Zahawi tax scandal sees Tories fall to 21 points behind Labour

PM Rishi Sunak fails to give Nadhim Zahawi his full backing

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Labour’s lead over the Conservatives has stretched back to more than 20 points again according to the latest Techne UK tracker poll. According to the results over the survey of 1,624 voters taken yesterday and today, Labour has increased its share of the vote by one point to 47 percent while the Tories have gone back one point to just 26 percent.

The findings follow fury after party chairman Nadhim Zahawi was forced to pay a £4.8million bill to HMRC in unpaid tax including a 30 percent penalty.

Mr Zahawi said HMRC concluded there had been a “careless and not deliberate” error in the way he had treated shares, but HMRC chief executive Jim Harra told MPs that it was “not an innocent error”.

The scandal appears to have hit the Conservatives in the polls after they had made a small rally last week with it coming on top of claims that Boris Johnson took a loan off businessman Richard Sharp ahead of making him chairman of the BBC when he was Prime Minister.

In further bad news for Rishi Sunak, Richard Tice’s Reform UK appear to have also gained support in the last week up one to 7 percent eating away at the Tory core vote after losing ground over the previous two weekly polls.

Michela Morizzo, chief executive of Techne UK, said: “This has been a very difficult week for Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party. National headlines for days have led with concerns around the Party Chairman’s tax affairs and further controversy surrounds alleged personal loans to a previous Prime Minister by the now Chairman of the BBC.

“It is perhaps not surprising that Labour Party national vote share grows by one point to 47 percent and Conservative Party national vote share declines by 1 point back to 26%.

“As such the Labour Party lead recovers to a dominant 21 points – a very difficult situation for Conservatives as we look towards the next General Election? Moreover, Richard Tice’s Reform UK national vote share is back up to 7 percent and as such clearly impacting the Conservatives negatively, because they have to ‘fight’ against two political forces that are very different from each other. A challenging year for the Conservatives, time will tell if any road back for them.”

However, scandals have not been limited to the Conservative Party with three Labour MPs also going under the spotlight in a lobbying probe, although the story broke too late to affect the poll.

But if the poll was to reflect an election result then Labour would win with a massive majority of 234 while the Tories would collapse to an all time low of 114 seats far worse than the infamous 197 result when John Major lost to Tony Blair.

According to the poll almost one in five (19 percent) Conservative voters from 2019 now back Labour while more than one in 10 (11 percent) support Reform UK.

The Tories have retained just two thirds (64 percent) of the historic vote which delivered them an 80 seat majority under Boris Johnson’s leadership.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer’s attempts to woo Brexiteers appears to be paying dividents with more than a quarter of 2016 Leave voters now backing Labour while the Conservative share of that vote has plummeted to below half (43 percent).

The only age category where the Tories are ahead is 65 and overs with a narrow lead of 40 percent to 39 percent over Labour.

In all other age categories Labour has a strong lead with well over 50 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds and 49 percent of 35-to-44-years olds.

Labour also lead the Conservatives in every economic and social category and 60 percent to 16 percent lead among 2016 Remin voters.


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