Labour ended June with its monthly poll average on the rise for the first time since February.
The party’s share had declined four months in a row, from 38.4% in February to 34.9% in May: a drop of almost four whole percentage points.
But since the local elections at the end of May, Labour’s poll share has improved. The party was tracking at 35.7% early in June, then 35.9% halfway through the month. I thought it might end up hitting 36%, but instead the final average for June was 35.8%:
This is still a long way from where Labour was at the start of 2014 – let alone the heights of 41% at the start of 2013. But it will be a relief to the party that the sequential falls of the last few months appear to be over (for now).
While Labour was on the up in June, the Lib Dems were moving in the opposite direction. Their average for June was 7.9%: the lowest of any monthly average this parliament. Having sunk below 9% for the first time in May, they fell almost a whole percentage point further in June.
The Tories have slipped slightly. Their average of 31.9% is down half a percentage point on May, and equals their rating for November 2013. It’s not their lowest of this parliament, however; that remains the 28.9% they scored in May 2013.
For Ukip, the rise of the last couple of months has slowed. Having climbed 2.6 percentage points from March to May, their June average of 15% was only 0.2 points higher on the previous month.
Ukip’s peak remains the 15.9% the party achieved in May 2013 (the same month as the Tories’ lowest-ever average: surely not a coincidence).
Were June’s average poll ratings to be repeated at next year’s general election, on a uniform swing Labour would end up with 347 seats: a majority of 44. The Tories would get 256, the Lib Dems 21 and others 26. Ukip would get zero.
Here’s how the averages have changed over the past 12 months: