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Boris Johnson faces loss of more than 100 seats as ‘Red Wall’ support plunges


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Tories could lose more than 100 seats at the next general election, a poll has suggested, with support for the Conservative Party falling in the “red wall”.

A survey of the 57 Labour heartland constituencies in the Midlands and north gained by the Tories in 2019 found 38pc believed Labour leader Keir Starmer would make the best prime minister. Thirty-three per cent backed Mr Johnson.

Almost half of respondents – 49pc – said they would vote for Labour if there was a general election now, while one-third would vote for the Tories. Nationally, Labour is ahead in the polls by five points, on 40pc of the vote share compared to the Conservatives’ 35pc.

Deltapoll, which conducted the research, said if the results were translated into seats Mr Johnson could lose more than 100, wiping out his majority and offering Mr Starmer the keys to Number 10.

But the Labour leader may be forced to strike a deal with the Liberal Democrats or the SNP, because it is unclear whether his party could secure an overall majority.

The latest survey comes after weeks of negative headlines for Mr Johnson and concern about his personal leadership. It is understood many Tory MPs have already submitted letters of no confidence to the 1922 committee chairman, Graham Brady, but that the number is some way off the 54 required to force a leadership contest.

Asked whether Mr Johnson was doing well in general, 34pc of those polled agreed, while 62pc disagreed – giving him a net rating of –28. Mr Starmer got a negative score of –6.

The majority of respondents believed Mr Johnson had handled the Covid-19 pandemic poorly and had disobeyed his government’s own restrictions. Nearly three in four said they did not trust him to tell the truth.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak fared better, with more voters believing he had performed well than those that did not.

Meanwhile, the DUP has been accused of counterproductive “foot-stamping” over Brexit after Jeffrey Donaldson again hinted his party would collapse the Assembly if progress was not made on the Northern Ireland Protocol. The DUP has said there will be “major implications” at Stormont if British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss does not swiftly set a deadline to end negotiations with Brussels over the protocol.

Although the DUP leader declined to specify a deadline, he did say: “January is going to be an absolutely crucial month”. He added: “We need a clear date now; we need a clear timeline in which there is an expectation of real progress or the government takes the action that is necessary.

SDLP Brexit spokesperson Matthew O’Toole criticised the DUP leader’s comments.

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“The DUP’s constant threats and foot-stamping over Brexit are embarrassing and counterproductive,” he said.

“People and businesses here clearly want the protocol to be made to work, with agreed solutions where issues exist.

“We want swift resolution on outstanding issues between the UK and EU, but the DUP starting the new year with more childish threats is the last thing anyone needs.”

Mr Donaldson first threatened to pull out of Stormont by the end of October last year.

Both the Irish Government and Downing Street have pointed to the end of February as an informal cut-off point for the talks. 

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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