Nigel Farage surges ahead of Rishi Sunak in latest poll | Politics | News

Nigel Farage is significantly more popular than Rishi Sunak among people who voted Conservative in 2019, a revealing new survey has suggested.

And pollster James Johnson believes the Reform UK leader’s surging popularity is the result of him being seen as more reliable – and suggested Mr Sunak is paying a heavy price for his decision not to attend a D-Day commemoration event in Normandy last week.

The research, published by JLPartners, indicates Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour currently holds a 17 point lead over the Tories, with Mr Farage’s party at 15 percent.

Significantly, Mr Farage is markedly more popular than Mr Sunak among those who backed then-PM Boris Johnson five years ago, enjoying a favourability rating off +15. By comparison, Mr Sunak is on +8.

Worryingly for the PM, his numbers have slipped by eight points compared with a similar JLPartners poll carried out a week earlier, before the D-Day saga. Mr Farage’s popularity has increased by two points during that time.

JLPartners co-founder Mr Johnson told “There are two Key things going on I think.

“D-Day is denting Sunak’s ratings, and Farage is generally seen as someone who is strong and says it how it is, which are two of the most desired attributes in politicians these days.”

The poll was based on interviews with 2004 British adults carried out between June 7 and 9.

Mr Farage has not held back in his criticism of Mr Sunak over his decision not to attend a D-Day ceremony at Omaha Beach, questioning his patriotism and controversially claiming he did not understand “our culture”.

Addressing the issue during an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson aired last night – which was the very reason Mr Sunak opted to return to the UK in the first place – Mr Sunak once again said sorry, explaining: “I absolutely didn’t mean to cause anyone any hurt or upset, and that’s why I apologised unreservedly for the mistake that I made.

“I just hope people can find it in their hearts to forgive me.”

With barely three weeks of the campaign left, the Tories appear to be facing an uphill struggle, with some surveys suggested they could be reduced to fewer than 100 seats.

Mr Sunak is expected to put tax cuts and help for first-time buyers at the heart of the Conservatives‘ election manifesto, with a flagship pledge to cut national insurance by a further two pence.

His offer looks set to include promises to slash the employee rate again, to six percent, and scrap capital gains tax for landlords who sell properties to their tenants.

Drawing on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, he will seek to pitch the Tories as the party of “sound money” and draw dividing lines with Labour over reducing the burden for “earners, parents and pensioners”.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said ahead of the launch of the policy document on Tuesday that the Conservatives are “not going to stop” cutting taxes.

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