Sunak blow

Reform overtakes Tories in poll for first time

Nigel Farage in Edinburgh
Nigel Farage: ‘we are the real opposition’ (pic: Terry Murden / DB Media Services)

Nigel Farage’s Reform party has overtaken the Conservatives in polling for the first time in a cross-over moment that had been anticipated by analysts earlier this week.

Reform has increased by two points to 19% while the Tories are unchanged on 18%, according to a The YouGov survey for The Times.

Tory strategists will be particularly concerned as it was carried out after the party released its manifesto on Tuesday. It also came in the same week that senior Tories have warned of the dangers of a vote for Reform leading to a “super-majority” for Labour.

Mr Farage, who is contesting the Clacton seat, declared: “We are now the real opposition to Labour.”

The poll suggested that the Prime Minister’s decision to leave D-Day commemorations early continues to anger voters with 56% describing it as a “serious error”.

Labour are holding on to a 19-point lead over the Conservatives, while the Liberal Democrats are down one point at 14%.

Anthony Wells, head of European political and social research at YouGov, said: “All polls have a margin of error, so we can’t conclude for certain that more voters now back Nigel Farage’s party over the Conservatives.

“But what it does make clear is that at the very least the Conservatives and Reform are at a very similar level of support to each other. That in itself is remarkable given how close we are to an election when we might otherwise have expected smaller parties’ votes to be squeezed.”

The poll also suggested that the Conservatives’ manifesto launch on Tuesday had had no positive impact on voter sentiment.

YouGov questioned more than 2,200 adults in an online poll on Wednesday and Thursday.

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