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Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party heading for a rout: Survey

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British prime minister Rishi Sunak (file photo)

London: If a major survey covering 18,000 people on Wednesday is any indcation, British prime minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party is heading for a defeat worse than what the party under former Tory prime minister John Major suffered in 1997 when the Tony Blair-led Labour left them with just 165 MPs

The survey predicted a wipe-out for the Sunak-led governing Conservative Party, and forecast the Opposition Labour Party to win 403 seats – comfortably clear of the 326 required for a majority.

The new multi-level modelling and post-stratification (MRP) figures released by YouGov follow a similar mega poll over the weekend predicting a defeat for the Tories, with a gain of 201 for Keir Starmer-led Labour and Sunak-led Tories set to crash to just 155 seats – a loss of 210.

“These latest results push Keir Starmer closer toward repeating a Blair-level result for Labour, a full 27 years since Labour’s longest-serving prime minister first took office. In that election, Blair won 418 out of the available 659 House of Commons seats,” reads the YouGov analysis.

“By contrast, Rishi Sunak is now heading for a worse result than John Major’s 1997 total of 165 seats. The coming tidal wave projected by this model would sweep away several major Conservative figures,” it said.

The most prominent members of Parliament who could lose their House of Commons seat include Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, science minister Michelle Donelan and levelling up minister Michael Gove. Other senior Tories in the precarious zone with the electorate include Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and former minister Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The Liberal Democrats are up by one seat based on an earlier YouGov model, to 49, on the path to a “significant parliamentary comeback” without any significant changes to their national vote share. In Scotland, YouGov now projects Labour to comfortably be the largest party.

The headline results based on this MRP model would be Labour at 41 per cent of the vote, the Conservatives at 24 per cent, the Liberal Democrats at 12 per cent, the Greens at 7 per cent, far-right Reform UK at 12 per cent, and others at 1 per cent.

YouGov said it interviewed 18,761 British adults from March 7-27, marking the latest survey to predict a 1997-style outcome for the Conservatives when the nation goes to the polls, which Sunak has indicated will be held in the second half of the year.

“Constituency-level projections were estimated using the same statistical method which correctly predicted the 2017 and 2019 UK general elections – multi-level modelling and post-stratification (MRP),” it said.

The repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act in 2022 restored the ability of British prime ministers to set election dates. However, by law a general election has to take place at least every five years, making January 2025 the outermost deadline for Sunak to go to the ballot box.

(Inputs from PTI)

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TAGS:Rishi SunakConservative partyWorld newsBritish parliament poll
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