LABOUR could win Colchester’s seat in the House of Commons for the first time in 74 years, a survey has suggested.

A new YouGov survey published on Monday shows Labour would win a large majority if a general election were to be held now.

The survey of more than 14,000 people forecast Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party will retain just 169 seats at the next election, while the opposition party will sweep to power with 385 – giving Sir Keir Starmer a 120-seat majority.

It predicted Labour would snatch five seats in Essex, including Colchester, from the Tories.

If correct, the party’s parliamentary candidate Pam Cox could become the city’s first Labour MP since 1950.

Colchester will gain a new MP at the next election regardless of which party is victorious at the polls after the current MP, Will Quince, announced last year his plans to step down.

Colchester resident Andy Mehen said: “The fact that Quince is doing a runner and the party is replacing him with a celebrity with no links to Colchester whatsoever tells you all you need to know."

Who are the candidates for Colchester at the general election?

Olympic rower James Cracknell was announced as the city’s next Tory candidate by the Colchester Conservative Association in September last year and has since relocated to the borough.

Gazette: Candidates - Pam Cox (Lab), James Cracknell (Con), Sara Ruth (Grn), and Martin Goss (Lib) will all stand for Colchester's seat in the House of Commons at the next general electionCandidates - Pam Cox (Lab), James Cracknell (Con), Sara Ruth (Grn), and Martin Goss (Lib) will all stand for Colchester's seat in the House of Commons at the next general election (Image: Steve Brading/Simon Crow/Submitted)

Another resident, Tom Potter, praised Pam Cox’s efforts in her role as a city councillor for the New Town and Christ Church ward.

“She will be better for our local area than someone rushed in from London who has no experience of living and working in Colchester,” Tom said.

Before being announced as a parliamentary candidate, Mr Cracknell visited Colchester to campaign for his party ahead of a by-election in Highwoods.

In an exclusive interview with the Gazette, he said he “wants to be part of the community”.

Ms Cox and Mr Cracknell will be up against veteran Lib Dem councillor Martin Goss and Green candidate Sara Ruth.

Parts of the Colchester borough which fall under other constituencies could retain a Tory MP with YouGov predicting Sir Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex) and Dame Priti Patel (Witham) will hold on to their seats.

What are Labour and the Conservatives saying?

Colchester Labour group leader Julie Young believes the party can finally win Colchester again after "a lot has changed." 

She said: “People are really feeling the cost-of-living crisis, they are fed up with the lack of trust they have in the Conservatives.

“Boris Johnson and Partygate was a big turning point for the fortunes of the Tories.

“I also think Pam Cox is head and shoulders above the other candidates, she has been a local councillor and has made Colchester her home.

“She has been here for decades, worked at Essex Uni and works in sociology, so she understands policy.

“If you compare her both her local knowledge of the city and her ability to take on the job of being the MP for Colchester, she is best placed to do so.”

But she believes Labour must not get complacent but believes Sir Keir has done enough to convince voters.

She added: "We are fighting for every vote here in Colchester.

"Starmer is starting to reveal some of the policies we will be going forward with, which are proving be popular with voters and we are certainly noticing a shift on the doorsteps.”

But Paul Dundas, Tory group leader in Colchester, dismissed the poll. 

He said: “It is a poll, not a constituency poll so not really of great interest as there is only one which counts.

“I am old enough to remember six months before the 2015 General Election, the constituency poll for Colchester had the Lib Dems winning with over 10,000 majority, five months later Quince won it with 5,000 votes, so as far as we are concerned everything is to play for.”

He believes the Tories stand just a good a chance of retaining the seat. 

“We are confident in retaining it, in any election you can never be 100 per cent sure and Labour cannot be complacent either," Mr Dundas said. 

“You ever know where the Lib Dem vote will end up in Colchester either.

“I will say Labour keep losing council seats in Colchester, and if they were really on course to win the parliamentary seat, they should be gaining them not losing them."