New poll reveals ‘Farage effect’ on the general election

Nigel Farage’s decision to stand as a candidate in the general election has given his party Reform UK a three point boost a new poll has suggested.

The weekly tracker poll by Techne UK for The Independent has registered Reform’s support climbing from 12 points to 15 in the week since Farage made his dramatic announcement in the seaside town of Clacton.

Meanwhile, following the television debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer, the Tories and Labour both lost a point in support dropping to 44 percent and 20 percent respectively.

The Lib Dems were down one to 10 percent and Greens remained the same on 6 percent.

This is the third poll to suggest a surge in support for Reform UK on the right splitting the Tory vote. A Yougov poll last night put them within two points of the Conservatives on 17 percent and 19 percent while another today had them both even at 18 percent.

Former Tory cabinet minister Nadine Dorries, a Boris Johnson loyalist who publicly fell out with Mr Sunak, predicted that Reform would go ahead of the Conservatives in a poll by the weekend as a result of Farage standing.

It was revealed by The Independent that Mr Sunak had been offered a deal which could have prevented Farage from running but rejected it.

The event will mark Mr Farage’s first debate appearance since his shock takeover as leader of Reform UK (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)
The event will mark Mr Farage’s first debate appearance since his shock takeover as leader of Reform UK (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

If this Techne UK poll of 1,645 people was the result of a general election then the Tories would be reduced to being the third party on 35 seats according to Electoral Calculus. Labour would have a majority of 396 while the Lib Dems would get 54 seats and be the official opposition.

The poll spells very bad news for Mr Sunak with less than four in 10 (38 percent) of Tory 2019 general election voters still backing the party now. Almost a quarter of them (23 percent) have defected to Reform with Farage as leader and another 13 percent to Labour. Around 9 percent would not vote and 13 percent are uncertain.

Labour lead in every age, economic, education level and social group in the poll. The tories only have a narrow lead among 2016 Leave voters with 36 percent to Reform’s 34 percent.

Michela Morizzo, the chief executive of Techne UK, said: “This week the general election has sparked into life with the sudden and completely unexpected announcement by Nigel Farage that he will now stand as a candidate and also become Reform UK’s Leader.

“With the first leaders debate between Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak, the electorate’s interest is clearly getting stronger. Our regular tracker poll this week immediately shows the impact of Farage’s announcements with Reform UK jumping up a dramatic three points in national vote share to 15 percent.

“Reform picks from the Conservatives on all levels: the present Conservative voters and also the former Conservative voters indicating Labour, Lib Dem or no-vote area before Farage’s announcement.

“However, the Labour lead for Sir Keir Starmer remains 24 points over Sunak’s Conservatives. Once again, the story and the political scenario has completely changed. Now it’s time for a radical change in the Conservatives’ campaign in order to to block the outflow of votes to the right.”