Boris Johnson’s manifesto-breaking tax rises could cost dozens of Tory MPs their seats at the next general – and rob the prime minister of his majority.
A poll for the Telegraph revealed that Johnson risked a hung parliament after breaching a manifesto pledge and increasing National Insurance to pay for the NHS and social care crisis.
It comes amid a stinging backlash to Johnson’s plans from the Conservative grassroots, with MPs reporting hostility upon returning to their constituencies this weekend.
Exclusive w/@christopherhope: Conservative Red Wall MPs could be swept away by a wave of tax rise anger@Telegraph polling shows the Tories would lose their majority and 54 seats – three of which would swing to Labour for the first time everhttps://t.co/ptMR7BV7v5— Dominic Penna (@DominicPenna) September 11, 2021
Red Wall rebuilt?
The poll of 10,000 Brits – before, during and after the National Insurance announcement – found support for the Tories had slumped from 45 per cent at the 2019 election to just 37 per cent.
Although Labour remained unchanged on 33 per cent, smaller parties like the Greens (up five per cent, to eight per cent) and the Reform party (up to four per cent) are eating into the Tory lead.
If the same support was registered at a general election, the Tories would win 311 seats – down 54 seats from the 2019 general election and well below the 326 MPs needed to clinch a House of Commons majority.
Those MPs at risk include Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the ex-party leader, Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader and Cabinet minister Alister Jack.
As many as 21 of the lost seats would be in the Red Wall, with a host of constituencies across the North and Midlands flipping ack to Labour.
It comes after a shock poll on Thursday night revealed that Labour has taken a lead in the polls for the first time since January, on the back of Johnson’s 1.25 per cent National Insurance hike.
Six in ten voters said they did not believe Johnson or the Conservatives cared about keeping taxes low compared with around two in ten who believed that they do care, the Times reported.
The poll also found that more than three-quarters of all Tory voters believe the party does not support low taxation, while one per cent of voters think the plans to fund an overhaul of social care will leave them better off.
?? | BREAKING: Westminster Voting Intention:— Politics For All (@PoliticsForAlI) September 9, 2021
LAB: 35 (+1)
CON: 33 (-5)
LIB: 10 (+2)
The YouGov survey suggests the government’s plans to hike National Insurance and increase dividend taxes, apparently to plug a funding shortfall in the NHS and properly finance social care, has backfired among voters.
The result are likely to set alarm bells off among Tory MPs and in Downing Street ahead of the party conference next month.
Anthony Wells, political research director at YouGov, said: “It looks as if the Government may have sacrificed their reputation for low taxes amongst Tory voters without actually getting much credit for helping the NHS.”
Related: Labour takes shock lead in the polls