Rishi Sunak finds himself in a challenging position this week as he prepares for three crucial by-elections, with a recent poll predicting a potential wipeout for the Tories.
According to the latest Techne UK tracker poll, Sunak and the Conservatives are facing a daunting scenario, with Labour currently enjoying a 20-point lead and the Liberal Democrats gaining support as well.
If these poll results were to translate into a general election outcome, the Electoral Calculus prediction website suggests that the Tories would be left with just 100 seats, while Labour would secure a majority of 300 seats.
These poll findings are certainly not encouraging for the Conservatives, who are striving to retain three seats that are currently up for by-elections this week.
The party’s best hope lies in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, where Boris Johnson stepped down in anticipation of the release of the Privileges Committee report, investigating whether he lied to Parliament regarding the Partygate scandal.
The Tories have been counting on the unpopularity of Labour London Mayor Sadiq Khan, as well as public discontent over the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), to sway the balance in their favour.
However, at a recent hustings, neither Tory candidate Steve Tuckwell nor Labour’s Danny Beales were present, casting doubt on the campaign strategies of both parties.
Conservative MPs who have been actively campaigning in the Yorkshire seat of Selby and Ainsty, previously held by Nigel Adams, a close ally of Johnson, have expressed their concern, revealing that they are encountering little support on the doorsteps. This constituency had a majority of over 20,000 in the previous election.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats are seen as the favourites to win in Somerton and Frome, Somerset, which was vacated by David Warburton, who was facing misconduct allegations.
According to the Techne poll, Labour stands at 46 percent (down 1), the Tories remain unchanged at 26 percent, and the Liberal Democrats have gained a point, reaching 11 percent. Reform UK maintains its position at 6 percent, and the Greens remain unchanged at 5 percent.
Michela Morizzo, the chief executive of Techne UK, commented on the challenges faced by Rishi Sunak and the Conservative government, particularly in relation to difficult trade union negotiations.
Morizzo highlighted the ongoing junior doctors’ strikes, with doctors expressing dissatisfaction with the government’s offer and vowing to reject it.
While Sunak recently attended the NATO summit in Vilnius, such global meetings often provide a slight boost in polling numbers. However, the current polling data indicates that Labour’s lead remains significant and unchanged.
Notably, the latest data reveals a significant shift in support. For the first time in months, Labour leads in all age categories, including among pensioners, where the Tories previously held a narrow advantage. In the 65 and over age group, Labour is now favoured by 38 percent, compared to the Tories’ 34 percent.
Moreover, the poll indicates that the Conservatives only retain the support of 60 percent of their 2019 voters among those who intend to vote, and when accounting for those who will not vote, their backing drops to less than half (48 percent) of their supporters from the previous election.