Tories still ahead of Labour in poll as Rishi Sunak clear favourite to replace Boris

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Despite fierce controversy over the awarding of GCSE and A-Level grades, the Tories were the choice of 34.57 percent of respondents of an exclusive OnePoll survey for the Sunday Express.

The party came out in front of Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour (30.22 percent) and way ahead of Sir Ed Davey’s Liberal Democrats (5.29 percent).

The poll uncovered enduring support for the Brexit Party, despite the UK leaving the European Union earlier this year after 47 years as a member state. Nearly one in 20 of those polled would vote for the party which Nigel Farage turned into a political force.  

The Government can expect strong support if it makes a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine compulsory for all UK citizens and visitors, the latest research indicates.

Polling reveals a strong wish to get as much of the population as possible vaccinated.

More than two-thirds (64.09 percent) of respondents to research by OnePoll agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” that the vaccine should be compulsory when it is developed, unless individuals have a medical reason not to be vaccinated.

Fewer than one in five people (18.18 percent) disagreed somewhat or strongly with compulsory vaccination.

The UK has now secured access to six potential vaccines as scientists around the world race to eradicate the threat to life posed by Covid-19.

Vaccine campaigns have proven fiercely controversial and have been the target of conspiracy theories but Paul Bristow, a Conservative member of Westminster’s health committee, expected strong support for public vaccination.

He said: “If we get a vaccine it will be a huge breakthrough and we can defeat this virus for good. This is a sensible country and I am not surprised that a majority of people want to see everyone vaccinated.  

“I know there’s a lot of anti-vax nonsense on social media so the Government must do what it can to counter this. But I am confident that most of us will want to get vaccinated without any compulsion.”  

Health minister Jo Churchill has admitted that while there is a desire to get as many individuals as possible vaccinated, people may have to be prioritised according to the availability of supplies, safety and its effectiveness in different groups. However, there are no plans to target areas with the highest levels of Covid-19.

The OnePoll research also uncovers overwhelming support for the lockdown measures that were introduced when the pandemic hit Britain.

Despite the damage that was caused to the economy by the shuttering of businesses, 56.74 percent of people “strongly” agreed the UK was right to go into such a tight lockdown, and more than a quarter (25.67 percent) “somewhat” agreed.

Only 7.15 percent disagreed to any extent with the decision.

There is also resounding support for getting all children in England and Wales back to school. Nearly seven out of 10 (68.08 percent) supported the return to school with only 13.84 percent opposed.

The strong support for the emergency measures will encourage Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as will polling showing more voters would still vote for the Conservatives in a general election than any other party.

If the PM finds time to take a glance in the rear-view mirror, he may raise an eyebrow at the intense popularity enjoyed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The public were asked to respond to rumours – shot down by Downing St – that Mr Johnson may step down in the next six months.

If this were to happen, Mr Sunak is by far the most popular choice to replace him as Prime Minister and Conservative leader.

He was the pick of 35.31 percent of respondents, far ahead of potential rivals including foreign secretary Dominic Raab (8.49 percent), minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove (6.04 percent), home secretary Priti Patel (4.15 percent), home secretary Matt Hancock (4.10 percent) and leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg (3.65 percent).

Despite Mr Johnson leading the biggest Tory majority in decades, Westminster sources have suggested that Mr Gove may be on manoeuvres to prepare the ground ahead of any possible contest.

The OnePoll research also revealed major support for efforts to prevent protesters bringing disorder to Britain’s streets.

More than half (53.39 percent) agreed “somewhat” or “strongly” that the “UK police should crack down harder on protestors”. Only 11.79 percent “somewhat” disagreed” with 9.04 percent strongly disagreeing.

The public was divided on introducing tax rises to pay for the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. While 41.96 supported or strongly supported increasing taxes, 40.06 percent were opposed or strongly opposed.

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