Tamworth: Aerial views show rooftops in Staffordshire town
A new poll has suggested that ultra-safe Conservative seats are now likely to fall with the party trying to manage expectations over two crunch by-elections on Thursday night.
Both Mid Bedfordshire, previously held by Nadine Dorries, and Tamworth in Staffordshire were very safe Conservative seats before their MPs quit but now appear to be on the brink of falling to Labour giving Rishi Sunak a major headache.
According to the Techne UK weekly tracker poll for Express.co.uk, Tamworth, where the Tories had two-thirds of the popular vote in 2019, will not just fall in a by-election protest vote but would be a Labour seat in a general election.
Mid Bedfordshire, where the Conservatives are hopeful of clinging on tonight, would only remain Tory because of a split opposition vote between Labour and the Lib Dems – a scenario which could play out when counting starts after 10pm.
Based on those who have declared how they will vote, the poll puts Labour 19 points ahead on 45 percent (down one) to the Conservatives’ 26 percent (unchanged).
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The Lib Dems are up one on 11 percent and both Greens and Reform UK are unchanged at six percent.
According to Electoral Calculus, Labour would have a majority of 220 from the poll while the Tories would have an all-time low of 130.
But when those who will not vote or have not made up their minds are included in the total of 1,634 interviewed by Techne UK today and yesterday, the figures are catastrophic for the Tories.
Techne UK chief executive Michela Morizzo said that “non-voters” now are so big on 35 percent (25 percent would not vote, 10 percent uncertain) that “they should be considered as their own party”.
In comparison to the total of those asked they make up more than double those who would vote Tory at 17 percent and are even more than Labour at 29 percent.
The poll also confirms again that more than half the Conservative vote from 2019 has abandoned them with only 48 percent saying they would vote for the party again.
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The findings appear to confirm the remarks made to Express.co.uk by a senior MP in the government who was recently campaigning in Tamworth.
The MP said: “It is apathy that is going to kill us. Our voters are just not coming out, they are staying at home rather than switching to Labour or Reform UK.”
Several Tory MPs noted that they had only been asked to deliver leaflets rather than engage with voters in Tamworth.
One veteran Conservative MP said: “That’s always a bad sign. Basically, that happens when they know voters are angry with us and they don’t want face-to-face conversations.”
The Techne poll suggests that Labour now leads in every age and socio-economic group.
Ms Morizzo said: “With the Party Conference season now behind us, and against the backdrop of terrible instability and geopolitical complexity across the Middle East, our tracker poll of Westminster voting intentions continues to show a dominant lead for the Labour Party.
“However, this week Sir Keir Starmer’s party falls by one point of national vote share to 45 percent, and with the Conservatives maintaining a 26 percent national vote share the Labour lead is now down to 19 points.
“It is of interest that the Lib Dems rise by one point of national vote share this week to 11 percent and with two critical by-elections taking place today in Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth we will very shortly get the real-time votes of electors to better compare national polling trends at this time.”
The results though confirm that Mr Sunak has not been able to make a significant dent in Labour’s lead with the year anniversary coming up of MPs installing him as party leader and Prime Minister after a coup against Liz Truss.
When Boris Johnson announced he would quit in July last year Labour’s lead was five percent but it has been around 20 percent for most of 2023.
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