Top Conservatives face 1997-style wipeout in the next general election, major poll suggests

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Credit: PA

The Conservatives are facing a 1997-style electoral wipeout that would hand Labour a 120-seat majority, a major opinion poll suggests.

A YouGov survey of 14,000 people indicates that Rishi Sunak’s Tories could hold on to as few as 169 seats as Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour enters Downing Street with 385, with key party players losing their place in the commons.

The polling, reported by the Telegraph, indicated that every so-called “red wall” seat won by Boris Johnson in 2019 could be lost at the general election this year.

Rishi Sunak has played down the findings of a major opinion poll which indicated Labour could be on course for a 120-seat majority in the next election.

The prime minister said: “There have been lots of polls over the last year, there will be hundreds more polls. The only one that matters is the one when the general election comes.

“The choice at that election is clear, it’s stick with our plan that is working, it’s delivering change for people, ensuring they can have the peace of mind that there is a brighter future for their children and we can have renewed pride in our country," he said, speaking on a visit to Essex on Monday.

He said the “alternative” was “Keir Starmer and going back to square one with him”.

“He doesn’t have a plan,” Mr Sunak said.

He added that the “choice” was clear: “Stick with the plan that is delivering change, making a difference, or go back to square one.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt could be one of 11 cabinet ministers to lose their seats in what would be the biggest collapse in support for a governing party since 1906, according to the newspaper.

Who are the MPs that could be losing their seat?

Jeremy Hunt

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt. Credit: PA

Jeremy Hunt was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer on 14 October 2022, he has been the MP for South West Surrey since May 2005.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps was on board HMS Vanguard during the Trident missile test failure. Credit: PA

Grant Shapps was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on 31 August and was previously he was Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero since February 2023. He was elected the Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005.

Penny Mordaunt

Penny Mordaunt's custom made outfit is also going on display.

Penny Mordaunt was appointed Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons on 6 September 2022.

This year Mordaunt hit the headlines for her role in the coronation.

As part of an ancient custom during the King's coronation, Mourdant bestowed the newly crowed Monarch with 100 newly-minted 50p pieces bearing an effigy of the King in exchange for a glittering Jewelled Sword of Offering, which she carried.

Penny has been a Member of Parliament since 2010 and represents Portsmouth North.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has warned of a ‘deepening threat’ being posed by China under President Xi Jinping Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Sir Iain Duncan Smith is the Conservative MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, and has been an MP continuously since 9 April 1992.

He previously lead the party from 2001 to 2003 and mostly recently was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from May 2010 to March 2016

Gillian Keegan

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Gillian Keegan was appointed Secretary of State for Education on 25 October 2022 and was elected as Conservative MP for Chichester on 8 June 2017.

She hit the headlines after ITV News recorded her saying people "have been sat on their a***s" over the school Raac crisis, which caused hundreds to shut across the UK, while saying the government should be thanked for their response.

Lee Anderson

Lee Anderson is the MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire. Credit: PA

Lee Anderson is the Conservative MP for Ashfield, and has been an MP continuously since 12 December 2019. He is deputy chair of the Conservative Party.

The divisive MP is often in the news for his outspoken comments, this year he told ITV News he once received 55 death threats in a day.

He is also paid £100,000 a year to present a show on TV channel GB News.

Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer MP. Credit: ITV News

Johnny Mercer is the Conservative MP for Plymouth, Moor View, and has been an MP continuously since 7 May 2015.

He currently holds the government post of Minister for Veterans' Affairs after previously quitting cabinet in 2021.

He also managed to evaded capture and race to win Channel 4 show Celebrity Hunted in 2018.

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Support for Reform UK would be decisive in 96 Tory losses despite the Nigel Farage-linked party not picking up a single seat, the polling suggests, while the SNP would also suffer.

The research, using the multi-level regression and post-stratification method, was commissioned by a group of Tory donors working with former Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost

Conservative anxieties about their electoral prospects under Mr Sunak are likely to reach new heights.

Simon Clarke, who was a Cabinet minister under Liz Truss, said the result would be a “disaster”.

“The time for half measures is over,” he wrote on social media. “We either deliver on small boats or we will be destroyed.”

Among the other top Tories said to be on course to lose their seats are Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt and Attorney General Victoria Prentis.

ITV News has not been able to independently verify the data reported by The Telegraph.

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