The future of the left since 1884

Labour Lead Even Larger in Key Marginal Constituencies

Fabian Society research on 150 seats Labour needs to win under new boundaries shows that Labour has a significant lead.


Press release Aerial view of a British town
  • Labour lead the Tories by 24 points nationally – but by 34 points in the 150 key non-Labour marginal seats that would give the party an overall majority
  • Since the 2019 election there is a national swing of 17 percentage points. The swing in these marginal seats is an even higher at 22 percentage points
  • But high levels of people saying ‘Don’t Know’ or backing Reform means there is no room for complacency for Labour  

A new Fabian Society and YouGov survey shows Labour leading the Conservatives by 24 percentage points nationally. Even more concerning for the Tories, a sub-sample shows Labour leading by 34 percentage points in 150 marginal seats identified by the Fabian Society as key to a Labour victory.  

This is the first time this analysis has been conducted using updated constituency boundaries. The 125 seats in England and Wales and 25 seats in Scotland selected by the Fabians are the places where Labour would have come closest to winning in 2019 if the election had been fought on the new boundaries. There were 528 respondents to the survey in these new seats.  

Since the 2019 election, Fabian analysis of the survey shows a national swing to Labour of 17 percentage points. In the sub-sample of 150 marginal seats the swing is 22 percentage points. 

The survey, carried out by YouGov on 17th and 18th January is the first to look in depth at these key marginal seats – and includes questions on preferred election outcomes and who is best to handle the cost of living. The survey also asked respondents to rank their likelihood of voting for Labour or the Conservatives on a scale of 0 (would never) to 10 (will definitely).  

In the key marginal seats just 21 per cent of voters ranked their likelihood of voting Conservative as likely (between 6-10 out of 10). 43 Per cent of respondents ranked their likelihood of voting Tory at 0 out of 10. These results are less favourable for the Conservatives in these marginals than across Great Britain.  

There is still a large pool of voters in these seats who do not yet know who they will vote for (17 per cent in Great Britain as a whole and 18 per cent in the 150 marginal seats). There is also significant support for Reform which the Conservatives will hope they can regain.  

When asked which party were best placed to tackle the cost of living crisis, voters in the marginal seats opted for Labour by 39 per cent to 17 per cent for the Tories. In Great Britain the figure was Labour at 36 per cent to the Tories’ 21 per cent.  

The Fabian research paper also publishes the full list of 150 marginal seats that Labour is likely to want to target at the next election. It shows that even winning a majority of one will be a huge task for the party. 

Fabian Society Research Manager, and author of the report Ben Cooper said:  

“At the start of this parliament, the Fabian Society released analysis of marginal seats showing the huge mountain Labour had to climb to return to government in one term.  This new polling data shows the party may be able to turn a mountain into a molehill.  

“However, Labour is right to argue that there is no room for complacency. The significant portion of ‘don’t know’ voters and levels of support for Reform shows that there is still a lot of work to do between now and poling day to turn an opinion poll of marginal seats into real election results.” 

– Ends – 


  1. Contact: Emma Burnell, Media Consultant, Fabian Society or 07851 941111.  
  2. The full report can be found here and includes a full list of the 150 most marginal non-Labour seats.
  3. The report is published by the Fabian Society, written by Ben Cooper and edited by Kate Murray and Iggy Woods. The Fabian Society commissioned YouGov Plc to survey 2,084 adults across Great Britain. The survey was carried out online. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th and 18th January 2024.  
  4. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). In the weighted sample, 528 respondents were from the 150 non-Labour seats. 
  5. Data on voting intention have been rebased to exclude those saying don’t know and wouldn’t vote. The full results of the polling can be found at this link
  6. This report identifies the 150 non-Labour seats, on the new boundaries, which Labour is currently closest to winning. This is a purely mathematical exercise that takes no account of local political factors, but the seats in this list will likely make up a very high proportion of the constituencies the party will target at the next election. The group is made up of the 125 seats in England and Wales, and 25 seats in Scotland, that Labour would have come closest to winning in 2019, had that election been fought on the new boundaries.  The report provides new evidence on voting intention and attitudes in these 150 key seats. This is the first time that this crossbreak has been used.  
  7. The Fabian Society is Britain’s oldest political think tank. Founded in 1884, the society is at the forefront of developing political ideas and public policy on the left. The society is alone among think tanks in being a democratically-constituted membership organisation, with over 7,000 members. It is constitutionally affiliated to the Labour party.  
  8. The report is part of the Fabian Society’s ongoing Winning 150 series.  

Photo credit: Andrey Zaychuk on Unsplash

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