New warning to Boris Johnson as poll claims he risks losing majority unless he sorts out sleaze scandals engulfing Tory party
- Five Cabinet ministers would lose seats if election were held now- including PM
- Poll puts Labour on 41 per cent of the vote, with Conservatives on 35 per cent
- Of 40 key Red Wall seats held by the Tories, only three are projected to stay blue
Boris Johnson was warned last night his party is on course to lose more than 100 seats unless he gets a grip on sleaze.
A major poll put Labour six points clear of the Tories as voters express their anger at rows over lobbying and Downing Street parties.
A constituency-by-constituency analysis found that five Cabinet ministers would lose their seats if an election were held now – among them the Prime Minister.
It reveals that older voters and those in rural areas – traditional Tory strongholds – are most likely to be concerned by recent lobbying and lockdown party allegations.
The poll of 10,000 people, carried out by Survation, puts Sir Keir Starmer’s party on 41 per cent of the vote, with the Conservatives on 35 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 9 per cent.
A constituency-by-constituency analysis found that five Cabinet ministers would lose their seats if an election were held now – among them the Prime Minister
This would see Labour win 309 seats – 11 short of a majority but a net gain of 107 when compared with their disastrous election night in 2019.
The Tories would win 255 seats, for a net loss of 111. The SNP is expected to return 54 seats while the Lib Dems would slip to nine seats, indicating they will make little impact on traditional Conservative constituencies despite by-election successes.
The Cabinet members at risk are Environment Secretary George Eustice, Welsh Secretary Simon Hart, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and Alok Sharma, president of the COP26 environmental summit.
The poll, commissioned by activist group 38 Degrees, was analysed using a method that produces predictions based on small geographical areas.
In addition to voting intention, the survey asked the public to judge the Government’s behaviour using the seven ‘Nolan principles’ for standards in public office.
They are selflessness, integrity, openness, objectivity, accountability, honesty and leadership. The Government scored poorly on all of them.
Professor Christopher Hanretty, of Royal Holloway University, analysed the results and said: ‘It’s older voters who are the most likely to say that the Government isn’t living up to the Nolan principles.
The Tories would win 255 seats, for a net loss of 111. The SNP is expected to return 54 seats while the Lib Dems would slip to nine seats, indicating they will make little impact on traditional Conservative constituencies despite by-election successes
This weekend Downing Street released photographs of Mr Johnson and wife Carrie enjoying Christmas at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country retreat in Buckinghamshire
The pair were seen making Zoom calls from their study with Mrs Johnson cradling newborn Romy on her lap. Romy’s name was shown with that of brother Wilf on a trendy £10 lightbox
‘This can be seen when comparing younger, urban areas with older rural areas. Constituencies in London for example are a lot less likely to express concern given the share of the vote Labour ordinarily receives there.’
The polling predicted that Labour would make major gains in the so-called ‘Red Wall’, overturning many of the seats won by Conservatives in 2019.
Of 40 key Red Wall seats held by Tories, only three (Dudley North, Morley & Outwood, and Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland) are projected to stay blue.
The margins of projected victories were large, with many of the seats polling at 50 per cent or above for Labour.
Matthew McGregor, chief executive of 38 Degrees, said: ‘Anger over sleaze and the cost of living crisis is a collapse in support for the Conservatives, and will cost them their majority if things don’t change dramatically. The message to Boris Johnson from this poll is clear: show voters the respect they deserve, clean up the sleaze and fix the cost of living crisis.
Major donor threatens to pull the plug
A major Conservative Party donor yesterday questioned whether Boris Johnson should stay on as leader.
John Caudwell, the billionaire founder of Phones4U, said he was alarmed by the PM’s bid to protect former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson after he was found guilty of lobbying ministers.
Mr Caudwell, who backed Mr Johnson for the premiership and gave the Conservatives £500,000 before the last election, said he was not sure whether Mr Johnson would ‘survive’.
‘What really concerns me is this sleaze issue and him not standing firmly enough against what’s gone on,’ he told The Observer. ‘I was unbelievably disappointed when I heard him almost defending and … trying to find an out for Owen Paterson.
‘I’m not sure he can survive this, and I’m not even sure he should survive it.’
The businessman warned that he would not continue to support the Conservative Party should it continue to be hit by allegations of sleaze.
‘Voters who supported the Conservatives in 2019 to get Brexit done are angry and turned off by the actions of the Government.’
A separate poll by Focaldata for the Sunday Times gave Labour an eight-point lead over the Tories and suggested they would win a 26-seat majority.
This weekend Downing Street released photographs of Mr Johnson and wife Carrie enjoying Christmas at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country retreat in Buckinghamshire.
The pair were seen making Zoom calls from their study with Mrs Johnson cradling newborn Romy on her lap. Romy’s name was shown with that of brother Wilf on a trendy £10 lightbox.
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