Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party would lose to the opposition in almost all key battleground constituencies if an election were held tomorrow — and the British prime minister would “likely” lose his own seat to Labour, according to a new poll.
While the next general election is due to take place by January 2025 at the latest, the results nonetheless paint a dire picture facing the Tories in the wake of the Partygate scandal.
Tories are projected to be able to hold on to just three of 88 “battleground” parliamentary seats, according to the pollster YouGov, referring to seats that the Conservatives won from Labour in the 2019 election or currently hold with a marginal majority of less than 15 percentage points.
“Boris Johnson’s seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip would likely fall into Labour hands, with current results suggesting a 5pt Labour lead in the constituency,” YouGov said in a statement.
Johnson has refused to step down despite a damning report last week that found “failures of leadership and judgment” on the part of Downing Street over 16 gatherings that took place there during government-imposed pandemic lockdowns. Dubbed Partygate, these events featured pizza, Prosecco and a karaoke machine — at a time when most of the public were asked to stay home and stop meeting family and friends.
Conservative members have long considered Johnson, the firebrand Brexiteer, as the most effective winning ticket. In 2019, he led the party to crash Labour in a landslide 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, securing the highest proportion of popular votes since Margaret Thatcher’s first victory in 1979.
The story looks very different today, according to the YouGov poll.
“High-profile ‘Red Wall’ Conservative gains from 2019 … would fall back into Labour hands if an election were held tomorrow,” the pollster says. “Every Conservative seat in Wales under our ‘battleground’ definition would be lost.”
The most immediate pain could be felt on June 23, when a by-election takes place in Wakefield, triggered by the sexual assault conviction of former Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan.
“Wakefield … would also return to Labour,” YouGov predicts.