A shock poll has revealed the Tories were leaking Brexiteer support before they lost in Peterborough
As reported by The Daily Mail, the poll puts the Tories just 4th in voting intention for a general election with 18 percent. This position is behind the Brexit Party leading on 26 percent and with Labour and the Liberal Democrats on 20 percent. News of the shock survey comes not long after the Peterborough by-election.
The Tories had hoped to win the seat, which has swung between them and Labour, but polls showed massive losses after Brexit was delayed beyond March 29.
In the end, Conservative candidate Paul Bristow finished 3rd on 21.4 percent.
Labour won the seat as Lisa Forbes gained 30.9 percent with Mike Greene of the Brexit Party not far behind on 28.9 percent giving Ms Forbes a slender majority of 683 votes.
Speaking following the result, Ms Forbes said: “There have been many in recent months who claimed democracy in this country is broken but you have proven them wrong.
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The Conservatives are being over Brexit by voters, the poll suggests
“A democracy only works when people make their voices heard on the issues that matter to them.”
But Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene was defiant after his defeat, vowing to fight for the seat again in the next general election.
Speaking on whether he would run again, Mr Greene said: “I would run again because this is my city and I love Peterborough.”
Stances on Brexit have been an important issue in the race to replace Mrs May and the recent polls show the importance of it in the minds of voters.
The Brexit Party have surged ahead according to the poll
Boris Johnson, bookies favourite, has said Brexit cannot be delayed further, else the Tories will face “extinction”.
Former Brexit Secretary and leadership contender Dominic Raab meanwhile has suggested he might suspend Parliament to force through a no deal Brexit.
Several of Mr Raab’s colleagues have denounced the idea, including fellow leadership candidate Sajid Javid who described the plan as “anti-democratic and anti-British”.
The Home Secretary said: “I wouldn’t prorogue Parliament. That is a complete nonsense. My policy would be to do everything I can to leave the European Union on October 31.”
The turnout in Peterborough was 67.5 percent
Mr Johnson and his successor as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt are in the hunt for no 10
Meanwhile, party Vice Chair Kemi Bedenoch resigned to join the campaign of Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
Writing in The Sun, Ms Bedenoch said Mr Gove was the only candidate who could deliver Brexit: “Anyone can make promises. It is no good just believing in Brexit if you can’t actually deliver.
“I’m suspicious of anyone proposing simple answers – shutting down Parliament until no deal, a snap general election, or an immovable Brexit deadline.
“If there were simple solutions they would have been tried already.”
Mr Raab has suggested he will suspend Parliament to get no-deal
Mike Greene was the Brexit Party candidate in Peterborough
Mrs May will formally stand down as Tory leader today, three years after succeeding David Cameron.
She will remain as Prime Minister until and acting party leader until a replacement is elected.
Nominations will open upon her resignations and as reported by Conservative Home, remain open until 5pm on June 10.
June 13 will see the first ballot amongst Tory MPs with candidates needing 5 percent or 16 votes to remain in the running.
The race for next Tory leader has 11 candidates running
Subsequent ballots will be held on June 18, 19 and 20 with candidates needing 32 votes or 10 percent.
If all reach this target, the one with the lowest tally will be eliminated.
This continues until just two MPs remain.
A ballot of the more than 160,000 members will be conducted with the winner expected to be announced on the week beginning July 22.
The other candidates set to run are Sam Gyimah, Matt Hancock, Mark Harper, Jeremy Hunt, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Rory Stewart.