Tories brace for double by-election pain this week as polls show Labour lead running at up to 20 points
Tories are braced for double by-election pain this week as poll showed Labour up to 20 points ahead.
Deltapoll research offered more evidence of a ‘glitterbomb bounce’ for Keir Starmer after his conference last week.
With just two days left until crucial contests in Mid Beds and Tamworth, Labour was up four on 47 per cent while the Conservatives were down one on 27 per cent.
A separate Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey had slightly better news for Rishi Sunak with the gap narrowing from 16 to 14 points.
However, MPs are increasingly anxious about the prospects of losing both seats, with the Lib Dems splitting the left-wing vote in Mid Beds seen as the Tories’ best hope.
Two defeats in the historically safe seats would be a shattering blow for the PM, and would amplify the clamour for early tax cuts. The Tories have held Mid Beds since 1931.
There was little sign of a boost for Mr Sunak from the Conservative conference in Manchester at the start of the month.
But Labour’s gathering in Manchester last week seemed to move the dial, with speculation that Sir Keir gained from his calm response to a protester storming the stage during his keynote speech.
A 28-year-old man was arrested after yelling that ‘democracy is in crisis’ as he poured glitter over the Opposition leader unchallenged.
Sir Keir – who still appeared to have some glitter on his face the following day – joked about the experience, saying it would take more than one ‘idiot’ to derail his plan to take power at the next election.
A YouGov poll afterwards showed Labour’s lead growing to 23 points, while Opinium at the weekend found it was up two points to 16.
Sir Keir’s personal approval rating rose nine points with the latter firm, to plus one. That included an 18-point increase in approval from 2019 Conservative voters.
In contrast, Rishi Sunak’s approval rating was minus 24.