Will Labour win the general election? Latest odds and polls

Yahoo News UK breaks down what the polls, as well as experts, are telling us about Labour's chances.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers a speech to supporters, members and local people during his visit to Lancing in West Sussex, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2024. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sir Keir Starmer's Labour is far ahead of the Tories in the polls. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak announced a snap general election last week, with the country going to the polls on 4 July.

His campaign has got off to a rocky start, with a leaked Conservative Party memo accusing its MPs of going on holiday, refusing to knock on doors and focusing on ministerial responsibilities rather than the election effort.

The memo - obtained by The Times after it was accidentally emailed to the Tory MPs it was criticising - said a “key theme” was candidates failing to “get behind” the campaign.

Sir Keir Starmer, meanwhile, received a boost on Tuesday with the backing of 120 business leaders who said the election represents “the chance to change the country” and its economy.

Sunak's election announcement surprised many given how far ahead Labour has been in the polls. Here, Yahoo News UK breaks down what those polls, as well as experts, are telling us about Labour's chances.

Election expert Prof Sir John Curtice, responding to Sunak's announcement last week, pointed out in an article for The Telegraph that the last person to call an election when their party was so far behind in the polls was John Major in 1997.

That turned out to be one of the Tories' worst ever election results.

Sir John said: "Not only does [Sunak] have to persuade voters to draw a distinction between himself and Liz Truss, but at the same time he has to invite voters to wipe their memories – some of which are long - of Boris Johnson and 'partygate'."

He added a caveat that voters "do not seem enthusiastic" about Labour, "and perhaps the polls are wrong. They have overestimated Labour in the past.

"However, the scale of the error would have to be unprecedented to allow Mr Sunak keep the keys to 10 Downing Street."

YouGov's voting intention tracker (see chart, below), which has been regularly surveying voters since January 2020, demonstrates the extent to which support for the Tories has collapsed - and backing for Labour has ascended.

Starmer's party has been ahead in the polls since the end of 2021, when the Partygate scandal first emerged.

YouGov's voting intention tracker. (YouGov)
YouGov's voting intention tracker. (YouGov)

The latest survey, which was carried out after Sunak called the election, had Labour on 44%, compared to the Tories on 22%.

Though this was an indication the Tories' prospects have improved slightly - as the Conservatives were up by one percentage point on the previous poll, and Labour down two points - it would still give Starmer a convincing majority if realised on 4 July.

As of 28 May, Oddschecker, a website which compares odds across different bookmakers, had Labour at 2/17 to win the most seats. To put those numbers into context, a £10 bet would return just £11.18.

The site has the Conservatives at 12/1 to win the most seats: an event bookmakers see as so unlikely that a £10 bet would return £130.

PURFLEET, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer stands in front of a screen displaying his six election pledges during the launch event on May 16, 2024 in Purfleet, England. Labour Leader Keir Starmer pledges to deliver economic stability, cut NHS waiting times, launch a new Border Security Command, set up Great British Energy and recruit 6,500 new teachers if Labour win the next General Election. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Experts, polls and odds are pointing to a Labour victory. (Getty Images)