The seven Reform candidates on track to win seats

Nigel Farage speaks at Reform UK's manifesto launch in Merthyr Tydfil
Nigel Farage speaks at Reform UK's manifesto launch in Merthyr Tydfil - Shutterstock

Reform is having a moment, and it has Nigel Farage to thank for it.

Less than two weeks after Mr Farage took over as party leader, YouGov found that Reform was ahead of the Tories in the polls.

Survation’s latest MRP poll, using modelling and constituency-level polling to predict local outcomes and conducted between May 31 and June 13, has the party winning in seven constituencies.

The pollster’s earlier survey, held between May 22 and June 2, the day before Mr Farage took over as leader, had handed them only three.

Across the country, Reform’s average vote share increased from 11.6 to 12.6 per cent between the two polls. But it’s concentrated surges that matter for seats under the first past the post electoral system.

In 47 seats, between these two polls, Reform’s share went up by more than five percentage points. A handful of these are now forecast to return Reform MPs on July 4.

Arguably, he is the most famous face in politics at the moment. Survation has Mr Farage winning in Clacton, Essex, where he is running to become an MP for the eighth time in his career.

Giles Watling, the incumbent Conservative, won a 56.8 per cent majority at the 2019 election. But Reform is now set to pick up 30.7 per cent of the votes in the coastal seat, giving it a slim 1.3 per cent majority.

Mr Farage isn’t heading for the most assured victory among Reform’s candidates, however. Phil Walton, in North West Norfolk, is predicted to win with a 7.8 per cent majority in a constituency that has voted Tory since 2001.

The Conservatives’ James Wild took the seat in 2019 with a 42.7 per cent majority. In 2024, he looks set to fall to third place behind the Labour candidate.

Lee Anderson, Reform’s only current MP, is predicted to win his Ashfield constituency. In 2019, he won the seat for the Conservatives for the first time since 1977.

The Tory defector has been buoyed by Mr Farage’s return like no other, and they campaigned side-by-side in Kirkby last week.

Support for Reform in the area soared 15.7 percentage points between the two polls – more than anywhere else in the country. Mr Anderson is projected to win a 3.1 per cent majority.

Nigel Farage, left, with Lee Anderson
Nigel Farage, left, with Lee Anderson - DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA

Mr Farage has made relatively few stops on the campaign trail since taking over as leader, but there is evidence to suggest the visits he has made have had a significant local impact.

In Great Yarmouth, Norfok, support for the party has increased by 5.9 points over the course of the campaign. Rupert Lowe, its candidate there, is now on course to win the seat by a one-point margin.

The Conservatives’ Brandon Lewis, Lord Chancellor under Liz Truss, had held the seat since 2010, but stood down ahead of the general election.

The Exmouth and Exeter East constituency is a new creation, as a result of boundary changes coming into effect this year. The area has deep Conservative roots, however – roots that Reform’s Garry Sutherland is tipped to sever.

The Survation MRP has the Tory and Labour candidates neck-and-neck on 24.1 per cent of the vote each, but Mr Sutherland is predicted to take a 28.5 per cent share.

The story is very similar in Mid Leicestershire, where Reform’s Tom Smith is forecast to win in the newly-formed Conservative-leaning constituency.

The pollster gives him a majority of 3.9 percentage points ahead of the Tory candidate, taking just under a third of the vote.

South Suffolk has returned a Conservative to Westminster ever since its creation in 1983. Reform’s only predicted female winner, Beverley England, may put an end to that streak.

Having won with a majority of 42.8 points in 2019, James Cartlidge, the Tory incumbent, is standing for re-election. His support in the area, however, has plummeted, from 62.2 to 24.7 per cent in the forecast.

But the result is anything but certain, and Ms England could take the seat by just 0.5 percentage points.

Richard Tice and Nigel Farage
Richard Tice and Nigel Farage - Justin Tallis/AFP

Richard Tice, the former leader, is a notable omission from the list. Reform is currently polling at 21.5 per cent in Boston and Skegness, in third place behind Labour (42.9 per cent) and the Conservatives (27.3 per cent).

It is no accident that Reform launched its manifesto, which it has branded a “contract” with the British people, in Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare. The party is currently in second place to Labour in the Welsh constituency, with 21.3 per cent of the vote – up 6.2 per cent over the past two weeks.

The Welsh valleys are fertile ground for Reform as Mr Farage takes the fight to Labour. Neighbouring Caerphilly saw the third biggest leap in support for the party in the country, doubling from 13.3 to 26.2 per cent.

Also, since Mr Farage’s return, Reform has seen the number of seats where it is are ahead of the Tories rise to 59, up from Survation’s earlier MRP, which put it ahead in 33 seats.

Not all pollsters paint Reform’s fortunes so favourably, however. The headline results from MRPs can vary widely depending on methodology. YouGov’s latest, for example, conducted between May 24 and June 1, forecast not a single seat for the party.

Such local level averages also do not translate directly to national voting intention, which YouGov’s latest put at a much higher 19 per cent, and The Telegraph’s poll of polls currently estimates at just above 13 per cent.