Tax rising Tories ‘vulnerable on right wing flank’ as new poll puts stagnant Labour ahead
Boris Johnson warned of National Insurance 'gamble' by MP
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The Conservative Party have squandered their opinion poll lead over Labour after the Prime Minister made the manifesto-breaking announcement the Government would raise national insurance contributions. Boris Johnson unveiled the plan to raise the national insurance levy by 1.25 percent to fund social care and the NHS on Tuesday.
The YouGov poll, conducted for The Times, placed support for the Tories at 33 percent – down five points on the pollster’s previous survey.
This means support for the Conservative Party has dipped to its lowest level since Boris Johnson’s landslide victory in the 2019 Brexit Election.
Before the Prime Minister’s pivot on national insurance, the Tories registered poll leads in 149 consecutive opinion polls.
In contrast, the Labour Party are up one point on as they cling onto 35 percent support.
This is the first time Sir Keir Starmer’s party has led in the opinion polls since January and follows on from somewhat of a comeback for the ex-Shadow Brexit Secretary.
After a disastrous performance on Super Thursday, which included by-election defeat in the once safe-seat of Hartlepool, Labour fended off serious opposition from the Conservatives and George Galloway to hold onto the Yorkshire constituency of Batley & Spen.
The Labour MP for St Helens and Whiston, Marie Rimmer, celebrated the poll as a small victory.
The Opposition Whip said on Twitter: “Hooray, we are on our way.”
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But political experts suggest Starmer’s party has not been the main recipient of the Tory collapse.
Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at the University of Kent, tweeted: “I’ve not looked at data yet but suspect Cons[ervatives] are drifting into don’t knows rather than to other parties.
“Either way, Johnson is definitely vulnerable on right wing flank.”
According to The Times, the Prime Minister’s tax rising announcement has undermined the Conservatives’ reputation as a low tax party.
YouGov’s Anthony Wells told the broadsheet: “We should be cautious of leaping to too many conclusions from a single poll but . . . 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.”
Some Conservative MPs appear to be twitching at the potential threat from the right.
Peter Bone, the Eurosceptic Tory MP for Wellingborough, told GB News earlier this week: “We’ve got to get back to being a low tax, low spend party.”
He added: “If we don’t do that, maybe a party will grow up saying ‘the Tories are no longer doing that’”.
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Richard Tice’s Reform Party, which arose from the embers of the Brexit Party, has long hoped to position itself as the Tories’ opponents on the right.
During a press conference in Westminster in the summer, the ex-MEP called Mr Johnson’s party the “con socialists”.
Mr Tice added: “We are the only party that will stand on a platform of cutting taxes for the least well off, for smaller businesses and the self-employed.”
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