Watch: Tory minister phones live Sky News moments after disastrous polling - and line goes dead

Grant Shapps phone Sky News political journalist live on air - only to seemingly hang up when asked for a comment.

Sam Coates took the call from Grant Shapps live on air, only for the minister to seemingly hang up. (Sky News)
Sam Coates took the call from Grant Shapps live on air, only for the minister to seemingly hang up. (Sky News)

A Sky News TV presenter took a phone call from minister Grant Shapps in the middle of a broadcast about a disastrous election poll for Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party – only for the line to go dead when he answered it live on air.

Sam Coates, Sky News' deputy political editor, was talking live on the channel about a shock YouGov poll projection that showed Labour potentially on track to win a landslide election victory.

The model suggests Sunak's Conservative Party could be set for near wipeout across many areas of the country, including London, the North East, the North West and Wales.

It also indicates a number of Tory "big beasts" could lose their seats, including defence minister Grant Shapps in his constituency in Welwyn Hatfield.

However, as Coates was speaking he received an alert on his Apple iPhone in what he said was a call from Shapps himself.

"I can tell you, Grant Shapps is phoning me", he said, to which host Sophy Ridge urged: "Take the call. Take the call."

Coates then proceeded to take out his mobile, put it on speaker phone and say: "Hello, Grant Shapps. You're live on Sky News I'm in the studio with Sophy Ridge. Have you just seen that you're about to lose your seat, according to the Sky News/YouGov projection."

Coates then paused for a moment in silence, before adding: "He just put the phone down on me. There we go."

The YouGov poll.
The YouGov poll.

The startling YouGov poll Coates was referring to shows Labour on course for the biggest election victory in its history, beating Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide.

The poll, using the MRP (multi-level regression and post-stratification) technique, suggests Sir Keir Starmer’s party is on course to win 422 seats, with the Tories down to just 140.

The Tories would lose 232 seats compared to the 2019 election results, dropping to just 140, according to YouGov’s projection.

This would be far fewer than the previous lowest number of Conservative seats in recent history: 165 in 1997.

The MRP poll predicts Labour would win a 194-seat majority, the highest number since Stanley Baldwin won a majority of 208 in 1924.