19 June 2024

Tories in ‘deep hole’ as another poll forecasts huge losses

19 June 2024

The Conservatives are in a “deep hole”, a pollster has said after a survey of more than 10,000 people suggested the party would hold just 155 seats.

The poll by More In Common projected a Labour majority of 162, just shy of its 1997 and 2001 landslides, with the Conservatives slumping to their worst seat total since 1906.

High-profile casualties forecast in the More In Common projection include Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who would lose his Godalming and Ash seat to the Liberal Democrats, and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, who would lose Welwyn Hatfield to Labour.

The results are the most favourable for the Conservatives of recent large-scale polls, after a similar study by Ipsos on Tuesday projected the party would hold 115 seats with Labour securing a majority of 256.

The poll suggested Labour would make gains across the North of England and the Midlands, while becoming the largest party in Scotland and winning much of Wales.

It also forecast the Conservatives being almost wiped out in London, holding on to only a handful of constituencies on the fringe of the capital and neck-and-neck with either Labour or the Liberal Democrats in constituencies such as Romford, Bexley and Old Sidcup, and Carshalton and Wallington.

Luke Tryl, executive director of More In Common UK, said the fact it is one of the more positive polls for the Tories “shows how deep a hole the party finds itself in” with barely two weeks left until polling day.

He said: “Far from the narrowing in the polls many expected to see by now, the Conservatives’ position instead appears to be getting worse and only a small move away from them could see them reduced to 107 seats.

“Labour on the other hand looks set to inherit a historic majority while remaining largely undefined in the eyes of the electorate.”

But he warned the “broad electoral coalition” that looks set to secure power for Labour points to “potential difficulties in creating a governing agenda that unites such disparate tribes” at a time of heightened “electoral cynicism”.

Elsewhere, the poll forecasts the Liberal Democrats returning to their previous position as the third party and quadrupling their seats to reach 49 MPs, roughly the same number they achieved in 1997.

According to More In Common, the Lib Dems are set to mainly make gains in southern England, particularly Surrey, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Dorset.

Meanwhile, the SNP will be reduced to 18 seats, according to the poll, with Labour sweeping through much of central Scotland and becoming the nation’s biggest party for the first time since 2015.

The poll, conducted on behalf of The News Agents podcast, surveyed 10,850 people and used the multilevel regression with poststratification (MRP) technique to model results at constituency level.

Unlike Tuesday’s Ipsos MRP poll, the More In Common survey forecasts Reform UK winning no seats, with the Tories holding Clacton against Nigel Farage’s challenge.

But the poll is based on data collected between May 22 and June 17, which includes the period before Mr Farage announced his decision to stand in the seat.

The poll also forecasts that the Green Party will hold Brighton Pavilion, its only seat, but will be unable to make gains elsewhere, coming second in target seats Bristol Central and Waveney Valley.

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