Johnson.



Incumbent Prime Ministers have an in-built advantage in terms of “best Prime Minister” questions, notwithstanding that,  respondents in Wakefield made it clear that they would prefer Keir Starmer as PM.



Residents in Wakefield remain concerned about the ongoing cost of living crisis. 20% said it was the number one issue that they wanted the new MP for Wakefield to focus on. The ‘Beergate’ allegations over Keir Starmer drinking a beer in a constituency office were low when deciding on how they would vote in the upcoming by-election in comparison to the NHS, increased bills and education.



In terms of Partygate, only 13% of Wakefield voters believed that Boris Johnson told the truth, and 76% believed he lied.



While this poll was conducted prior to the government’s announcements of new cost of living measures, 74% of respondents believed that the government was not doing enough to tackle the current price increases.


Get The Data


The tables for this research can be found here. Survation conducted online and telephone polling of 519 adults in Wakefield on behalf of 38 Degrees, between the 24th May and 1st June 2022. 



Survation. is an MRS company partner, a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules. To find out more about Survation’s services, and how you can conduct a telephone or online poll for your research needs, please visit our services page.

If you are interested in commissioning research or to learn more about Survation’s research capabilities, please contact John Gibb on 020 3818 9661 email or visit our services page.


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BPC Statement: All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points.

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