Tory MPs confess Reform UK is bigger threat than Labour after bombshell poll

Richard Tice delivers first Reform UK speech of 2023

Despite Labour’s large lead in the polls, new analysis suggests their biggest problem is in fact Reform UK.

The right-wing, pro-border control party, was formed out of Nigel Farage’s old Brexit Party after Britain left the EU, and is led by former MEP Richard Tice.

According to a new YouGov poll of a whopping 5,621 voters, 11 percent of 2019 Tory voters would now back Labour, but 12 percent plump with Reform UK.

The poll, commissioned by Sky News, shows just 40 percent of the Tories’ voters at the last election would still vote Conservative, compared to 23 percent who say they don’t know and 7 percent who would refuse to turn out to the polls.

Reform leader Richard Tice told the Express: “More and more voters, as they learn about Reform and, feel that our policies are the ones to save Britain”.

READ MORE: Reform UK ‘delivering phase one’ of plan to oust Labour after by-elections

The lack of outright support for Sir Keir Starmer continues to give some Tories hope they can turn the ship around over the next year.

2019 Tory voters also overwhelmingly prefer Rishi Sunak over Keir Starmer, with the PM garnering a +7 net approval rating compared to Sir Keir’s -61.

However immigration continues to be a thorn in the Conservatives’ side with their previous voters.

YouGov’s Patrick English said the results provided polling data on a “crucial set of voters”.

He said: “They care about the issues the Conservatives want to talk about, such as immigration, to a much greater extent than those who are ready to make the jump to Labour.

“And that’s why at the moment we think only around one in 10 of them are telling us that they’re seriously considering voting Labour at the next election.”

Reform UK recently dealt the Tories a serious blow in the Tamworth by-election, with their 5.4 percent vote share denying the Tories the seat.

Reform’s Ian Cooper won 1,376 votes – 60 more than Labour’s majority over the Conservatives.

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Responding to the polling, Tory MPs in “Red Wall” seats told the Express that Reform UK is “a risk” to them.

One said: “They’re not the risk UKIP was, but a risk if we ignore. The lesson is not to move to the left.”

Another said the polling is “pretty much spot on with what we’ve been getting”, but noted the biggest issue is voters switching to ‘don’t know’ rather than to Labour.

“You do get the odd mention of Reform too, but as much out of frustration than any specific policies (as people don’t actually know what they are).”

A third said their experience also backed the theory very few Tory voters are switching to Labour, instead backing “apathy or Reform”.

One added that the Reform problem for the Tories could be much worse if Nigel Farage was the party’s leader.

Following the Tamworth by-election, leader Richard Tice told the Observer he wants to help “smash the Tory Party”.

“We’re delighted with ensuring that we have stopped the Tories from winning either of those two byelection

“They deserve to be punished. Tamworth is essentially a strong Brexit, red wall-style seat.

“That is where we are heavily targeting our focus because, of course, we used to be the Brexit party. So we’re pleased we’ve helped punish the Tories. There’s always more work to be done.

He also accused Rishi Sunak of having “nibbled away” at Reform UK’s policies, including Net Zero and HS2, but failing to go the whole way.

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