Home Business News Tories are ‘losing ground to Reform UK and Labour in fairly equal measure’

Tories are ‘losing ground to Reform UK and Labour in fairly equal measure’

by LLB political Reporter
8th Apr 24 9:27 am

As Labour maintains its 16 point lead, Opinium’s latest poll reveals that the Conservatives are just holding onto two in five of their voters from 2019, losing almost equal numbers to Labour and Reform UK.

Among those who voted Conservative in the 2019 election, 41% would still vote for the party. However, 14% would now vote for Reform UK and 12% for Labour, while 4% would not vote.

Almost a quarter (23%) say they don’t know who they’d vote for now – but if forced to choose, 35% would pick the Conservatives again, 25% would vote Reform, 13% would vote Labour and 12% would vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Overall, Labour currently has 41% (n/c) of the vote while the Conservatives are on 25% (n/c). The Liberal Democrats are on 10% (n/c), Reform UK are on 11% (n/c), the Greens on 8% (n/c) and SNP remain on 3% (n/c).

Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak have not seen much movement in their approval ratings in the last fortnight, with insignificant increases from -10% to -7% net, and -36% to -34% net respectively. Meanwhile Ed Davey is unchanged on -8% net.

Voters not keen on a 2025 election

The UK public is fairly evenly split with regards to when they would like the next general election to be, with 29% picking Spring (by June 2024), 24% choosing Summer (by September 2024) and 23% selecting Autumn (by December 2024). Almost one in five (18%) do not know when they would prefer.

Holding the election next year would be an unpopular choice, with only 6% wanting the vote to be in January 2025.

Labour voters are understandably keener on a spring election (43%) than Conservative voters (9%).

Overall nearly two thirds (63%) expect the next election to result in a Labour victory, with 41% expecting a majority and 22% expecting them to be the largest party in a hung parliament.  Only 15% foresee the Conservatives winning (6% saying a majority, 9% saying the largest party in a hung parliament.

British voters want a Gaza ceasefire

Almost seven in ten (69%) approve of the idea of an immediate ceasefire in the Israel/Palestine conflict while 8% disapprove.

Only 19% believe that Israel should keep its export license to purchase arms from UK companies while 52% believe it should be suspended. This rises to 63% among Labour voters who think it should be suspended, compared to 13% who think Israel should be able to keep its license. Conservative voters are more evenly divided, with 36% saying keep, and 37% saying suspend.

Almost two-thirds (63%) think the government should publish the legal advice it receives on whether Israel is complying with international law while 15% say it should not.

The public do not think the British or American leaders have handled the situation well:

Majority believe immigration is too high

More than three in five (62%) believe immigration is too high, with only 6% saying it is too low and 19% saying it is ‘about right’.

When given an outline of the Rwanda scheme, 39% of UK adults say they support it, while 31% oppose it. Furthermore, following Rishi Sunak’s indication that he would be willing to leave the European Convention on Human Rights if it blocked his Rwanda policy, almost half (48%) said that the UK should remain signed up to the convention.

A quarter (26%) believe we should not be signed up, and 27% did not know. Among Conservative switchers, the majority (56%) of Conservative 2019 voters that have switched to Labour think the UK should remain signed up, while the majority of Conservative 2019 voters that have switched to Reform UK think the UK should not (73%).

Conservative 2019 voters who don’t know who they will vote for this time are split in opinions, with 34% thinking the UK should remain signed up and 36% thinking the UK should no longer be.

James Crouch, head of public affairs and policy at Opinium said: “Rishi Sunak’s struggle to win back Conservative votes has made little headway. The Conservatives are only holding onto two in five of their voters from 2019, and are losing ground to Reform UK and Labour in fairly equal measure.

“If the prime minister is hoping that his stance on the ECHR will win back some voters, he will be disappointed to find that support for leaving the EHCR is far from being a popular policy, and will only serve to push away many Conservative voters who have switched to Labour.

“The ongoing handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict and the new focus on arms sales could also be politically costly for the government, with a majority of the public supporting an immediate ceasefire and the suspension of Israel’s export license to purchase arms from UK companies.”

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