UK general election poll: Farage more popular than Sunak with 2019 Tory voters after D-Day blunder, poll shows

Nigel Farage (left) has polled ahead of Rishi Sunak (right) in a new survey (ES Composite)
Nigel Farage (left) has polled ahead of Rishi Sunak (right) in a new survey (ES Composite)

Rishi Sunak is less popular than Nigel Farage with 2019 Conservative voters after he left commemorations for the 80th anniversary of D-Day early, according to a new poll.

The Prime Minister's approval rating dropped 12 percentage points in a week after he opted to swap a world leaders’ event in Normandy for an ITV interview.

A survey by JL Partners shows Mr Sunak’s net score among 2019 Tory supporters fell from 20 points on June 1 to eight points on June 8.

Meanwhile Nigel Farage’s return as Reform UK leader has seen his rating rise from 12 points to 15 in the same period.

The Telegraph reports that the right-wing stalwart moved ahead of the Prime Minister for the first time with voters who backed the Conservatives at the last national poll.

A separate JL Partners poll found only 40 per cent of 2019 Tory voters plan to stick with the Tories.

The poll suggested that 20 per cent of those voters plan to back Reform while 15 per cent will swing to Labour.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party remained 17 percentage points ahead of the Conservatives with the Labour party polling at 41 per cent with the Tories behind on 24 per cent.

Reform rose to 15 per cent while the Liberal Democrats were unchanged on 11 per cent.

Joe Alder, a senior researcher at JL Partners, said: "Looking just at the Conservative base, Rishi Sunak's positivity numbers have now dropped for the second week running, following an initial election-calling bump.

"It seems that the PM's increased visibility is not doing him any favours with these crucial 2019 voters who, by contrast, seem to be warming to Reform UK's new leader, Nigel Farage.

"It may well be that Sunak's D-Day debacle is denting the PM with the voters he most needs to impress."

James Johnson, the co-founder of JL Partners, noted that Reform is “cannibalising the Tory vote and the election is becoming a multi-party contest”.

He added: “What is clear regardless is that the campaign is now clearly heading in the wrong direction for the Conservatives."

Another survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found Mr Sunak’s approval rating dropped to minus 27, the lowest rating the pollsters have ever recorded from the Prime Minister.

In contrast he had an approval rating of nearly 60 during the pandemic when he brought in schemes including furlough.