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New mega-poll shows most will vote tactically as Britain demands early election

A new mega-poll has found that the British public has run out of patience with Rishi Sunak with most saying they want an early election and that they would consider voting tactically to either scrap or save his government. 

The poll of over 10,000 people carried out by Focaldata on behalf of Best for Britain found a whopping 61% want Sunak to go to the country by June with 36% wanting a general election as soon as possible. A mere 17% think the Prime Minister should wait until autumn with fewer than 1 in 10 (9%) thinking he should wait until the last possible moment in January 2025.

Whenever it might be, the same survey suggests that tactical voting will be critical at the next election with most respondents (52%), potentially representing 16 million voters, saying they would consider voting tactically. 38% say they would consider voting tactically to secure a change of government while just 13% say they are prepared to do so to keep Sunak in post.

When asked which party they would vote for, the poll sees Labour’s consistent lead throughout 2023 continue with 35% saying they would vote Labour at the next election compared to 19% for the Conservatives and, crucially, the poll reveals that 15% of voters are still uncertain who to cast their votes for.  

When asked who would make the best Prime Minister, Starmer is the most popular choice in 390 constituencies including Sunak’s own seat of Richmond in North Yorkshire, but Don’t Know wins in a staggering 238 seats and only Braintree, Castle Point, Clacton and North Bedfordshire put Sunak top. 

Brits are united in their view of how the Government’s Brexit deal has impacted everyday life. Most feel it has; increased the cost of their weekly shop (76%) , reduced the availability of goods and services (60%), made the small boats issue worse (58%) and stunted economic growth (63%). Half said it has restricted their ability to see a doctor (50%).

Analysis of these findings has uncovered the remaining undecided voters who would consider voting tactically to change the government and who may prove pivotal at the next election. These voters are more likely to be women, university educated, of working age, homeowners and closely split between Remain and Leave voters in 2016 and Labour and Tory voters in 2019. 

Critically, they believe Brexit has had a negative impact on everyday life far more than the wider population with 9 in 10 of these self-identified tactical voters saying Brexit has increased the cost of the weekly shop. A majority (55%) of these undecided tactical voters want Keir Starmer to seek a closer relationship with the EU, with only 4% saying he should seek greater distance. They are all inclined to vote tactically.

Winning over voters  like these could be crucial for Labour in marginal seats, particularly if Reform UK stands down candidates in favour of the Conservatives as UKIP and Brexit Party did in 2017 and 2019. This analysis suggests that promising closer cooperation with the European Union could be the way to do it.

Naomi Smith, CEO of Best for Britain, said: 

“The message in our polling from voters is clear - they want an election, they think Brexit has hurt them in their pockets, and they’re prepared to vote tactically for change. Labour may be on course for a victory, but under our broken electoral system nothing can be taken for granted. 

“With the possibility of Farage’s party offering a life raft to his vulnerable friends on the Conservative right, tactical voting will be more important than ever.   

“That’s why Best for Britain will launch GetVoting.org, the UK’s most powerful tactical voting operation ahead of the next election to help voters understand which opposition party is best placed to unseat the Government in their area.”

Peter Norris, newly appointed Chair of Best for Britain and Chair of Virgin Group of said: 

“It’s not just businesses, a majority of voters clearly understand that the Government’s botched Brexit deal is having a tangible negative impact on their lives.  They expect the next government to do something about it.

“A government review of the Brexit deal is scheduled for 2026. Should Keir Starmer lead the next government, he will have a vital opportunity to address the defects of the deal.  Policies to secure closer regulatory alignment with our largest market and to allow young people to live and work across the continent will be required. 

“This approach can start the process of removing the artificial barriers to trade and growth embedded in the original Brexit deal.”

Full details of the poll can be found here.