Tory members deliver surprising verdict on merger with Nigel Farage’s Reform | Politics | News

July 10, 2024
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A new poll of Tory Party members has revealed that the party is totally divided over the prospect of a merger with Reform UK.

Queen Mary University London and Sussex University conducted a poll of 725 Conservative Party members to work out how they might vote in the forthcoming leadership contest.

However, it also asked about the future of the Tories and their relationship with Nigel Farage’s Reform UK.

Shockingly, it found members to be split right down the middle over any potential merger with the insurgent right-wing party.

It found 47% of members in favour of a merger, with 48% opposed.

Leave-voting Conservative Party members were much more than twice as likely to favour a merger than Remain-voting party members.

There’s also a big divide in views between younger and older members, with Tories aged 65 and over recording total support for a merger of 52%, compared to just 38% among 18-49-year-olds.

Thos who supported Liz Truss in the leadership election net support the proposal by 24 points, while Rishi Sunak supporters oppose it by net 41 points.

The large number of Tory members supporting a merger stands in stark contrast to many prominent leadership contenders and Boris Johnson who have rejected welcoming Nigel Farage into their folds.

Boris Johnson said that the Tories are “capable of endless regeneration. We don’t need to try to absorb other parties, to try to acquire their vitality like a transfusion of monkey glands”.

“We need to occupy the space ourselves – and my humble suggestion to the 121 is that they need to rebuild that giant coalition of 2019, get back to some of the big themes that proved so successful that we won seats across the country.”

He has been joined by Priti Patel, Robert Jenrick and Kemi Badenoch who have all said they would oppose Mr Farage joining their party.

Speaking a week before the general election, Mr Farage told Sky News: “I want nothing to do with them!”

“They’re awful, they’re ghastly, they betrayed the 2019 election result, Brexit voters, they’ve no interest in the truth, it’s all a game about being in power”.

Asked if he’d rule out joining the Tories, he openly admitted: “Yes”.

Today’s poll also found Ms Badenoch to be the most popular candidate among members at this stage, followed by Suella Braverman and Tom Tugendhat.

Removing ‘none of the above’ and ‘don’t knows’, Ms Badenoch has 31% support, followed by Ms Braverman on 16% and Mr Tugendhat on 15%.

James Cleverly received 10%, followed by Robert Jenrick on 7% and Priti Patel on 6%.



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