A NEW poll has forecast that Barrow and Furness would swing back to Labour if an election was held this year.

A survey by JL Partners found that the Conservatives were losing support in so-called red wall seats won by the Tories at the last election - including Barrow.

According to Channel 4 News, which commissioned the poll, many cited 'confusing' messaging over Covid and Dominic Cummings’s trip to Barnard Castle as reasons for losing faith in the party.

Researchers estimate that Labour could win back 36 out of 45 seats they lost in the last election if the results are translated in votes.

Responding to the survey, Labour and Conservatives in Barrow both said it was too early to predict the result of the next election, expected to be in 2024.

Conservative Simon Fell won an overwhelming majority when he was elected in 2019, beating Labour's Chris Altree to become the first Tory to hold the seat since 1987.

Mr Altree, the chair of the Barrow and Furness Labour Party, said: "I would debate the findings because it's not what national polls are saying. "But I think the support for the Conservatives has gone down a little due to how they have done with the pandemic and Brexit.

"We were promised an oven-ready deal and that has not been delivered.

"It's too early to say which way it's going to go at the next election, hopefully we can convince people to get onside.

"A lot can change in a week let alone four years."

The poll surveyed a representative sample of 500 voters from seats the Conservatives gained from Labour in the North, Midlands and Wales, between 19 November and 30 November.

The constituencies are seen as key battlegrounds at the next election because they were the source of most Tory gains last year.

Simon Fell said: "We're four years out from an election so I'm just getting on with the job that people elected me to do: getting on with Brexit, levelling up Furness' communities, and helping those who need it."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was found to be most popular politician among those polled.