The BMG Research survey for The Independent put the Brexit Party, which stormed to success in May’s European elections, on 14 percent. It showed the Tories on 28 percent, Labour trailing by a single point on 27 percent and the Liberal Democrats on 18 percent. The poll suggests some people who voted for the Brexit Party in May have returned to the Conservatives, heartened by the prospect of a Boris Johnson government delivering a “do or die” Brexit with or without a deal on 31 October.
Compared to a poll by the same group last month, the Tories were up two points, Labour unchanged, the Lib Dems up one – but Brexit Party down four.
BMG Research also repeated the question asked in the 2016 referendum – “Should the UK remain a member of the EU, or leave the EU?” – and found Remain on 53 percent, six-points ahead of Leave on 47 percent.
The poll also found a majority of voters would rather scrap Brexit or hold a second referendum than face a no deal Brexit at Halloween.
BMG Research interviewed 1,532 UK adults online between 2 and 5 July.
The survey also found that Jeremy Hunt was preferred as new Tory leader and prime minister by 28 per cent of the general public, compared with 22 per cent for Mr Johnson, although 37 per cent would opt for “neither of them”, while 13 per cent did not know.
Later, when asked if his comments on a “forthcoming election” during the head-to-head TV debate with Jeremy Hunt pointed to a snap election, Mr Johnson said: “No, of course not.
“There will be, eventually, an election in 2022.
“But before then what we must do is get our great party ready again, we must fill our coffers flush with cash and we must put out – once again – with greater power and clarity and conviction, our belief in modern, one-nation conservatism.”
Mr Hunt has joked about being prime minister of the UK by 2020.
The leadership hopeful announced plans to protect press freedom during a conference in London, and said there would be a follow-up event in Canada to check on the progress of the initiative.
He said: “We will have another conference next year hosted by Chrystia Freeland, Canadian minister for foreign affairs, which I obviously hope to attend as prime minister of the United Kingdom.”