Polling results suggest sleaze row hitting Tory ballot box support

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    oters are shifting support away from the Tories while two-thirds consider the governing party “very sleazy” amid a flurry of negative headlines, according to new polling.

    A poll by Savanta ComRes for the Daily Mail put Labour six points ahead of the Conservatives in a sign that recent revelations about MPs’ second jobs and the handling of the Owen Paterson affair could hurt Boris Johnson’s party at the ballot box.

    The results, in which the Tories dropped four points and Labour climbed five since a similar poll a week ago, are based on a survey of more than 2,000 people in the UK, conducted on Thursday and Friday.

    YouGov polling published on Friday and carried out this week also suggested the Tories had lost their lead, with its findings putting Mr Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party neck and neck on 35% of the vote share.

    The polling, published in The Times, found two-thirds of voters viewed the Tories as “very sleazy” following Mr Paterson’s resignation and MP second jobs and homes revelations.

    A separate survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on Wednesday put Labour two points ahead of the Tories.

    The findings come after the Government attempted to rip up the current Commons standards system to delay former Tory cabinet minister Mr Paterson’s suspension for breaking lobbying rules, and revelations former attorney general Sir Geoffrey Cox voted by proxy while offering legal services in the Caribbean.

    Speaking before the Savanta ComRes’ results were published, the Prime Minister had rejected suggestions the sleaze allegations being levelled at his party could be reflected at the ballot box in forthcoming by-elections.

    Mr Johnson visited Sidcup on Friday afternoon, where voters will elect a new MP in December after the death of former security minister James Brokenshire last month.

    The Conservative leader insisted the strength of the local candidate in the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency meant voters would back the Tories in the December 2 race.

    The Prime Minister, however, said he did not “underestimate the vital importance” of MPs refraining from engaging in paid advocacy.

    A Tory MP from the 2019 in-take said he thought the sleaze row, which he admitted had divided his party, had provided Labour with an opportunity to gain ground.

    James Sunderland MP said the Government had shown ‘weakness’ over its handling of the sleaze row (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA) / PA Media

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