Rishi Sunak is facing a Conservative rebellion with disaffection growing within the party, according to reports.
MPs on the right of the party have warned that if poll numbers did not improve by the local elections in spring it would spark major unrest – and could even see a push for the return of “election winner” Boris Johnson.
The former PM joined a rebellion against a de-facto ban on new onshore windfarms this week alongside his successor, Liz Truss.
He was also seen out campaigning in his local constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, suggesting he’s considering running at the next general election.
A Savanta ComRes poll for The Independent, one month on from Mr Sunak taking over from Liz Truss, shows Labour way out in front on 46 per cent support and the Tories languishing on just 28 per cent.
The very slight bounce Sunak offered his party on becoming prime minister has now “flatlined”, according to experts who said Labour’s huge lead appeared to be a “new normal”.
Polling guru Professor John Curtice said it was clear that the autumn Budget had not resulted in “any real improvement” in Tory fortunes. “The Sunak bounce seems to have stopped. A Labour lead of this scale would result in a landslide majority at a general election,” he said.
The new Savanta ComRes survey, conducted after last week’s Budget, shows the Tories up 2 points and Labour down one from its previous poll. While the pollster found a five-point swing back to the Tories in the days after Mr Sunak entered No 10, there has been little change since.
“A poll bounce of some kind was inevitable because Liz Truss was such a disaster in the eye of voters, but it has now flatlined,” said Savanta ComRes’s political research director Chris Hopkins.
He added: “All the Conservatives’ economic credibility has disappeared, and there’s so little Sunak can do to get it back. Labour is entitled to feel optimistic that their large lead will continue amid so much economic gloom. For the time being it appears to have settled into a new normal.”