Tory poll has bad news for the PM: Labour will win the next election

 

David Cameron's hopes of holding on to power beyond the next election suffered a fresh blow last night, as a new poll of marginal constituencies suggested Ed Miliband was on course to win an 84-seat majority in 2015.

The extensive poll, by senior Tory Lord Ashcroft, showed Labour would gain 109 seats – 93 of them from the Conservatives – if an election were held tomorrow.

The results, presented at a conference in London on how the Tories could win in 2015, came after a poll of party activists showed only 7 per cent felt Mr Cameron would still be in 10 Downing Street after the election.

Party officials last night played down the significance of the findings, claiming that they were due to temporary "mid-term blues", rather than a longer-term dissatisfaction with the performance of the Tories in government.

But the dismal polling will intensify backbench disillusionment with Mr Cameron and his alleged preoccupation with "peripheral" concerns, including gay marriage, instead of mainstream Conservative issues.

Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, yesterday suggested his party would only consider an electoral pact with the Tories if they ditched Mr Cameron – whom he described as "a con man" who could not be trusted to deliver his promised referendum on the European Union in 2017.

The Prime Minister, who is also embroiled in a spat with the Office for Budget Responsibility over claims that he misrepresented their views to bolster his argument on the economy, has been under mounting internal pressure since the Tories came third in the Eastleigh by-election earlier this month.

One of his closest allies, Nick Boles, yesterday attempted to counter the growing dissent by warning against swinging to the right after the humiliating defeat. But he conceded that the party had "screwed up" in Eastleigh.

"Where was the hope? It was as if modernisation had never happened," said Mr Boles, who is a planning minister.

"We screwed it up. We didn't even screw up in a new way. We screwed it up in an old way that we have been doing for a decade. It's so frustrating."

However, although Mr Boles said opponents needed "their heads seeing to" if they believed it was wise to attempt to oust Mr Cameron, the latest poll results add weight to the growing concerns that the Tories are heading in the wrong direction.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test