15% for Reform UK in Latest Poll

With the Prime Minister already facing a potential revolt he’s now been dealt another blow with some sensational new polling out this morning, yes it doesn’t look good according to YouGov.

The conservatives are on the same share they received at their lowest ever ebb in the aftermath of Liz Truss’s mini budget so the polling also found, get this that the Reform Party, Reform UK have their highest vote share ever, yes just four points between the Tories and Reform at this point according to latest YouGov poll, both in the teens.

Well, let’s break down the numbers with the pollster Chris Hopkins of Opinium now Chris I know it’s not your poll that was out this morning but do you recognize this trend a precipitated rise in Reform UK with a corresponding fall in the Tory vote?

Yeah, we do Tom, to be honest I mean our polling at Savanta has also shown similar levels in terms of the records for Reform UK and indeed for the Conservative vote share. Our most recent poll at Savanta had the conservatives on 26% now that’s considerably higher than the YouGov poll but it’ probably down to some methodological differences which I’ve gone into some detail before on my Twitter feed.

That is one of the lowest figures that we’ve shown for the Conservatives indeed since Liz Truss and the week before we had them as low as 25% which was as low as the last throws of her Premiership but this week, we had Reform UK themselves on 11% again Reform UK aren’t in our main voting intention prompt.

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We put them in a second sub prompt, but that is still the highest ever figure that we’ve ever shown for Reform UK which does just go to show and they are generating quite a lot of popularity in opinion polling at the moment.

Can we draw any parallels perhaps to with UKIP the UK Independence Party that perhaps at this time in the election cycle people say they’re going to vote for a new party like the Reform Party and clearly lots of people say that they are planning to but then when it comes down to it, because of the way our electoral system works they may find that actually they don’t see their vote counting in the same way as if they voted for one of the main parties.

So essentially will this carry through to the election? Yeah, and I think Emily that that remains the huge question for us pollsters and indeed sort of all political commentators really. At the minute we just don’t know. Ultimately, we’re showing pretty high Reform UK figures whether that is as high as you go on 15% or you know still with us well above or well into double figures, but there hasn’t been the electoral evidence to really back that up either in by-elections or indeed in local elections.

Now obviously we do have local elections around the corner and I think that the Richard Tice’s party are probably going to be one of the most interesting stories from this set of local elections to see actually how do they perform. Is there any electoral evidence that they are justifying their opinion polling numbers at the moment and whether they are something of a bit of a mid-term protest vote or indeed are they the real deal?

Compare Reform UK with UKIP Polling

I think that you mentioned UKIP there Emily I mean they ended up backing up their high opinion polling numbers with a lot of counsellors across the country and then come the 2015 general election although they didn’t end up with any seats, they did end up with 12% of the vote share the country so Reform haven’t done that yet and I think that that does give us pollsters a little bit of a pause when we come to these numbers.

But you know there was nothing to suggest at the minute that they couldn’t do that. I think we just want to see it with our own eyes and with some actual evidence from actual elections first.

Yes, and I suppose it’s not too long until the local elections which could be a big test of this but frankly when we have looked at electoral events when we have looked at the Kingswood and Wellingborough by elections Reform was on above 10% in each of those although in Rochdale nowhere near.

I think that again Tom you just know, it just highlights the fact that at the minute they were a bit of an enigma, we don’t really know kind of where they stand among the British electorate.

You know based on obviously on this on this YouGov poll today you know that does imply that you know roughly one in seven voters are going to be voting for a Reform. That seems quite high and we haven’t had that electoral evidence yet to back that up and obviously some of those by elections that you referenced, you know the Rochdale one was particularly some strange circumstances given that most of the major parties didn’t really campaign there at all.

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Reform UK Need Election Results to Back Up Polling Numbers

You would have expected Reform to potentially have quite a strong showing, but as it was it ended up being George Galloway instead and obviously in Kingswood  you know they did perform well but I wouldn’t have described them necessarily as performing above par based on their opinion polling.

That really is the only evidence that we’ve had recently at least of Reform really doing much in terms of actual electoral evidence. I think that there was a stat that I read this week that they’ve only contested two of 39 local Council by-elections in 2024. They just haven’t really had been tested yet and I think that therefore yes, these local elections on the 2nd of May are going to be really interesting to see how Reform end up doing.

Absolutely well thank you very much indeed for your expertise Chris Hopkins, pollster of course with Savanta.

Very interesting indeed, I do wonder when it comes down to it whether people will vote for Reform, how much of a protest vote it is at the moment when it comes to polling because our electoral system like it or lump it, like it or loath it doesn’t lend itself to voting for smaller parties. But it is fascinating these two parties are inching closer and closer together. You’ve got this corresponding drop in the Tory vote, rise in the Reform UK vote the difference now is 19% and 15% in that poll.

Just 4% Between Reform UK and the Tories

Between 19% and 15% quite crazy considering what the Tories were on not too long ago, but in 2019 we did see some polls where there was crossover between the Tory party and the Brexit party as it was then in the midst of that European election campaign you saw Westminster voting intention whereby Reform went ahead or sorry the Brexit party as it was then went ahead of the Tories.

Could we see something similar of course after those European elections the Prime Minister resigned and then Boris Johnson became prime minister and suddenly the Brexit party fizzled down and went to nowhere but could we see something similar after the local elections? Could a strong showing in the polls and in the polling stations for Reform actually dislodge Rishi Sunak?

Yes, and I also think there’s probably a lot of people out there who have done the same journey made the same journey as Lee Anderson, gone from Labour to the conservatives and then to Reform, but there you go let us know what you make of that?

Are you surprised that Reform is polling only four points below the Conservative party or was that what you were expecting as well?