YouGov Polls ...
The latest poll data suggests the Conservatives are on course for a 1997 style electoral wipe out. A major new YouGov survey commissioned by Tory critics of Rishi Sunak, suggests Labour would win a 120-seat majority, if an election were held today.
The northern wall would return to natural hue. Cornwall would turn red. Eleven cabinet ministers would lose their seats. Jeremy Hunt, Grant Shapps and Penny Mordaunt would be out of parliament.
Over fifty Tory MPs have already said they're going to stand down before the next election (rather than face the humiliation of a Labour Landslide).
The latest YouGov/Times voting intention poll shows the Conservatives on 20% of the vote to Labour's 47%. This represents the highest lead for Labour since Liz Truss was prime minister.
The Liberal Democrats have 8% of the vote, the Greens have 7%. Reform UK have 12%. That is the highest vote share ever recorded for the party to date.
The headline numbers are pretty dire. But Tory tacticians will have a close eye on Reform poll numbers. In competing for the right wing vote, the Conservatives are on 20%. Reform are on 12%. That gives Richard Tice's party a near 40% share (12/32) of the would be Tory vote with Nigel Farage sitting on the subs bench.
For Reform, immigration is the platform this time, not Brexit. "Take back control", just as pertinent a slogan as before the Reform brand revamp.
Immigration numbers hit 1.3 million over the last two years. Stopping the boats and flights to Rwanda a mere distraction. Net immigration hit 745,000 in 2022 and 673,000 in the year to June 2023. This compared to 93,000 in the whole of 2020 and Tory commitments to hold levels to less than 100,000.
An election in November may give time for the economy to improve but also give more time to Reform to organize and secure the £ millions required to effect a large scale campaign.
This may push Sunak to risk a May election, forgetting much can be down with a couple of slogans on the side of a double decker bus.
According to the Independent, the mood among Conservatives was pretty bleak when they received a briefing from the party's general election campaign boss Isaac Levido earlier this week.
The Tory strategist told them to forget about the YouGov mega-poll that puts them on course for a 1997-style wipe out. Levido attempted to "gee up" the troops by insisting he wouldn't waste his own time on a doomed enterprise. "I wouldn't be here unless I thought we could win," he said.
Well that and a generous fee in prospect no doubt ...
The Saturday Economist
John Ashcroft publishes the Saturday Economist. Join the mailing list for updates on the UK and World Economy.
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