British PM Rishi Sunak may lose seat in upcoming national elections, says survey

Survey says Rishi Sunak may lose his seat in upcoming polls
Survey says British PM Rishi Sunak may lose his seat in upcoming polls. Photo Courtesy: Rishi Sunak Instagram page 

A survey released by a civil society campaign organisation indicates that the ruling Conservative Party in the United Kingdom might face defeat in the general elections likely to be held later this year.

The survey shows that PM Rishi Sunak is himself bracing for a tough challenge in his own constituency of Richmond and Northallerton, and is “at risk” of losing to Labour.

The survey of over 15,000 people carried out by Survation, on behalf of Best for Britain, and put in the field days after the Spring Budget, puts Labour at a 19-point lead over the Conservatives (aka Tories). This is up 3 points from the campaign group’s previous mega-poll conducted at the end of last year, the survey showed.

According to the Press Trust of India, the Best for Britain analysis claimed, “Our MRP forecast shows that, if the election were held tomorrow, Sunak’s Conservatives would lose 250 MPs across the country and the Labour Party would win with 468 seats. This would be the worst ever result for the Conservatives at a General Election.”

When the Conservative share of the vote — down to 26 per cent compared to Labour’s 45 per cent — is translated into seats, the survey shows the Tories are on track to win just 98 seats, none of which are in either Wales or Scotland.

This hit to the Tories’ electoral prospects comes as Reform UK’s share of the vote surges across the country, with the party set to come second in seven seats and their overall vote share up to 8.5 per cent, just behind the Liberal Democrats on 10.4 per cent.

Reform UK was earlier known as Brexit Party, founded by Nigel Farage in November 2018. The party is now led by Richard Tice.

To assess the effect of Reform UK, Best for Britain said that it looked at the impact of the party agreeing to ‘stand aside’ for the Conservatives across the UK.

They asked those currently planning to vote Reform UK whom they would vote for if the party did not put up a candidate in their constituency. In this scenario, the Conservatives would win 150 seats — more than 50 per cent increase in their total seat haul.

Speaking on the chances of Prime Minister Sunak winning in his constituency, the organisation said: “The seat-specific results are particularly damning for the Prime Minister, showing that he is at risk of losing his own constituency of Richmond and Northallerton to Labour, with Sunak’s lead at less than 2.5 per cent share of the vote.”

“The same goes for the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s new seat of Godalming and Ash,  where, despite his efforts to win over voters by cutting National Insurance in the Spring Budget, he is only leading the Liberal Democrats by a 1 per cent share of the vote,” the organisation further said in the analysis.

Notably, of those rumoured to be in the race to replace Sunak, only Kemi Badenoch is set to comfortably retain her seat in North West Essex, the analysis said.

Tom Tugendhat and Gillian Keegan are on course to hold their seats, each with a 5 per cent lead over their nearest rivals, while Suella Braverman, Robert Jenrick and Priti Patel have marginal leads, it said.

The survey also suggests that the Conservatives are set to regain four seats lost in recent by-elections. “These include Chesham and Amersham, where the Lib Dems now slip to third place behind Labour, Glastonbury and Somerton, Honiton and Sidmouth and Tamworth. The data also identifies seven constituencies that are now deemed to be three-way marginals. Best for Britain points out how these losses and close ties highlight the need to provide voters with accurate guidance on how to vote locally, to effect change nationally,” the survey analysis said.

Naomi Smith, CEO of Best for Britain, said: “This [survey] shows we are headed for a change election of unprecedented proportions and major swings, as the electorate switches support away from the Tories in different directions.”

“Under a first-past-the-post system, and with most voters not knowing who is in second place in their new constituencies, we will be providing voters with state-of-the-art polling analysis at to give them the information they need to make sure their vote counts,” Smith said.

When was the poll conducted?

The poll of 15,029 adults and MRP analysis by Survation on behalf of Best for Britain was conducted between 8th March and 22nd March 2024.