Curtice warns Tories heading for worst ever result ‘by a country mile’

After a series of devastating polls yesterday for the Tories, Britain’s leading polling guru explains how bad things will be on 4 July

David Maddox
Political editor
Thursday 20 June 2024 08:49 BST
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Professor Sir John Curtice has warned that the polling evidence in the election so far suggests that the Conservatives are heading for their worst ever result “by a country mile”.

The polling guru was reacting to the latest polls including the MRP surveys which yesterday suggested a potential Tory wipeout leaving them with as few as 53 seats.

In one scenario Rishi Sunak would become the first sitting prime minister to lose his seat with the previously ultra safe Richmond and Northallerton falling to Labour.

The polls suggest that other big figures like Penny Mordaunt, James Cleverly and Jeremy Hunt are all on the cusp of being ousted too. Another one in peril is Tory party chairman Richard Holden who caused outrage when he forced the Billericay and Basildon association to accept him as their candidate in a one person shortlist for what had appeared to be a safe seat with a majority of more than 20,000.

Prof Sir John Curtice has warned the Tories are heading for a record defeat (Strathclyde University/PA)
Prof Sir John Curtice has warned the Tories are heading for a record defeat (Strathclyde University/PA)

Prof Curtice noted that the polls show both Labour and the Tories are down three points each since the beginning of the election to 41 percent and 21 percent on average respectively.

He noted that the 62 percent “will be a record low combined vote for Labour and the Conservatives.” He added that the 21 percent for the tories is “a record low” for them as well.

Reform are up five points since the election began mainly because of Nigel Farage’s decision to stand according to Prof Curtice. The Lib Dems are up two points to around 11 percent and the Greens are holding at six points, he noted.

Prof Curtice noted that the MRP polls try to work out what is happening geographically rather than trying to apply straight swings across the country.

He noted that it showed further bad news for the Tories because they are down between 11 percent at the most optmisitic and 21 percent at the worst end in the areas that they have traditionally been strongest.

This suggests that the blue wall Tory safe seats are now very much in danger of falling to Labour and the Lib Dems.

Prof Curtice said: “The Conservatives are at the moment heading for the worst performance since the First World War, since the advent of the mass franchise, by a country mile.

“Secondly, not even the More in Common poll suggest they go to quite reach that lowest ever number of seats in the House of Commons, which is 156 all the way back in 1906.”

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