A NEW YouGov political poll commissioned by Conservative Britain Alliance shows that Labour would win a large majority were the election to be held today - and all of the seats in Cumbria.

The results of the model, which uses data from 14,110 respondents answering between December 12 and January 4, would see Keir Starmer enter Downing Street having secured a 120-seat majority, with Labour winning 385 Commons seats.

This would be a 183-seat increase for the party from the last election.

The Conservatives meanwhile would slump to just 169, losing 196 seats compared to 2019.

These results are reminiscent of the 1997 general election outcome, which saw Tony Blair’s Labour win 418 seats and John Major’s Conservatives take 165.

News and Star: Former Labour leader Tony Blair on election night in 1997 with his wife, CherieFormer Labour leader Tony Blair on election night in 1997 with his wife, Cherie (Image: PA)Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats would receive 48 seats – also similar to their 1997 haul – making them a notable Parliamentary force once again.

The SNP, meanwhile, would fall to 25 seats, with Labour making significant gains in the central belt of Scotland, whilst the Brexit Party would be left on zero seats and the Greens would hold on to their only seat.

In Cumbria, the poll suggests Labour would comfortably win the new Whitehaven and Workington constituency by almost 20 percentage points, and the party would win both the Carlisle and Penrith and the Solway constituencies with 39 per cent of the vote – giving the party a clear majority in the county.

This represents a complete turnabout for the party who have slowly lost seats across Cumbria over the past decade.

At the 2005 general election, the party won in Carlisle, Workington and Copeland but has since lost control of all three seats to the Tories over the next four elections.

Labour has been ahead in the polls for more than 18 months and the Tories have less than a year to turn the situation around after Rishi Sunak confirmed that the next election would be in 2024.

Signs of a recovery for Labour started at the Cumberland Council election in 2021, where it achieved a majority in one of the major wins for the party during the pandemic.

At the end of 2023, the Labour candidate for Carlisle, Julie Minns, said she was taking ‘nothing for granted’ as the general election draws closer.

“It's a labour of love for me as I genuinely love Carlisle,” said Julie. “We might be ahead at the moment, but an awful lot can change.

News and Star: Julie MinnsJulie Minns (Image: Supplied)"We know that the polls will likely narrow as we get closer to the general election, and I went through the 1992 general election when the polls seemed to suggest that the party was on course to win, and we didn't and that was really painful.

“That loss drives me to knock on as many doors, to make as many phone calls, talk to as many people as possible.

“Every vote has to be earned and I completely respect the electorate.

“I know a lot of people think that Labour are a shoo-in the next election, but I don't believe that at all, so I'll be working every single day until the election.”

A key part of the election will be the impact of the Brexit Party - now called Reform UK - on the Conservative’s vote share.

Reform UK has committed to standing in seats across England, Wales and Scotland, including in Cumbria, and the poll suggests the party could pick up more than 10 per cent of the vote share in Cumbria.

The question over the impact of Reform UK depends on how many Conservative voters it can woo with its harder line on immigration and asylum seekers.

Matthew Moody, Reform UK's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Penrith and Solway constituency said that he was 'quite confident' at the prospect of a general election and added: "I was out in Wellingborough at the weekend canvassing for our local candidate, Ben Habib, who is running the by-election there, and the response was extremely encouraging.

News and Star: Matthew Moody - Reform UK's candidate for Penrith and the SolwayMatthew Moody - Reform UK's candidate for Penrith and the Solway (Image: Ian Duncan)"People seem to be fed up with the Tories and not necessarily convinced by Labour so we are feeling very confident, yes."

Psephologist, Richard Rose said: “This year the Reform leadership is giving priority to punishing the Conservative government for failing to take back control over Britain's borders by reducing immigration, a major concern of Brexit voters.

“Richard Tice, the current leader of the Reform Party, has promised that the party will fight all 632 British constituencies at the next election.

“If Nigel Farage decides to join up, this gives the Reform Party a personality to add to the electoral appeal of its anti-immigration platform.

“Sir Keir Starmer can observe the Tory predicament with pleasure, as it offers Labour a win-win outcome.

“Any Tory gain from a successful Sunak appeal for votes on stopping immigration could be offset by moderate Tories either not voting or switching to the Liberal Democrats or Labour.

“A failure to handle immigration could boost Reform votes and help Labour gain core Tory seats.

“If Sunak does nothing, on current poll figures there is a 99 per cent probability of Labour taking control over Downing Street within the next twelve months.”

Cumbria will play a key role at the next general election as Carlisle, Penrith and the Solway and Whitehaven and Workington are the kind of seats that Labour has to win to have any chance of forming a government.

All three seats take in former Labour strongholds which have voted for the party in fewer and fewer numbers since the turn of the century and follow a similar pattern to places in Yorkshire, Lancashire, the north east, Wales and Scotland.

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Labour has to rebuild trust with its former heartland voters in places like West Cumbria before it can be fully confident of victory in 2024.

The polls are suggesting that the party are certainly on the right lines towards victory in Cumbria and the country at large, but if a week is a long time in politics, a year can last a lifetime.