SNP would win more seats than Tories in parliament, poll finds
The Conservatives would fall behind the SNP and be only the third largest party in parliament, if new polling was replicated at a general election.
The latest modelling from a voting intention survey puts the Tories only 45 seats – plummeting from the 365 seats won in 2019 – while the SNP would have 50.
Pollsters Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus also found Labour would triumph with 509 seats at Westminster, giving Sir Keir Starmer a majority of more than 180.
The dire results for Rishi Sunak’s party would leave new SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn as the leader of the opposition to a Labour government.
The survey of 28,000 people and multi-level regression and post-stratification (MRP) modelling, carried out for the Daily Telegraph, found the Liberal Democrats would only increase their number of MPs from 11 to 23.
Chris Holbrook, chief executive of Find Out Now, said it was “shocking reading for Conservatives” and said Mr Sunak had to stamp out sleaze. “Mending perceptions of corruption may be their best hope.”
Some 15 cabinet ministers would lose their seats, according to the findings – including Mr Sunak, home secretary Suella Braverman and foreign secretary James Cleverly.
Boris Johnson and Liz Truss – having both being booted out of No 10 by their own party last year – would also be rejected by voters in their constituency on the basis of the polling.
Martin Baxter, chief executive of Electoral Calculus, said there was little sign of improvement in Tory polling fortunes since the start of the year, with Labour still more than 20 points ahead in most surveys.
“They have lost support across the country, particularly in traditionally strong Conservative areas,” he said. “That election could be a near-wipeout and worse than 1997, with the Conservatives not even being the main opposition party.”
No 10 strategist Isaac Levido set out the situation at a cabinet “awayday” last week, saying enthusiasm for Labour is weak and the Tories still have “narrow path” to victory at the next election if they prove competency.
Urging patience on a potential poll recovery, Tory peer Lord Hayward has said any recovery will come in “small steps rather than large leaps”.
The new Conservative chairman Greg Hands appeared to hint at the date for the UK’s next general election in a message to party supporters this week.
In an email to Tory supporters, Mr Hands said “the next 18 months will see us win or lose the next general election” – a hint that Mr Sunak could go to the country in September 2024.