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‘Tories on course to win fewer than 100 seats’

The new study of individual seats indicated the Conservatives would be wiped out in Scotland and Wales and hold just 98 seats in England…reports Asian Lite News

Rishi Sunak is facing an electoral wipeout with the Conservative Party reduced to fewer than 100 MPs at the general election, a new poll suggests. The Survation poll of 15,000 people is the latest to predict a huge loss for the Tories after a survey earlier this month put support for the party at its lowest level since 1978.

The new study of individual seats indicated the Conservatives would be wiped out in Scotland and Wales and hold just 98 seats in England.

It also predicted a landslide victory for Labour, with Sir Keir Starmer’s party winning 468 seats, while the Scottish National Party would pick up 41 seats, the Liberal Democrats 22 and Plaid Cymru two.

If correct, it would see a massive swing away from the Tories based on the 2019 general election, when it won 365 seats.

In the analysis which will fuel Conservative unease about the threat from Reform UK, it also suggested Richard Tice’s party will come second in seven seats and achieve an overall vote share of 8.5 per cent, just behind the Liberal Democrats on 10.4 per cent.

The study, carried out by Survation for the pro-EU Best for Britain campaign group, suggested several Cabinet ministers, including potential leadership contenders, could be ousted at the election as the Tories slump to the worst result in the party’s history.

Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, home secretary James Cleverly and defence secretary Grant Shapps would all lose their seats, according to the study, which modelled constituency-level results.

According to the poll, business secretary Kemi Badenoch is likely to retain her seat, along with former home secretary Suella Braverman and ex-immigration minister Robert Jenrick.

In Sunak’s new Richmond and Northallerton seat, which based on the 2019 results should be solidly Conservative, he has just a 2.4 per cent lead over Labour, while chancellor Jeremy Hunt has just a one per cent margin over the Liberal Democrats in his new Godalming and Ash seat.

Best for Britain chief executive Naomi Smith said: “With the polling showing swathes of voters turning their backs on the Tories, it’s clear that this will be a change election.”

The poll of 15,029 adults and analysis by Survation was conducted between March 8-22. In a sign of Reform UK’s ambitions, Tory MP Bob Seely revealed he had been approached to defect to the Nigel Farage-linked party.

Writing in The Sun on Sunday, he said: “I said no to Reform because I believe in loyalty. I believed in loyalty when I served in the British Army and I believe in it when I serve my constituents on the Isle of Wight, and I believe in it when I am supporting Rishi Sunak.

A Reform UK spokesperson told The Sun: “If he wants to turn down the only chance he has of saving his skin, well, that’s up to him.”

Earlier, Prof Sir John Curtice said it was “clearly” very unlikely that the Tories would be in power after the autumn, when Rishi Sunak is widely expected to call a vote.

He said he believed Labour would be in a “much stronger position” to form a minority government in the event of a hung Parliament because the Tories “have no friends in the House of Commons”.

It comes as a new survey for The Telegraph has found the Conservatives have sunk to their lowest poll rating since the “bloody aftermath” of Liz Truss’s misfiring mini-Budget.

Just 24 per cent of people polled by Savanta said they planned to vote Tory, compared with 44 per cent who backed Labour.

In a bleak message for Sunak, Chris Hopkins, the firm’s political research director, said there is “no reason why things can’t get even worse” for the Prime Minister in the coming weeks.

With a general election to coincide with the local polls on May 2 now ruled out, and Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, suggesting the vote could be in October, Conservative strategists will be hoping to make up lost ground in the months to come.

But Sir John believes their chances are infinitesimally small. Taking questions after a speech at the University of Strathclyde, where he is a professor of politics, he told Politico there is now a “99 per cent chance of Labour forming the next administration”.

He questioned whether that should come as a surprise, arguing: “It’s clearly a very small chance that the Tories are going to be in government after the autumn.”

In the event of a hung Parliament, he said Labour “will be in a much stronger position to negotiate a minority government than the Conservatives because, apart from possibly the DUP, the Conservatives have no friends in the House of Commons”.

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