Ukip leader Paul Nuttall
According to the poll commissioned by Labour Leave, Ukip has a strong lead in the Labour stronghold with 35 per cent 10 points ahead of Labour.
The by-election is set to take place on 23 February after leading moderate Tristram Hunt quit to become director of the V&A museum.
Despite being a very close third in the general election in 2017 the Tories are lagging behind on 10 per cent.
Stoke had one of the strongest Leave votes in the referendum with almost 70 per cent of voters backing Brexit.
Stoke-on-Trent is the Brexit capital of the United Kingdom
Brendan Chilton from Labour Leave
With support for Jeremy Corbyn’s hard Left leadership collapsing across the country and confusion over whether Labour backs Brexit or will support Remoaners attempting to block Article 50 voters in the party’s heartlands are understood to be turning to Ukip.
Stoke Central has always been a safe Labour seat and defeat is almost unthinkable for the party.
Mr Nuttall, who took over from Nigel Farage as Ukip leader in November, has said he wants to turn it “into the patriotic party of the working class”.
According to the poll 30 per cent of the Stoke Central voters who indicated ‘Don’t Know’ for the upcoming byelection previously voted Labour while 10 per cent voted UKIP and 46 per cent for the Lib Dems.
Meanwhile 81 per cent who intend to vote Ukip are former Labour voters.
The results have been taken by leading Brexiteers in Labour to call on the party to stop dithering over Article 50 and pick a pro-Brexit candidate in Stoke.
Ukip has a strong lead in the Labour stronghold, according to a new poll
Businessman John Mills, who has been a major donor for Labour and campaigned for Leave, said: “Labour is facing a difficult by-election in Stoke-on-Trent Central. The constituency voted to leave the European Union and the Labour Party campaigned to remain.
“If Labour is to hold onto this seat and others in the Midlands and the North then it must respond to voters concerns over Brexit and immigration.”
Brendan Chilton from Labour Leave added: “Stoke-on-Trent is the Brexit capital of the United Kingdom.
“If Labour lose this by-election then up to 50 seats in the Midlands and the North could fall to our opponents. Labour will be relegated to minority party status.
“We must have a radical change of direction now by fully supporting Article 50 and working for a prosperous Britain in a post-Brexit world.”
The by-election is set to take place on 23 February
COMMENT: John Mills – Chairman of Labour Leave
Labour voters in the midlands and the north will stay loyal to the Labour Party if it adopts a more Pro-Brexit policy.
At Labour Leave, we have conducted polling in the Stoke-on-Trent-Central constituency where Labour is defending a majority of 5,000 in the upcoming by-election.
Paul Nuttal, the UKIP leader, is challenging Labour for the seat and it is expected to be a close contest as the constituency voted by 70 per cent to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum.
The report highlights Labour’s difficulties among working class voters who overwhelmingly supported a leave vote.
If Labour is to hold the constituency it needs to fight the by-election on a pro-Brexit ticket. Up to 81 per cent of UKIP voters in Stoke had previously voted Labour, and 59 per cent of those would be likely to vote Labour if the Party put up a Brexiteer as its candidate.
Crucially, around 51 per cent of undecided voters would also support the Party on that basis.
Stoke-on-Trent could be the end for UKIP. If Labour gets this right it could gain up to 10 per cent of UKIP’s vote, increasing its support on the 2015 figures.
Labour will be choosing its candidate to fight the by-election at a members meeting in the constituency on tomorrow.
The Labour Party has launched a strong campaign highlighting the NHS crisis since the beginning of the year, but among leave voters in Stoke this issues falls second place to the preference of having a pro-Brexit candidate from the Labour Party.
Labour’s difficulties over whether or not to support invoking Article 50 have been exacerbated this week with a number of Shadow Ministers threatening to block Article 50.
A number of senior backbenchers have already stated they will not vote for the government Bill.
If Labour is to hold onto its seats in the midlands and the north, and see off a threat from UKIP and the Tories, it needs to quickly clarify its Brexit policy and articulate a clear message on Labour’s vision for post-Brexit Britain.
Labour cannot allow itself to be painted as an out of touch, metropolitan clique who care so little for voters around the country that they would block a referendum result.
It’s no good saying voters never wanted this when all of Remain’s lead campaigners, including the former Prime Minister and Chancellor, are on film saying ‘a vote to leave means leaving the single market’.
Nigel Farage in pictures
Thu, December 15, 2016
Nigel Farage is a British politician who has been the leader of the UK Independence Party since October 2016.
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British politician Nigel Farage arrives at Trump Tower on December 15, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.
Labour should be bold and positive. Brexit allows us to have a proper industrial policy, renationalise our rail and post services, and have an immigration system that can be fair to people from all over the world – not just Europe.
Jeremy Corbyn himself acknowledged his plan for rail renationalisation would not be possible within the EU.
Let’s show voters that we respect their decision, and set out what a Labour Britain, post-Brexit, would look like.
We will still have immigration, we will still be Europeans, we can still live, work, study and travel in Europe and beyond – none of which are reliant on the EU.
It’s time to accept the result and move forward. Brexit can be good for Labour, and good for working people. Let’s make it happen.