Richard Tice: Tory MPs may defect over Boris' party scandals

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The results of the poll showed that older generations and those living in more rural areas – which would traditionally be expected to favour the Tory party – are more likely to be impacted by recent lockdown party rumours and lobbying scandals. The Labour Party came out six points ahead of the Conservatives at 41 percent, with the Tories trailing behind at 35 percent. This equates to a loss of 111 Conservative seats at 255, with a number of high-profile Tory cabinet ministers projected to lose their grip on their own seats.

In a look at individual constituencies, the poll analysis showed that the Prime Minister himself would lose his seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Environment Secretary George Eustice, Scotland Secretary Alister Jack, COP26 President Alok Sharma and Wales Secretary Simon Hart would all be in the firing line.

The poll, sampling 10,000 people, was carried out by campaign group 38 Degrees, Survation and Professor Christopher Hanretty of Royal Holloway.

The poll showed that the older demographic are more attached to the Nolan principles, which are the behavioural expectations voters have of those who hold public office.

These principles focus on integrity, accountability, honesty, leadership, openness, objectivity and selflessness.

Professor Hanretty commented on the results, saying: “It’s older voters who are the most likely to say that the Government isn’t living up to the Nolan principles.

“This can be seen when comparing younger, urban areas with older rural areas.

“Constituencies in London for example are a lot less likely to express concern given the share of the vote Labour ordinarily receives there.”

Professor Hanretty added: “Given that older voters are (ordinarily) much more likely to vote Conservative, this shows the potential for accusations of sleaze to shift votes by depriving the Conservatives of this important electoral bulwark.”

The poll identified that Labour would claw back many of the seats taken by the Conservatives in the 2019 general election from constituencies in the ‘Red Wall’ in the north of England.

Just three of the 40 Red Wall seats which voted Tory two years ago would vote the same again.

38 Degrees CEO, Matthew McGregor, said: “Anger over sleaze and the cost of living crisis is a collapse in support for the Conservatives, and will cost them their majority if things don’t change dramatically.

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“The message to Boris Johnson from this poll is clear: show voters the respect they deserve, clean up the sleaze and fix the cost of living crisis.

“Voters who supported the Conservatives in 2019 to get Brexit done are angry and turned off by the actions of the Government.”

The poll also showed a decimation of the Tories in Scotland, predicting that they would lose all seats as Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP consolidates its popularity.

This follows a similarly disheartening result for the Tories from a poll commissioned by the Sunday Times, which showed an eight-point lead for Sir Keir Starmer over Boris Johnson.

In the first poll since the allegations of sleaze hit the ruling party, the 25,000 people asked responded with damning voting intentions.

The findings for the first three weeks of December suggested that Labour would win a general election with a majority of 26 seats.

This worrying polling for the Conservatives comes after footage of gatherings in Downing Street when indoor household mixing restrictions were in force and the fallout of the resignation of former cabinet MP Owen Paterson.

Mr Paterson was investigated by the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards over accusations that he broke lobbying rules in place for MPs, and the Commissioner concluded there had been “serious breaches” of the regulations.

Mr Paterson resigned from office after a public backlash to the government’s decision to block the suspension recommended by the Standards Committee.

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