Nearly half of the electorate want to see a general election by the spring of next year, including almost a third of those who voted Tory in 2019, polling shows.
Exclusive polling for i by BMG Research reveals that 48 per cent of the electorate want Rishi Sunak to call a general election within the next six months, rather than wait until next autumn.
And 29 per cent of people who voted Conservatives in the last election also want their say on who should form the next government sooner rather than later.
Some 28 per cent of voters would prefer to wait longer, beyond the next six months, to go to the polls, including 53 per cent of Conservative voters at the last election.
Labour will point to the figures as further evidence of the need for a general election by May next year, when local and mayoral elections are also held.
The party has been planning for a spring election, as it believes the Tories will go sooner than expected if the economic picture begins to improve, as is expected by the middle of next year.
But the Conservatives have repeatedly suggested that an election in late October or early November is more likely as it will give the Prime Minister the most time to reap any benefits from lower inflation and potential economic growth.
It coincides with increasing doubts among voters of the Tories’ chances of staying in power when the election is eventually held.
According to the survey of more than 1,500 British adults between 11 and 12 October, two-fifths – 44 per cent – of the country believe Labour will secure a majority at the next election, including nearly a third – 30 per cent – of Tory voters.
Just 17 per cent of the electorate believe the Conservatives are on course for a majority, which will come as little surprise given the party remains 13 points behind Labour on voting intention. Even fewer, 15 per cent, believe there will be a hung parliament, among them 20 per cent of Tory voters.
Perhaps most worryingly for Mr Sunak is the sizeable belief among the electorate in the need for a change in government. The results show more than a third – 34 per cent – of those who intend to vote Labour at the next election gave this as a reason for their decision, including 45 per cent of those who had voted Tory in 2019.
More than a quarter – 27 per cent – said they were planning to vote for Sir Keir Starmer’s party because there were “no better options”, revealing a lack of support for the Labour leader’s offer to the country.
Just 18 per cent said Sir Keir was the best candidate for the job of Prime Minister, while only 16 per cent said Labour was best suited to tackle the challenges facing the country.
In a further boost for Labour, polling by Savanta revealed that the party is now neck and neck with the SNP in Scotland with both on 35 per cent, the first time this has happened since the Independence Referendum in 2014.