NIGEL Farage is the most popular choice to replace Rishi Sunak at the top of the Tory party, according to a new poll.

The People Polling survey found that Farage was the top pick for both UK voters in general and people who voted Conservative in the 2019 General Election.

Political professor Matthew Goodwin said the results were a “sign of just how much the party’s electorate has changed in recent years”.

The survey was conducted for GB News and found that 8% of UK voters said Farage should take over from Sunak as Tory leader. He narrowly defeated Boris Johnson and Penny Mordaunt, who both polled at 7%.

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Among 2019 Tory voters, 16% said Farage should lead the party. Johnson was next (15%) followed by Mordaunt (12%).

Farage, who owns and controls Reform UK as a limited company but does not lead it in the traditional political sense, is not in the Conservative Party.

Elsewhere, the People Polling survey found that Reform were polling at 12%, just eight points behind the Tories on 20%.

Labour were far out in front, polling at 45%.

A separate Ipsos poll found Farage was also virtually neck-and-neck with Sunak in terms of popularity.

The former MEP was viewed favourably by 43% of 2019 Conservatives, one point more than Sunak, and was viewed unfavourably by 29%, tied with the Prime Minister.

It also found that around a fifth of 2019 Conservative voters now said they were likely to consider voting for Labour, while 28% said they would consider voting for Reform.

Goodwin, a regular on GB News, said: “This is further evidence the rise of Reform is real. The party is only eight points behind the Tories and is now attracting about one quarter of Brexit and Conservative Party voters.

“Were these numbers replicated at a General Election tomorrow you would be looking at a commanding Labour Party majority, so this is more bad news for Rishi Sunak.”

He went on: “These numbers suggest Reform still has a little more room to grow and looks set to continue to present a significant challenge to Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives. Of course, no-one knows what might happen to these numbers if and when Nigel Farage returns to lead the party.

“But for now, it appears Reform’s support is in the 10-15% range, which is broadly equivalent to UKIP in 2015, which captured one seat, almost 13% of the national vote, and nearly four million votes.”

Prime Minister Sunak is facing disquiet within his own party, with reports suggesting there is a plot to oust him and put a name like Mordaunt or former home secretary Suella Braverman in his place.

Sky News reported that the rebel group, which is largely anonymous, believe Farage returning to lead Reform could spell “extinction” for the Conservatives at the next General Election.

The People Polling survey was carried out on January 25 and asked 1648 British voters.

The Ipsos poll surveyed 1087 British adults between January 12 and 14.