PM and chancellor could lose their seats at next general election, major poll suggests

Politics

Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives are on course to win fewer than 100 seats in the general election, according to a major poll that suggests the party is facing the worst result in its history.

A survey of 15,000 people, used to build a seat-by-seat breakdown, indicated the Tories would win in just 98 constituencies in England and get wiped out in Scotland and Wales.

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer could be swept into power with a landslide victory of 468 seats, the study for Survation forecast.

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Levelling up ‘unforgivable’ failure

The survey put Labour on 45%, with the Tories 19 points behind on 26%.

It gave the Scottish National Party 41 seats, the Liberal Democrats 22 and Plaid Cymru two.

In 2019, the Conservatives had 365 seats, Labour 203, the SNP 48, the Lib Dems 11 and Plaid four.

The prime minister himself is in danger of losing his own constituency, the new Richmond and Northallerton seat in North Yorkshire, as his lead over Labour is just 2.4%.

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Several other cabinet ministers, including potential leadership contenders, could also be ousted.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, Home Secretary James Cleverly and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps would all lose their seats, according to the study for the internationalist Best for Britain campaign group.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch looks likely to retain her seat, along with former home secretary Suella Braverman and ex-immigration minister Robert Jenrick.

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‘Vote for Reform is vote for Labour’

But Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is another who could be voted out as he has just a 1% advantage over the Liberal Democrats in his new Godalming and Ash seat.

The poll highlights the threat posed to the Conservatives by Reform UK, which is forecast to come second in seven seats by polling 8.5% of the overall vote.

A model of the likely outcome if Richard Tice’s party did not stand, suggested the Tories would win 150 seats – still a crushing defeat, but potentially giving Mr Sunak, or more likely his replacement, a better chance to rebuild.

Best for Britain chief executive Naomi Smith said: “With the polling showing swathes of voters turning their backs on the Tories, it’s clear that this will be a change election.”

The poll of 15,029 adults by Survation, which used a multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) process to model constituency-level results, was carried out between 8 and 22 March.

A government source told Sky News: “We’ve seen a lot of polls and predictions.

“The next few months will focus minds on the choice between our plan to grow the economy, create opportunity and build a brighter future and Labour’s lack of a plan that would take us back to square one.”


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In a sign of Reform UK’s ambitions, Tory MP Bob Seely revealed he had been approached to defect to the Nigel Farage-linked party.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday, he said: “I said no to Reform because I believe in loyalty. I don’t cut and run, and neither should we.”

A Reform spokesman told the newspaper: “If he wants to turn down the only chance he has of saving his skin, well, that’s up to him.”

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