Sunak warned he has two weeks to persuade Tory voters back from Reform or face humiliation

Rishi Sunak is staring at an electoral catastrophe as two more polls confirmed that the Tories could be stranded as the third party in British politics after the election.

With just two weeks to go before the election date a new Redfield and Wilton poll has put Reform ahead of the Tories for the second time in a week while the Techne UK weekly tracker poll for The Independent has seen Nigel Farage’s party close within two points.

Michela Morizzo, chief executive of Techne UK, said: “The election is just two weeks away, and it’s normal to see more undecided voters. But this time the political scenario is more complicated than ever and political parties - above all the Conservatives - have only fortnight to try to persuade those who are undecided or defected to Reform to come back.

“At this time things look very bleak indeed for Rishi Sunak and his Conservatives. Let’s see what the last two weeks of campaign will bring.”

Both polling outcomes would consign the Conservatives to less than 50 seats and give the Lib Dems a chance of being the official opposition even though they are only polling at 11 and 12 percent in the two polls.

The disastrous results come after the Tory campaign has been hit by a scandal of people close to Mr Sunak’s inner circle betting on the election date just before he called it. In a campaign which has already been dogged by mishaps including leaving the D-Day commemorations early, Mr Sunak has now lost his director of campaigning Tony Lee to the gambling scandals.

The Redfield and Wilton poll puts Labour 23 points ahead of Reform on 42 percent with Farage’s party on 19 percent and the Tories one point back on 18 percent. It follows the shock YouGov poll last week which put Reform a point ahead of the Conservatives.

If this were to be the outcome of an election it Electoral Calculus, the prediction website, calculates that Labour would have a majority of 366 with the Lib Dems on 56 seats, Tories 35 and Reform five.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Sizewell in Suffolk, while on the General Election campaign trail has a lot to think about (PA) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Sizewell in Suffolk, while on the General Election campaign trail has a lot to think about (PA) (PA Wire)

Meanwhile, the Techne UK weekly tracker poll puts Labour on 42 percent (down 1), 23 points ahead of the Tories unchanged on 19 percent with Reform close behind on 17 percent.

In that scenario Electoral Calculus predicts that Labour would have a majority of 346 with the Lib Dems on 60 seats, Tories on 42 and Reform on three.

The appalling results come after MRP polls, which try to gauge the outcome in individual seats based on geography, had similar predictions.

Polling guru professor Sir John Curtice said that it confirmed the Conservatives are heading for their worst ever result “by a country mile”, worse than the all time low of 1906 when the Tories won just 156 seats.

However, leading polling expert and Tory peer Lord Robert Hayward has warned that his party should not overreact to the exagerated doomsday scenarios portrayed in the polls.

Earlier Redfield and Wilton revealed in a poll for The Independent that voters favoured the idea of Reform replacing the Tories as the main party on the centre right by 41 percent to 39 percent and Mr Farage was the preferred candidate to be leader of the opposition to Labour.

However, the Techne poll also underscored growing disillusionment among voters with 24 percent now saying they will not vote, up four points in the last fortnight. The biggest group among those who will not vote are young voters with 38 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they will not go to the polling station.

Meanwhile, only 38 percent of 2019 Tory voters are willing to vote for the party again under Mr Sunak despite interventions this week by Boris Johnson. More than a quarter (26 percent) have defected to Reform UK 10 percent have gone to Labour and 23 percent either will stay at home or are uncertain.

The 2016 Leave voters are also increasingly turning to Reform UK and Mr Farage with 28 percent compared to 23 percent supporting the Tories.

Ms Morizzo noted: “With just two weeks to go today until the general election our regular tracker poll of Westminster voting intentions sees Labour share of national vote share drop by 1 point to 42 percent whilst the Conservatives hold firm at 19 percent.

“The real story however, shows the continued rise of Reform UK, now polling 17 percent of national vote share up another point on last week, and now just two points behind the Conservatives. Further to this this Lib Dems rise one point to 12 percent of national vote share, with the Greens down one point at 5 percent.

“With the voting splits this week favouring both Reform &and the Lib Dems, the other winners are those persons polled who now do not intend to vote at all. The ‘stay at home vote’ is now nearly 25 percent of all those polled - a truly staggering stay at home vote.”