Conservative Defector Poll June 2024

This page first posted 6 June 2024

Pollsters Electoral Calculus and Find Out Now have conducted a poll focusing on those people who voted Conservative in 2019, but who don't plan to vote Conservative in 2024. We asked people what reasons they had for leaving the Conservatives.

Fieldwork was conducted from 3−4 June 2024, with a sample size of 921 people.

Which of the following are the main reasons for your choice not to vote Conservative?

We asked people to choose from a list of possible reasons, to explain why they are not planning to vote Conservative again. They could choose up to three options. The table shows the results, including breakdowns by people's new voting intention.

ReasonAll defectorsDefectors to
Defectors to
Won't vote/
Won't say
Failed to deliver in general53%62%44%48%
Failure to control immigration44%26%72%40%
National Health Service problems37%44%30%35%
Bad economic management19%29%9%16%
Prefer Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak20%15%29%19%
Conservatives are too divided14%17%12%13%
Not Conservative enough10%2%23%5%
Too right-wing4%8%0%2%
Don't know3%2%1%7%

Table 1: Reasons given by ex-Conservative voters, and broken down by current voting intention.

The most common reason given was "Failed to deliver in general", with "Failure to control immigration" in second place, and "Incompetent" in third place.

Among defectors to centre-left parties, the NHS was in third place.

Among defectors to Reform, Immigration was the top issue by far, with 72% citing it.

In your own words, what is your main reason for your choice not to vote Conservative?

We also asked people for the reasons for their defection in their own words.

We then grouped their comments into topics or themes. The top ten themes are:

RankAll DefectorsDefectors to
Defectors to
Won't vote/
Won't say
1ImmigrationFailed to deliverImmigrationFailed to deliver
2Failed to deliverTime for changeFailed to deliverSelf-serving
3Self-servingNHSToo left-wingImmigration
4Time for changeUntrustworthypro-ReformIncompetent
5UntrustworthySelf-servingBroke promisesTime for change
7NHSImmigrationUntrustworthyOut of touch
8Broke promisesBroke promisesLiarsanti-Sunak
9DividedLiarsOut of touchAll parties bad

The themes which were common to all three types of defector are: Immigration; Failed to deliver; Self-serving; Divided; and Liars. That is strong language, though the actual words used by many of our respondents were often much stronger.

Other recurring themes were:

Word Cloud

We also made a word cloud of the textual responses.


Martin Baxter, founder of Electoral Calculus, said "This unique poll shows many former supporters have lost faith and confidence in the Conservatives and regard them as self-serving and incompetent. Immigration is clearly a big issue for many, but there is also a perception of general failure. It could be hard for Rishi Sunak to change these attitudes in the four weeks he has left."

Tyron Surmon, Head of Research at Find Out Now said "The Conservatives brought together a broad coalition in 2019, but these results show the difficulties for them holding this coalition together. While defectors to Reform overwhelmingly identify failure to control immigration as the top reason for them no longer voting Conservative, those now planning to vote for other parties or not at all are much more likely to point to a general failure to deliver."

Technical Details

Find Out Now polled 921 GB adults online between 3-4 June 2024, of those who voted Conservative in 2019, and plan not to vote Conservative in 2024. The sample was weighted to be representative by gender, age, social grade, other demographics and past voting patterns.

Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus are both members of the British Polling Council and abide by its rules.

Data tables are available here.

About Us

Electoral Calculus

Electoral Calculus is a pollster and political consultancy specialising in quantitative analysis and modelling for electoral and other market research projects. Its pre-poll prediction for the 2019 general election was the most accurate published forecast. It was founded by Martin Baxter, its CEO.

Electoral Calculus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Find Out Now

Find Out Now is a polling and market research panel with 2.8 million members. Highly profiled respondents can be targeted instantly, with over 100,000 daily responses allowing the delivery of same-day nationally representative sampling.

Find Out Now are members of the British Polling Council and Market Research Society, and abide by their rules.

Regression Polling

Modern polling analysis often uses statistical regression techniques to get more accurate and geographically detailed results. Also called MRP (multi-level regression and post stratification) they have been used successfully by Electoral Calculus and other pollsters to predict general elections, local elections and the 2019 European elections.