Former Conservative MP and Health Secretary Stephen Dorrell has announced his resignation from the party and said he would join the new Change UK party created by former Labour and Conservative MPs. The Observer reports that Dorrell could be willing to stand in European Parliament elections for Change UK. Elsewhere, former Conservative MP Neil Carmichael has also left the party and is considering “standing in the European elections and would do so for the Independent Group [Change UK].”
Meanwhile, an Opinium survey for the Observer reveals that 29% of the electorate would vote for Conservatives in a General Election, while 36% would vote for Labour. In possible European Parliament elections, 17% would vote Conservative, with 29% supporting Labour, 13% supporting UKIP and 12% the Brexit Party.
Separately, a new study of opinion polls published by the Sunday Telegraph suggests that if a General Election were held, the Labour Party would win 296 seats, and the Conservative Party would lose 59 seats, with a total result of 259 seats. Professor Sir John Curtice, President of the British Polling Council, commented, “Much of this drop reflects disappointment among Leave voters – around a half of whom would prefer No Deal – at the Government’s failure to deliver Brexit.”
This comes as the Times reports that the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, wishes to delay is departure beyond this summer if Brexit remains unresolved. Bercow had been due to set out a statement after the Easter recess, setting out his timetable for departure.