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Fri, 19 July 2024

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The House Live All
By Ben Guerin
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Nearly Half Of 2019 Tory Voters Say The Party Doesn't Deserve To Win The Next Election

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on a visit to BAE Systems, Barrow-in-Furness (Alamy)

3 min read

Almost two thirds of people believe the Conservative party deserves to lose the next general election, including nearly half of those who voted Tory in 2019, according to new polling.

Research carried out by More in Common paints a bleak picture for Conservative MPs as they prepare to return to their constituencies for the three-week Easter recess, and with 2 May local elections on the horizon.

The organisation's latest voting intention poll, conducted and published last week, put Keir Starmer's Labour Party 18 per cent ahead of Rishi Sunak's Tories — the biggest Labour lead More in Common has found using its current methodology.

It was the latest poll to suggest that Labour's large lead over the Conservatives was widening, despite Downing Street's ongoing effort to rebuild public support for Tory party.

However, additional findings shared exclusively with PoliticsHome further illustrate the scale of the challenge facing the Tories in avoiding defeat at the next general election, which must be called this calendar year.

Nearly two thirds of respondents (58 per cent) said the Conservative party deserves to lose the next general election, while just 18 per cent said it deserves to win it.

In what will likely make ominious reading for No 10 and Conservative strategists, nearly half of people who voted for the Tories at the last general election in 2019 (45 per cent) said the party doesn't deserve to win this time around, while thirty four per cent said that they do.

"The fact that only a third of those who voted Tory in 2019, and only 18 per cent of voters as a whole, even fewer than currently plan to vote Tory, think the Conservative’s should be elected will only add to the Tory gloom," More in Common's UK Director Luke Tryl told PoliticsHome.

Sunak recently ruled out holding a general election on the same day as the local elections following persistent speculation that he could send the country to the polls in the Spring. The Prime Minister continues to say his "working assumption" is that the election will happen in the second half of 2024.

Towards the end of last week, Sunak wrote to Tory back benchers making the case for the Government's achievements in a bid to boost party morale ahead of the Easter recess.

In his three-page letter to Conservative MP on Thursday, and obtained by PoliticsHome, the PM said: “The weeks and months ahead will be tough, but I’m confident we’ve put the country on right track to build the brighter future every one of our constituents deserve."

He listed things like falling inflation, recent cuts to National Insurance and efforts to get more people back to work as examples of where the Government has been successful. 

Sunak conceded, however, that the coming weeks would be "difficult" for the Tory party — seemingly referencing what are expected to be a bruising set of local and mayoral elections for the Conservatives in early May.

There is concern among some Tory MPs that Andy Street and Ben Houchen, the Conservative mayors in the West Midlands and Tees Valley respectively, and the party's two most senior figures outside of Westminster, could be removed from office on the night. 

According to Tryl, the one possible "bright spot" for the Tories in the data is that voters do not seem fully convinced by what the Labour Party is offering, despite the opposition's large, double digit leads in voter intention polls.

The More in Common research found that when taken together, more people would prefer the general election to produce either a small Labour majority (15 per cent) or hung parliament (14 per cent) than a large Labour majority (28 per cent). 

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Read the most recent article written by Adam Payne - Voters Feel More Optimistic After Labour's Election Win

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