Six graphs that show Reform UK could be kingmakers at the election


Reform UK has hit a new polling high as election experts predict the party could “really hurt” the Conservatives’ fortunes at the next general election.

The Telegraph takes a look at the surge in support for Richard Tice’s Right-of-centre party in recent months, where their backing is coming from and what it could mean at the ballot box.

Savanta records highest ever vote share for Reform UK

A survey conducted by Savanta between Feb 23 and Feb 25 put Richard Tice’s insurgent Right-of-centre party on 10 per cent, the most support for it recorded by the firm to date.

The poll, which recorded an increase of two percentage points from the previous week, is the latest to show surging levels of support for Reform.

Savanta said: “This is Reform UK’s highest ever vote share in a Savanta poll since January 2021, when the Electoral Commission approved their new name.”

Chris Hopkins, political research director at Savanta, said: “Reform recording their highest ever vote share in a Savanta poll is notable, but I remain sceptical of their electoral prowess.

“They certainly have the potential to really hurt the Conservatives at the next election, but their voters are not just Tories-in-disguise.”

Reform’s rise in support in the Telegraph poll tracker

The Telegraph’s poll tracker shows a surge in support for Reform in the past three years after Mr Tice and Nigel Farage rebranded the Brexit Party at the start of 2021 to oppose lockdowns and demand vast changes to institutions including the BBC and House of Lords.

In January 2021 Reform was polling at just 2.6 per cent, behind the Green Party, and the party fluctuated between three and four per cent for much of 2021 and 2022.

The party breached the 5 per cent threshold for the first time in November 2022 in the wake of Tory MPs deposing Boris Johnson and Liz Truss in quick succession and Rishi Sunak becoming prime minister without a confirmatory vote of party members.

It reached an average of six percentage points by December 2022, but progress throughout much of last year was stagnant, with the party still on around 6 per cent by party conference season in autumn 2023.

However the rise of Reform in the intervening months has been rapid following the sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary, the increasing salience of the issue of illegal immigration amid the row over Mr Sunak’s Rwanda deportation plan, and growing frustration among the Tory faithful with a record tax burden.

Mr Tice has also credited the return of Lord Cameron, who is widely perceived as being on the One Nation wing of the Conservative Party, as Foreign Secretary with driving voters away from the Tories and towards Reform.

Reform standing in every seat means nearly 50 fewer Tory MPs

Telegraph analysis of last month’s YouGov MRP poll showed that the Tories could be left with 169 seats if Reform were to run in every seat at the next general election, which Mr Tice has said is his intention as part of a plan to “punish” the Tories at the ballot box.

Labour was predicted to gain 385 seats and the Liberal Democrats 48 seats.

If Reform did not stand, however, the poll projected a hung parliament, with the Tories on 213 seats, Labour 311 and the Liberal Democrats 26.

Recent by-election results back up Reform’s growing popularity

Reform reached an average of 10 per cent for the first time on Feb 3, and its performance at recent by-elections in Wellingborough and Kingswood, where it achieved 13 per cent and 10 per cent of the vote respectively, suggests its polling success is matched by real-life support.

The graph below shows how Reform has been taking support mostly from the Tories. In Wellingborough, Labour outstripped the combined Tory and Reform vote by only 2,000 ballots, and on a much lower turnout than at the 2019 general election. In Kingswood, the Tories would have won the by-election if all Reform voters had turned out for the Government instead.

Pollsters show Reform support varying from 7 to 13 per cent

YouGov surveys including its most recent, conducted between Feb 20 and 21, have had Reform as high as 13 per cent – just seven percentage points behind the Tories, who are as low as 20 per cent.

In addition to Savanta having Reform on 10 per cent, Redfield & Wilton had it on 12 per cent in its most recent poll (Feb 25), More in Common had theparty on nine per cent (Feb 23 to 27) and Survation puts it on 7 per cent (Feb 13 to 15).

Reform fares even better with Nigel Farage as leader

Monthly polling from Ipsos UK shows that 19 per cent of the public now has a favourable view of Reform, with 42 per cent unfavourable – figures that would rise to 25 per cent and 45 per cent respectively if Mr Farage returned to the fold as party leader.

Among 2019 Conservative voters, 31 per cent hold a favourable view of Reform, which would jump to 43 per cent if Mr Farage was leader.

And among those who voted for Brexit in 2019, The Telegraph’s poll of polls shows 23.2 per cent now intend to vote for Reform, with Mr Tice’s party hot on the heels of Labour, which has the backing of 25.6 per cent of Leave voters. A further 38.2 per cent would vote Tory.

How Reform supporters voted in 2019

Almost three in five Reform supporters (59 per cent) backed the Conservatives at the last general election, while 14 per cent voted for its previous incarnation, the Brexit Party.

Sixteen per cent did not vote, while 5 per cent backed the Labour Party.