Thu, 15 April 2021

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Brexit Party could rout senior Tories including Boris Johnson at next general election, new analysis shows

Brexit Party could rout senior Tories including Boris Johnson at next general election, new analysis shows
2 min read

Boris Johnson could be routed alongside dozens of high-profile Tory MPs by a Brexit Party surge in the next general election, a new analysis has concluded.

Cabinet ministers Amber Rudd and David Mundell would also likely be ousted from their seats if support for Nigel Farage's party remains at its current level, according to a new electoral model from a top academic.

Mr Farage's party is set to dominate the European Parliament elections when results are announced on Sunday night, with opinion polls putting them well ahead of the Tories.

Professor Matthew Goodwin from the University of Kent used constituency-level data from the 2017 general election to model the impact of the Brexit Party on the outcome of a future general election, finding the Tories were facing "devastating losses" if the new party can command 30% of the vote. Support at that level would see the Tories lose 113 seats.

Meanwhile, if support fell to 20%, the Tories would lose 81 seats, including leadership hopeful Boris Johnson's Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.

Even at 15% the model predicts Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd and former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan would lose their seats alongside another 65 Tory MPs.

Professor Goodwin said: "Put simply, the stronger Farage becomes the greater the prospect of Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn.

"What these numbers show is that if the Brexit Party get anywhere near what UKIP achieved in 2015 then it is game over for the Conservative Party.

“Even if Nigel Farage and his new party get only 15 per cent of the national vote then this is likely to cost the Tories 67 seats, including high-profile defeats for people like Amber Rudd, George Eustice, David Jones, Nicky Morgan and Zac Goldsmith."

Mr Farage has already indicated that he would seek to stand a full slate of Brexit Party candidates at the next general election.

But according to Professor Goodwin, even an electoral pact between the Brexit Party and Conservatives in Leave-voting Tory constituencies would result in a Conservative loss of 46 seats.

Instead, he said the Conservative's future depended on them delivering a "meaningful Brexit".

“If they do, then they might be able to fend off this threat. But if they don’t then the party will almost certainly be plunged into opposition and Britain will be forced to say hello to the most economically radical and left wing government that the country has ever seen."

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