Tory blues

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‘These polling numbers are unbelievable!’

During 23 years with the BBC, and a 40 year journalistic career (when he was trained to use clear and simple language, avoiding jargon), our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry has covered innumerable elections (indeed his first television interview was with a Welsh MP during the 1987 campaign), and now this is underlined by the latest polling figures which have emphasised Labour’s lead in this one, even as the Tories launch their manifesto with a promise of tax cuts.

 

Rishi Sunak at his manifesto launch, where the Tories were hoping for a boost in the polls

Nothing Rishi Sunak does seems to be right.

He came back early from D-Day commemorations (there was a huge row about it and Mr Sunak was forced to apologise profusely), while polling figures are dire.

Even when he apparently does something ‘good’ for his party (as with the leadership debate when one paper said that he came out “swinging”), Mr Sunak’s opponents accuse him of using “misleading” figures.

It’s all down hill for the Tories

Now new statistics confirm that the situation for the Conservatives seems to be terrible.

A Tory meltdown is entirely possible. This was The Economist: “The Conservatives may get an even bigger battering on July 4th (than in 1997). The Economist’s prediction model currently has them holding onto 187 seats—half the number they won in 2019. As predictions go, that is among the more generous. The party is set to be abandoned by somewhere between 7m and 9m of the 14m voters who backed it last time. Other pollsters say that could mean as few as 66 seats, in which case the Liberal Democrats could be nipping at Tory heels for second place. Apocalyptically minded Tories fret about a “Canada-style” wipeout, a reference to the election in 1993 in which their sister party won two seats”.

A Sunday Telegraph survey was NOT good news for the Conservatives

Two more polls yesterday appeared to underline this verdict, with one showing a drop of four points for the party, and the other that the Conservatives are on course to pick up just 72 seats.

One of the surveys (by Savanta for The Sunday Telegraph), revealed that the Tories were down to only 21 per cent of the vote – the lowest by that pollster since the dying days of Theresa May’s premiership in early 2019.

Readers were told the Conservatives would pick up only 72 seats

A Survation poll for Best for Britain (published by The Sunday Times), predicted that the Tories would win the 72 seats in the next UK Parliament, compared with  a massive 456 for Labour.

THAT result would give Labour a majority of 262 seats – far surpassing the landslide Labour victory under Sir Tony Blair in 1997.

Polling firms have spelt it out

A recent poll by a further firm (YouGov) found that 73 per cent of people in the UK, thought that things were ‘WORSE now than in 2010’ (when the Tories came to power).

Last week another YouGov survey revealed that Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party has overtaken the Conservatives in a UK opinion poll for the first time. It climbed two percentage points to 19 per cent, while the Tories remained on 18 per cent, with Labour on 37 per cent.

‘I’m doing well, aren’t I?!

A survey of voting intentions in the all-important ‘red wall’ seat of Hartlepool for The Economist by WeThink, suggests how far the party has slumped.

The poll of 448 voters in the constituency puts Labour on 58 per cent, Reform UK on 23 percent and the Tories on a remarkable 10 per cent.

Ordinary people in Hartlepool are protesting, and it’s thumbs down for the Conservatives!

Labour seems to have picked up voters both from the Brexit Party (Reform UK’s forerunner), as well as from the Conservatives.

If such an extreme Tory collapse seems unlikely, consider that in local elections in May it won a seat in only one of the 12 wards it contested in the town.

Its residents seem discontented and cynical, eager to vote against whoever is in power.

“Every vote in Hartlepool is a protest vote”, said Sam Lee

“Every vote in Hartlepool is a protest vote”, declared Sam Lee, an independent candidate who took 10 per cent of the vote in the by-election in 2021 and is running again.

This is exactly the sort of seat the Tories are desperate to win, and they will have hoped their recent announcements of tax cuts would have made inroads.

A manifesto launch usually gives a massive fillip to a party, with it scoring better in opinion polls, but it doesn’t seem to have worked this time.

in an attempt to woo voters, Mr Sunak promised to lower further the National Insurance (NI) paid by employees in a tax-cutting package estimated at £17 billion per year by 2030.

Tory manifesto promises have come under scrutiny

He also pledged to reduce the main rate of NI paid by the self-employed, and abolish it completely by April 2029.

The manifesto argues that the cuts could be accounted for by reducing welfare payments and cracking down on tax avoidance.

However there has been enormous criticism of these figures, and not just from opposition politicians.

Paul Johnson said the figures were ‘uncertain and unspecific’

For example Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, expressed scepticism about these “uncertain, unspecific and apparently victimless savings”.

In particular, he added that the planned welfare reforms were “not up to the challenge” of delivering savings worth £12 billion a year.

The manifesto launch doesn’t seem to have worked either in the polling figures.

Here are the latest numbers, with some of the fieldwork for the top two being done on the day of the Tory manifesto launch:

Pollster Con Lab LD Grn Ref Con lead Fieldwork
YouGov 18%
(-1)
38%
(-3)
15%
(+4)
8%
(+1)
17%
(+1)
-20% 10-11/6
Focaldata 24%
(-1)
42%
(-2)
9%
(nc)
5%
(nc)
15%
(+1)
-18% 7-11/6
Verian 20%
(-3)
41%
(nc)
11%
(-1)
8%
(nc)
15%
(+6)
-21% 7-10/6
Redfield &
Wilton
19%
(nc)
45%
(+3)
10%
(-2)
5%
(-1)
17%
(nc)
-26% 7-10/6
Savanta 25%
(-1)
44%
(-2)
9%
(-1)
4%
(+1)
10%
(-1)
-19% 7-9/6
JL Partners 24%
(-2)
41%
(-2)
11%
(nc)
5%
(+2)
15%
(+3)
-17% 7-9/6
Lord Ashcroft 21%
(-2)
43%
(-4)
7%
(+1)
7%
(+1)
15%
(+4)
-22% 6-10/6
Deltapoll 21%
(-4)
46%
(-2)
9%
(-1)
5%
(+1)
12%
(+3)
-25% 6-8/6
WeThink 20%
(-1)
45%
(-1)
10%
(+2)
5%
(-1)
15%
(+2)
-25% 6-7/6
Survation
(phone)
23% 41% 10% 6% 12% -18% 5-11/6
Opinium 24%
(-1)
42%
(-3)
10%
(+2)
7%
(+1)
12%
(+1)
-18% 5-7/6
More in Common 25%
(-2)
46%
(nc)
9%
(+1)
6%
(+1)
11%
(+1)
-21% 5-7/6
Whitestone 22%
(-2)
42%
(-2)
9%
(nc)
5%
(-1)
16%
(+5)
-20% 5-6/6
Techne 20%
(-1)
44%
(-1)
10%
(-1)
6%
(nc)
15%
(+3)
-24% 5-6/6
Survation
(online)
23%
(-1)
43%
(-4)
9%
(-2)
5%
(+2)
15%
(+7)
-20% 5-6/6
Norstat 22% 45% 10% 5% 14% -23% 4-5/6
BMG 23%
(-4)
42%
(-1)
9%
(nc)
6%
(nc)
16%
(+5)
-19% 4-5/6
Ipsos 23%
(+3)
43%
(+2)
8%
(-3)
9%
(-2)
9%
(nc)
-20% 31/5-4/6
YouGov
MRP
25%
(+1)
43%
(+2)
11%
(-1)
7%
(nc)
10%
(-2)
-18% 24/5-1/6
Survation MRP 24%
(-2)
43%
(-2)
10%
(nc)
4%
(nc)
11%
(+2)
-19% 22/5-2/6
Find Out Now /
Electoral Calculus
19%
(-3)
46%
(+4)
10%
(-1)
8%
(+1)
12%
(+2)
-27% 20-27/5
More in Common
MRP
29% 43% 11% 5% 8% -14% 9/4-29/5
2019 result 45% 33% 12% 3% 2%
(Brexit)
12%
2017 result 43% 41% 8% 2% 2%
(Ukip)
2%
2015 result 38% 31% 8% 4% 13%
(Ukip)
7%

 

So across the UK (and not just in Hartlepool), it doesn’t look good for the Tories.

Can Mr Sunak do NOTHING right?!

 

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

Some of the political stories Phil has covered over the years, as he was gripped by the rare neurological condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP)have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now!

Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.

The Pope didn’t wrap himself in the gay flag!

Tomorrow – an apology after the Pope used a highly offensive word about homosexual men, has highlighted how for Phil during his research into the Roman Catholic (RC) Church for a Panorama programme, he found that many priests WERE in fact gay…