Tories face worst election result ever as Brexit Party and Lib Dems surge ahead
The Conservatives would fall outside the top two parties if a general election were held today, a new poll reveals.
Read more: Which Tory leadership candidates favour a no-deal Brexit?
The Tories would crash to third place with just 19 per cent of the vote, tied with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, a Yougov survey has found.
That would be the Conservatives' worst result since the party was founded more than two centuries ago.
The Remain-focused Liberal Democrats would instead win the general election with 24 per cent of the vote, compared to the Brexit party’s 22 per cent, the poll for the Times showed.
However, Brexit party founder Nigel Farage complained about the poll, pointing out the party was not on the list.
You Gov have released a poll showing the Lib Dems top in the country, with @brexitparty_uk second. They did not have the BP option on the list and we were hidden in ‘others’. Looks like an establishment attempt to suppress the truth. #FakePolling
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 31, 2019
Instead Yougov included the party in its ‘other parties’ category.
The pollsters said that the UK’s prolonged Brexit and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s waning popularity have created a gap for the Lib Dems to exploit.
“This has created fertile ground for the Liberal Democrats, with the result being that they are now the number one choice amongst Remain voters,” Yougov said.
But under the UK’s first past the post election system Vince Cable’s party would be unlikely to beat Labour and the Tories in numbers of seats, according to Yougov.
Tories and Labour lost out as voters picked parties that took uncompromising stances on Brexit.
That would send Labour to its worst performance since 1918 were a general election to be held shortly.
Meanwhile, disharmony in the Conservative party forced Theresa May to confirm she will quit as Tory leader on 7 June, triggering a race to replace her among 12 rival MPs.
How will the Tories stand on Brexit under a new leader?
Frontrunners Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab have both committed to securing the UK’s exit from the EU with any means necessary, even pursuing a no-deal Brexit.
Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom would also go down that route, according to public comments they have recently made.
Meanwhile Rory Stewart is the only Tory candidate to have ruled out a no-deal Brexit.
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has called it “political suicide”, though.
And chancellor Philip Hammond yesterday threatened to bring down the next government if it is led by a Prime Minister who favours a no-deal Brexit.
Read more: The CBI had a chance to look beyond the Brexit debate, and they blew it
“It’s not something I would do lightly or enthusiastically, but I am very clear that the national interest trumps party interest,” he told Sky News.