Shock Poll Reveals Rishi Sunak's Red Wall Wipeout Risk in General Election

Economic Concerns Amplify as Red Wall Support Poses Challenges

by Zain ul Abedin
Shock Poll Reveals Rishi Sunak's Red Wall Wipeout Risk in General Election
© Peter Summers/Getty Images News

In an exclusive revelation, it has come to light that over 25% of the most financially challenged constituencies align with the Conservative-held red wall seats, indicating a perilous situation for the Tories. Startling data from Electoral Calculus, disclosed to The Independent, projects a grim future for the Conservative Party as it foresees a loss of every single seat in the red wall.

The poll, conducted by Electoral Calculus, unveils a forecast that all 42 red wall constituencies currently held by the Conservatives are poised to swing back to the Labour Party in the upcoming general election. The momentum of this political upheaval appears to be driven, in part, by the escalating cost of living, as an independent analysis highlighted by The Independent elucidates the destructive toll the crisis is taking on the Conservative red wall seats.

Analytical insights from Outra, a data analytics firm, outline that among the 50 constituencies with the highest concentration of financially distressed voters, 15 seats held by the Conservatives in the red wall stand out.

These seats, like Great Grimsby, Blackpool South, and Walsall North, not only were secured by the Conservatives in the last election but also historically leaned towards the Labour Party. Notably, these constituencies have a substantial portion of voters deemed financially vulnerable.

A more profound analysis by investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown underscores the adverse effects of the cost of living crisis in the northeast, revealing it to have the lowest savings rate in the country, with merely one-third of households reporting a positive month-end balance.

This situation raises alarms within Downing Street, with experts cautioning that financially distressed voters are likely to voice their concerns through the ballot box. Pollster and political analyst Robert Hayward recalls Bill Clinton's iconic phrase from his successful 1992 presidential campaign: "It's the economy, stupid." Hayward asserts that the economy consistently ranks as the paramount issue on polling day, transcending age, social, and gender demographics.

This issue becomes particularly pivotal for the Conservatives, given their historical reputation as better economic managers than Labour. Hayward emphasizes the necessity for the government to reestablish its economic credibility, suggesting that while progress has been gradual, further headway is essential before the anticipated general election in October 2024, lest the Conservatives face defeat.

Electoral Concerns and Red Wall Impact

The economy's significance is underscored by YouGov polling, which reveals that nearly two-thirds of voters consider it one of the top three challenges facing the nation, surpassing health and immigration concerns.

The imminent threat of losing red wall seats poses a formidable challenge for Conservative HQ, potentially hindering Rishi Sunak's pursuit of an overall majority. The collapse of support in these areas holds substantial consequences.

Lord Hayward remarks that while the party has historically secured majorities without relying on the red wall, these seats significantly contributed to their recent triumph. Losing them could spell trouble in achieving an overall majority.

Electoral Calculus CEO Martin Baxter points to the acknowledgment made by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recognized that red wall voters had "lent him" their support in 2019. Baxter contends that it seems they are now reclaiming that support.

He likens the political scenario to a tide that surged in 2019 but now appears to be receding. The pollster's projection suggests a bleak outlook for the Tories, with all 42 red wall seats slipping from their grasp. Baxter further notes that economic indicators underscore the mounting challenges for the Conservatives in these areas, making a successful bid to retain power in the general election increasingly unlikely.

On a national scale, Electoral Calculus predicts a substantial victory for the Labour Party, securing around 460 seats, while the Conservative Party is anticipated to be left with a mere 90 seats. In 2019, numerous red wall seats turned Conservative, propelled by dissatisfaction with then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the promises of Brexit resolution and community development by Boris Johnson.

However, current data from Outra reveals that these areas are now grappling with the strains of the cost of living crisis. For instance, in Great Grimsby, where Conservative Lia Nici triumphed over Labour's Melanie Onn in 2019, over 25% of constituents are at risk of financial distress.

Melanie Onn, now Labour's candidate, asserts that these figures lay bare the realities under Conservative rule. She highlights that areas that trusted the Tories are now the hardest hit, attributing the hardship to economic mismanagement.

In Blackpool South, represented by suspended Tory MP Scott Benton, nearly 25% of voters face potential financial instability. Similarly, in Walsall North, where Eddie Hughes holds office, 23.1% of voters confront a similar plight.

Other Conservative MPs like Jonathan Gullis, Johnny Mercer, and Jack Brereton are also believed to be vulnerable to losing their seats in this tide of political transformation.