Farage Emerges as Top Choice to Lead Conservatives, Reform UK Gains Ground

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Nigel Farage is the top choice to lead the Conservative Party if Labour wins the upcoming General Election. The poll, conducted by Redfield and Wilton for The Independent, surveyed 2,000 adults before Farage's recent victory at a BBC debate. The results show that 19% of voters, nearly one in five, believe Farage should replace Rishi Sunak as Conservative leader. This sentiment is particularly strong among 2019 Conservative voters, with 22% supporting the idea.

Penny Mordaunt came in second with 15% support, while other potential candidates like James Cleverly, Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Priti Patel, and Robert Jenrick received significantly less support. A significant 48% of voters were unsure who should replace Sunak.

The poll also reveals a concerning trend for the Conservatives. A majority of respondents, 37%, believe that the Reform UK party should replace the Conservatives as the main opposition to Labour after the next election. This sentiment is stronger than those who disagree, at 30%. Both Farage and former Reform leader Richard Tice have publicly expressed their desire to replace the Conservatives as the main opposition.

These findings come amidst a turbulent period for the Conservative Party, following Prime Minister Sunak's decision to leave D-Day commemoration events early. Sunak apologized for the blunder after facing widespread criticism and has cancelled media appearances while on the campaign trail.

Farage was among those who criticized Sunak's actions, stating that it demonstrated a disconnect from the country. He further asserted that Sunak has proven himself to be an unpatriotic leader. Meanwhile, Farage's entry into the political race has boosted Reform UK's electoral prospects. A recent YouGov poll for Sky News showed Reform trailing the Conservatives by only two points. Reform UK has also reported a surge in membership, reaching 40,000 members. Another Redfield & Wilton poll indicates a close race in Wales between Reform and the Conservatives for second place, with both parties tied at 18% support. Labour remains far ahead with 45% support.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09