A NEW poll has revealed that a new Tory leader could potentially secure a victory over Labour at the next election.

The news comes as the Tories have descended into infighting following Simon Clarke’s comments that MPs should oust Rishi Sunak or face a “massacre” when the next election comes around.

Writing for The Telegraph, Clarke said that while Sunak has some admirable qualities, “he does not get what Britain needs and he is not listening to what the British people want”.

A YouGov poll of 13,000 voters suggested that a new Tory leader could secure a victory over Labour.

When asked who they would prefer as prime minister – Keir Starmer (below) or a new, tax-cutting Tory leader – voters in 322 constituencies in England and Wales preferred a new Conservative leader while Starmer only came out on top in 164 seats.

The National: Sir Keir Starmer has refused to commit to further spending under a Labour government amid growing calls from unions for him to back more of their policy priorities (BBC/PA)

Those who were polled were not presented with any specific names when it came to a new Tory leader.

However, in 89 constituencies the most common answer was “not sure”.

This makes for very different reading compared to last week when The Telegraph reported the same polling company put Starmer ahead in 483 constituencies to Sunak’s 139 in a head-to-head between the two, when “not sure” respondents were discounted.

It showed a number of senior Tory MPs, including chancellor Jeremy Hunt, were on course to lose their seats.

Tory infighting

A number of senior Tories have warned against another damaging round of infighting following Clarke’s article.

Ex-defence secretary Ben Wallace dismissed the call to oust Sunak, saying “division and another PM would lead to the certain loss of power”.

Postal affairs minister Kevin Hollinrake meanwhile acknowledged there was some “panic” in sections of the party, but that Clarke’s view was not one that was widely shared.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis commented: “The party and the country are sick and tired of MPs putting their own leadership ambitions ahead of the UK’s best interests.”

Clarke was a key ally of former PM Liz Truss, although the PA News Agency reports that she is not backing his intervention.

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Meanwhile, former home secretary Priti Patel said: “At this critical time for our country, with challenges at home and abroad, our party must focus on the people we serve and deliver for the country.

“Engaging in facile and divisive self-indulgence only serves our opponents – it’s time to unite and get on with the job.”

Clarke’s latest article presents a new problem for No 10 just days after Sunak managed to see of a rebellion against his Rwanda plan, which some on the right of the party regard as being too soft.