he Conservative party is on course to lose 24 key battleground seats to the Liberal Democrats with cabinet minister Dominic Raab among those in the firing line, according to a new poll.
Having won the Tiverton and Honiton seat from the Tories last month research by YouGov MRP indicates that a series of other Conservative majorities could be overturned in an election.
The poll assesses that 26 key battleground seats would fall, 24 to the Lib Dems and two to Labour. Many of the seats are in the commuter belt, some in places normally considered safe Tory territory.
The Conservatives would lose a number of high-profile contests to the Liberal Democrats including Esher and Walton, the seat of deputy prime minister Dominic Raab. Former health secretary and party leadership contender Jeremy Hunt would also lose his surrey South West seat, according to the poll.
Other commuter-belt constituencies such as Guildford, Woking, Hitchin and Harpenden, and Wokingham would also be gained by the Lib Dems, if an election were being held now the research suggests. Other seats where the Lib dems are on course for victory include Wimbledon and Carshalton.
Chippenham, the seat of cabinet minister Michelle Donelan, is also tipping towards a Lib Dem gain, the poll finds.
Other battleground’s where they are ahead are in the south west where the Lib Dems are making progress after losing support in the region. Among the gains predicted in the poll include Wells, North Cornwall, St Ives, North Devon, and Taunton Deane.
While the Liberal Democrats are up by eight points in battleground seats in the South East and nine points in the South West, they are down in London by one point, where Labour are making progress.
Labour would pick up the marginal seats of Kensington and Cities of London and Westminster, according to the poll.
Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, Munira Wilson, told the Standard “sleaze and scandal” in the Tory ranks had paved the way for potential gains for her party
“Swathes of London and the commuter belt will have a clear choice at the next election: Four more years of Boris Johnson or a Liberal Democrat MP.
“Lifelong Conservative voters in the capital tell us they cannot vote for Boris Johnson. People have simply had enough of the endless sleaze and scandal.
“Our historic by-election victory in Devon last week proved we can oust this Government once and for all. There is a growing movement for change in London and the Home Counties as the British public turn their back on an outdated Conservative Government”
Overall, the Conservatives are down 15 and 16 points in the South West and South East respectively, 14 points in the East of England, the North and the Midlands, and 11 in London, the poll finds.
A Liberal Democrat source added: “What we heard in Tiverton and Honiton last week is exactly what comes up on doorsteps in London. People tell us they feel taken for granted by Conservative MPs and cannot vote for a Boris Johnson led Government.”
YouGov interviewed 13,459 voters across England between 15-29 June for the poll.