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Devastating poll result shows only 10% of voters under 50 would support Conservatives at next election

Support for Rishi Sunak’s party is at its lowest level since Liz Truss’s final days as prime minister

Zoe Grunewald
Thursday 18 January 2024 17:48 GMT
Related video: Swing from Tories to Labour was because Conservative voters stayed at home, party chair says

Only 10 per cent of voters under the age of 50 intend to vote Conservative in the next general election, according to a poll.

In the YouGov survey of more than 2,000 adults, only 20 per cent said they would vote for Rishi Sunak’s party, while fewer than half (49 per cent) of those who backed the Tories in 2019 intend to support them again.

The poll lays bare just how unpopular the party is with young people, with just 4 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 saying they intend to vote Conservative, and only 12 per cent of 25- to 49-year-olds. It also shows that support for the Conservatives is at its lowest level since Liz Truss’s final days as prime minister.

It comes after a testing week for the prime minister, who on Wednesday night staved off a major rebellion over his flagship Rwanda policy.

Rishi Sunak has insisted his small boats plan is working despite party divisions (PA)

The Rwanda bill passed its third reading in the Commons after days of Tory infighting, as 60 Conservatives backed rebel amendments to the government bill.

Only 11 Conservative MPs voted against the government, but the highly publicised conflict has exposed deep divisions in the party over the legislation and Mr Sunak’s leadership.

Mr Sunak also faced further criticism earlier in the week, when The Daily Telegraph published a YouGov survey, commissioned by several Tory donors led by former minister David Frost, which showed that the Conservatives were on track for a 1997-style electoral wipeout in which they could retain as few as 169 seats.

Lord Frost, who called for a new Conservative leader back in December, told the Telegraph that the only way to reverse the trend is to be “as tough as it takes” on immigration, reverse tax increases, and perform a U-turn on renewable energy measures.

The latest survey also reveals that the right-wing party Reform UK has hit its highest ever level of support, at 12 per cent, and that one in four (25 per cent) of 2019 Conservative voters now say they plan to vote for the challenger party.

Reform UK leader Richard Tice says his party will field a candidate against every Conservative MP at the next election (PA)

Labour is also set to make gains, with the poll indicating a lead of 27 points – the largest since Mr Sunak became prime minister.

On Thursday, Mr Sunak gave a press conference in an effort to assuage fears about the progress of the immigration bill and the disunity in his party.

He said: “The House of Commons has spoken. The Conservative Party has come together. The Rwanda bill has passed. It’s now for the Lords to pass this bill too. This is an urgent national priority.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said that instead of tackling economic issues, “Rishi Sunak’s government is too busy fighting over an unworkable and expensive policy that is destined to fail”.

He added: “It just confirms how desperately out of touch and out of ideas this Conservative government is. We urgently need a general election so we can finally put an end to this cycle of Conservative chaos and get on with tackling the huge challenges facing us all.”

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