Britain’s Tories Headed for a ‘Tidal Wave’ of Losses in Coming General Election

New polling data suggests Prime Minister Sunak is heading for a worse result than the hugely unpopular prime minister, John Major, saw in 1997.

Justin Tallis/pool via AP, file
Prime Minister Sunak at London on September 20, 2023. Justin Tallis/pool via AP, file

A “tidal wave” is how pollsters are predicting Britain’s general election will look later this year, with Prime Minister Sunak heading for a worse result than the hugely unpopular prime minister, John Major, saw in 1997.

If the United Kingdom were to vote in a general election tomorrow, the Labour Party would gain 403 seats nationwide, while Mr. Sunak’s Conservatives would win just 155 seats, down from 169 in a January projection, according to data released Wednesday by YouGov. 

Mr. Sunak, after what will be just over two years in power, risks a ‘tidal wave’ of losses, the pollsters predict. That could mean that 11 Cabinet members, including chancellor Jeremy Hunt and science secretary Michelle Donelan, both of whom are trailing their liberal democrat opponents, would lose their seats in Parliament.

“The electoral situation is getting worse, rather than better, for Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives as we draw closer to the election,” the pollsters write. Their projections are based on vote intention data collected by YouGov from 18,761 British adults interviewed in March.

The upcoming election could look a lot like 1997. While the expected losses for Mr. Sunak could parallel those of Mr. Major that year, the expected wins for Labour Party leader Keir Starmer bring to mind the landslide victory of Labour’s longest-serving prime minister, Tony Blair, who won 418 out of the available 659 House of Commons seats.

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