Reform ‘most likely’ to damage Sunak’s chances of election victory as top pollster reveals ‘crucial’ strategy

Reform ‘most likely’ to damage Sunak’s chances of election victory as top pollster reveals ‘crucial’ strategy

WATCH NOW: Professor Sir John Curtice details the latest on the UK's political polling

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 25/05/2024

- 16:49

Rishi Sunak announced this year's general election will take place on the 4th July

Professor Sir John Curtice has revealed that Reform UK are the "most likely" party to dash Rishi Sunak's hopes of a general election victory, as the latest polling figures are revealed.

Following the announcement of a 4th July election, Curtice claimed that Richard Tice's Reform "could do the most damage" to the Tories this summer, in the seats they are trying to keep a hold of.

Speaking to GB News, Curtice revealed that the "crucial" post-announcement polls state Labour are currently 21 points ahead of the Conservatives, with "no sign" of Reform UK's vote "being squeezed".

Curtice told host Nana Akua that Reform are also currently "the party taking the most votes from the Conservatives" as the campaign trails get underway.

Rishi Sunak and Professor Sir John Curtice

Professor Sir John Curtice revealed that Reform UK could be the party to cause the Tories the most damage

PA / GB News

Looking ahead to July's election, Curtice explained: "I'm aware of four polls that have so far been published, and basically they do not show any significant change.

"Crucially, there's no immediate sign of Reform's vote being squeezed - we have had now half a week of campaigning, and it's not made any difference."

Nana shared her thoughts on the polling and admitted that she believed one of the reasons Sunak called the election this week was to "prevent Reform from forming", making them "less powerful" at the ballot boxes.

She added: "I'm sure they're probably scrabbling around to find 630 candidates for each of the seats."

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak announced a 4th July general election this week


Curtice then claimed that Reform are not only "having to fight an air war", but also "a war on the ground with getting leaflets through doors".


Curtice said of Reform's election chances: "I wouldn't be that surprised if Reform's vote gets squeezed somewhat, but the thing you have to remember is that Reform's predecessor, the Brexit Party, did not fight Conservative held constituencies in 2019.

"So even Reform at five per cent means in most of those constituencies, it is Reform plus five, plus six, plus seven, and most of it coming from the Conservatives. And of course, that does therefore mean that Reform are most likely to do damage to the Conservatives in seats that the Conservatives are trying to defend."

Nana concurred with Curtice's remarks and claimed it is going to be a "very interesting election" come July.

Referring back to the latest polling, Curtice also claimed that neither Rishi Sunak or Sir Keir Starmer are "popular" amongst voters, and also "lack charisma".

Professor Sir John Curtice

Professor Sir John Curtice said both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer are 'unpopular' and 'lack charisma'

GB News

Curtice revealed: "An additional factor is that neither Sir Keir Starmer nor Rishi Sunak are particularly popular. The word charismatic is not one that immediately associated with them. The same thing is true with Sir Ed Davey.

"You have to go back a very long time to find a previous occasion when we had a general election, when in a sense, none of the parties had a leader who was really able to communicate widely with the public."

Highlighting two candidates who will have a larger impact on the election, Curtice added: "That's undoubtedly one of the reasons why there's a lot of interest in how much Nigel Farage is going to campaign for Reform, because Mr. Farage does have the ability to reach out without trade.

"Or on the other side of the spectrum, what impact will George Galloway, who will have to try to defend his seat in Rochdale, which he won in the by-election, how much impact he will have? So we do have two people who have charisma, but of course they're associated with relatively small parts of our political system."

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