A new poll has showed that Labour could comfortably win Stevenage at the next general election.

The same poll, conducted by YouGov, suggests that if a general election were held today, Conservatives Bim Afolami and Sir Oliver Heald would win in the Hitchin and North East Hertfordshire constituencies respectively.

YouGov surveyed 14,000 people using their MRP model between December 12 and January 4. The model enables them to predict a result for individual constituencies.

In Stevenage, it predicts that Labour's Kevin Bonavia will receive 41 per cent of the vote against 32 per cent for Conservative candidate Alex Clarkson.

It suggests that Amodio Amato would gain ten per cent of the vote for Reform UK, with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens each receiving eight per cent. The Lib Dem candidate is Lisa Nash, while Paul Dawson will be running for the Greens.

The result in Hitchin, which will be contested for the first time after boundary changes split up the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency, is expected to be closer.

YouGov's poll puts Conservative Bim Afolami on 32 per cent, Labour - who have yet to announce their candidate - on 27 per cent, and Lib Dem Chris Lucas on 25 per cent.

It also predicts that the Greens and Reform UK would receive eight per cent of the vote apiece.

Finally, in North East Hertfordshire, it predicts that Conservative MP Sir Oliver Heald would retain the seat on 34 per cent of the vote, with Labour close behind on 32 per cent. The Labour candidate for North East Herts has not yet been announced.

Nationally, YouGov predicted that if a general election were to be held today, Labour would win a majority of 120 seats - the largest for any party since 2005.

The poll suggests that eleven current Cabinet ministers, including Grant Shapps, could be among those Conservative MPs to lose their seats.

However, some political scientists have argued that the poll ignores the possibility of tactical voting. This may become relevant in Hitchin, where both Labour and the Lib Dems are expected to make the argument that they are the party best placed to dislodge Mr Afolami.

MRP polling by Survation for Lodestone Communications shows Labour three points behind the Conservatives, but eight points ahead when respondents are asked who they would vote for if they believed only the Conservatives and Labour had a chance of winning the seat.

The poll did not ask who respondents would vote for if they believed only the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats had a chance of winning in Hitchin.

Reaction from Stevenage

Alex Clarkson, Conservative candidate

"I am focusing on the year ahead, not on one opinion poll taken before Christmas.

"The poll that matters in Stevenage is the general election and with inflation and mortgage rates falling and wages rising, voters in the town and villages will see that the government's difficult decisions were the right ones to take."

He described Labour as "sniping from the sidelines", having "no effective plans for immigration or getting people off welfare", and having a "£28 billion borrowing pledge which would be funded by higher taxes". 

"I am the local choice, not just the Conservative choice, born and bred in the constituency, and be it protecting Green Belt and improving infrastructure in the villages, or driving regeneration and making Stevenage a true destination town, I will be working for a brighter future."

Kevin Bonavia, Labour candidate

"This poll isn't surprising. Thousands of residents across Stevenage and our villages have been telling me and my local volunteers that they have had enough and want change.

"I have come across several examples of life-long Conservative voters who despair at how out of touch this tired and divided government has become after 14 years in power. Many are even thinking of voting Labour for the first time ever. 

"But polls are simply snapshots of opinion. What really matters is voting in the general election.

"Stevenage has voted for the winning party in every election since 1964, so a vote for Labour really could help bring about that change of government we desperately need."

Reaction from Hitchin

Chris Lucas, Liberal Democrat candidate

“The result of the poll was interesting but was most definitely not conclusive.

"It doesn’t reflect the sheer scale of the collapse in support for the Tories we’re picking up on the doorstep and it can’t be taken seriously when one of the major parties hasn’t even selected their candidate yet.

"The Liberal Democrats have been quietly gathering support both in Hitchin and in neighbouring constituencies such as Harpenden & Berkhamsted and St Albans and I look forward to the opportunity to put our proposals for a fairer, greener Britain before the people of Hitchin in a general election.”

Val Bryant, Chair of Hitchin Constituency Labour Party

"Hitchin Labour Party is excited about carrying on the campaign we started so successfully in Mid Beds last year.

"With a new seat that is already partly represented by newly-elected Labour MP Alistair Strathern and includes Labour dominated Hitchin, as well as other parts of Bedfordshire and Stevenage, we are confident of Labour representation again here for the first time since 1974.

"2024 will be a two horse race between Labour and Conservative candidates in the new Hitchin constituency."

Bim Afolami was contacted for comment on this story.