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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Rachael Burford

Labour party ‘odds-on to form next Government’ as Tories face awkward by-elections

The Labour Party is odds-on to form the next Government, a polling guru said on Thursday.

Professor Sir John Curtice said the Conservatives are “so far behind” in voter surveys that it is unlikely they will be able to win a majority at the next general election, expected next year.

In the result of a hung parliament no other party would, at the moment, be willing to form a coalition with them, he added.

Sir John told LBC: “The real question is not who is going to form the next government, the Labour Party are odds on to form the next administration.”

Not only are the Conservatives so far behind, but we also have to remember at the moment none of the other critical parties inside the House of Commons would be willing to help sustain a minority Conservative administration.”

The first voter polls based on new constituency boundaries yesterday suggested Sir Keir Starmer was on course to clinch a landslide majority of 140 MPs at the election.

However, Sir John said it was unlikely to be straightforward for the party.

“It’s still very much open whether or not Labour can do well enough, and the Conservatives badly enough, that Labour do indeed have an overall majority,” he added.

“Or whether we end up with some kind of hung parliament. It’s certainly plausible to suggest that maybe things would improve sufficiently for the Conservatives if we get into hung parliament territory.

“Whether they can turn it around enough to be able to themselves form a government, that certainly does look like a very tall order.”

It comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces two difficult by-elections in the autumn.

Former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and ex COP26 president, Alok Sharma are reportedly preparing to stand down to take peerages as part of Boris Johnson’s honours list.

The move would trigger vote in Mr Sharma’s seat in Reading West and Ms Dorries’s in Mid Bedfordshire.

The Reading constituency is particularly vulnerable, with a majority of just over 4,000.Ms Dorries represents a traditionally safe Tory constituency with an almost 25,000 majority, but the area saw a swing away from the Conservtatve at the local elections in May.

Former PM Mr Johnson is facing a by-election in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if the privileges committee finds that he misled MPs over partygate. A report is due back later this month.

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