Boris Johnson is poised to make big gains from Labour in its northern heartlands because many working-class voters back Brexit and cannot stand Jeremy Corbyn.
A survey suggests the Conservatives are on course to win the key Labour seat of Workington, seen as crucial to the Prime Minister's hopes of victory on December 12.
The Tories are set to win the seat in Cumbria by more than 4,000 votes, according to the Survation poll for the Daily Mail. It would be a complete reversal of Labour's 3,925 majority at the 2017 election.
The Conservatives have 45 per cent support in Workington, with Labour on 34 – a swing of ten percentage points to the Tories in two years.
Boris Johnson is poised to make big gains from Labour in its northern heartlands, a new poll suggests
A survey suggests the Conservatives are on course to win the key Labour seat of Workington, seen as crucial to the Prime Minister's hopes of victory
If this trend occurs on a wider basis on polling day, the Tories could gain dozens of seats in the North.
A large swathe of the political map could change from Labour red to Tory blue for the first time.
The Conservative breakthrough with 'Workington Man' appears to be down to two factors: support for Mr Johnson personally and his pledge to 'get Brexit done' – and dislike of the Labour leader.
A total of 19 per cent of people in Workington who voted Labour in 2017 say they intend to vote Conservative in the election; 5 per cent who voted Tory say they intend to vote Labour.
The survey is also a slap in the face for Nigel Farage, who yesterday called on Mr Johnson to form an electoral pact.
Two women chat in an alleyway in Workington town centre, identified this week by the think-tank Onward as a vital battleground in the election
The Brexit Party leader scoffed at Tories who thought they could win in areas like Workington and said he planned to visit it next week.
But of those surveyed in the Mail's Workington poll, just as many disaffected pro-Leave Labour supporters say they plan to vote for the Brexit Party as disaffected Conservatives.
To have any chance of success on December 12, the Tories must win pro-Brexit, traditionally Labour seats in the North and Midlands to make up for anticipated losses in pro-Remain areas such as Scotland, London and parts of the South East and South West.
Northern towns such as Workington were identified this week by the think-tank Onward as a vital battleground.
According to the Survation poll, Workington voters back Mr Johnson. Asked who would make the best prime minister, 52 per cent choose Mr Johnson; a mere 11 per cent opt for Mr Corbyn; and 11 per cent prefer Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson.
A total of 45 per cent of Workington voters say Brexit is the most important election issue
Asked who has the best Brexit policy, 39 per cent favour Mr Johnson, followed by Mr Farage on 14, Mr Corbyn 11 and Miss Swinson 9. Labour support could drop further in the run-up to polling day.
A total of 41 per cent of voters in Workington say that if they change their mind before December 12 they would consider switching to the Tories; only 25 per cent would consider switching to Labour.
A total of 45 per cent of Workington voters say Brexit is the most important election issue.
Workington's Tory candidate, Mark Jenkinson, 37, deputy leader of the local Allerdale Council, is hoping to take the seat from Labour MP Sue Hayman. Survation interviewed 506 adults in Workington online on Thursday and yesterday.SIMON WALTERS: Mail poll proves Farage effect hurts Labour more
IF Boris Johnson is worried about losing his election gamble, he should head 300 miles north and visit Workington on the edge of the Lake District.
To call Workington a Labour stronghold is an understatement. It has returned a Labour MP in every general election since 1918. The Tories have held it for just three in 101 years after winning it in the 1970s in a by-election – where wild swings are commonplace.
Workington Labour MP Sue Hayman romped home with a 3,925 majority over the Conservatives in the 2017 election and gained a whopping 51 per cent of the vote.
Workington has returned a Labour MP in every general election since 1918 and is a Labour stronghold
The poll suggests that the result could be reversed, with the Tories winning by 4,000 instead.
The Cumbrian town has found itself the centre of attention this week after a Right of Centre think-tank, Onward, identified 'Workington Man' as the key to the result on December 12.
Boris Johnson is poised to make big gains from Labour in its northern heartlands
Along with other Northern towns, which like Workington, have a rugby league team, many of its voters are over 45, white, non-university educated males.
They value security above freedom and feel the country's economic and social culture no longer represent them, said a report by Onward. Which is why 60 per cent of people in Workington voted to leave the EU, it concluded.
'Workington Man' is crucial to Mr Johnson's hopes because the Tories are resigned to losing seats in pro-Remain Scotland, London and parts of the South. So they have to grab seats from traditional socialist areas in the North and Midlands who voted Leave, do not trust Labour to deliver it and have no time for 'Islington Man' Mr Corbyn's Left-wing views or style.
According to the Survation poll, the leader who can expect a warm welcome from 'Workington Man' is Mr Johnson. A study of the individual responses of those who said they were switching from Labour in the 2017 election to Conservative on December 12 is revealing.
Asked why she was voting Conservative, a 35-year-old woman, who voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum and Labour in 2017, cited Mr Johnson's slogan: 'To get Brexit done.'
Support for the Brexit Party in Workington is at a modest 13 per cent, roughly the same level as the party commands nationwide
The Prime Minister will be even more buoyed by the 41-year-old Workington woman who voted Remain in 2016 but said she intends to switch from Labour to the Conservatives 'because of the NHS'.
The poll also challenges the received wisdom of political pundits who say Mr Johnson could lose as a result of Tory voters backing Brexit Party candidates.
Support for the Brexit Party in Workington is at a modest 13 per cent, roughly the same level as the party commands nationwide. Moreover, its votes in the town are made up of almost exactly the same number of former Labour and former Tory voters.
It suggests the risk of Mr Farage handing Mr Johnson's No 10 crown to Mr Corbyn on a plate is not as great as claimed.We'll cut tax so you keep more of what you earn, vows Michael Gove: Tory plan to raise national insurance threshold could leave workers with £460 more each year