JACOB Rees-Mogg is urging disillusioned Tory voters to stick with the Conservatives in next week’s European elections as a poll shows the Conservatives slumping to fifth place.

As senior Tories predict an “absolute mauling” and “hammering” in the May 23 Euro-poll, Mr Rees-Mogg, who heads the European Research Group of Conservative Brexiteers, said the forthcoming contest was looking "difficult" and pleaded with disgruntled Tory supporters to stick with the party for the sake of Theresa May's successor.

A YouGov UK snapshot of more than 2,000 adults from last week placed the Conservatives on just 10 per cent for the European parliamentary elections behind Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on 34 points, Labour on 16, the Liberal Democrats on 15 and the Greens on 11.

In a general election, the poll suggested the Tories would be neck and neck with Labour on just 24 per cent while the Brexit Party would be on 18 points and the Lib Dems on 16.

Mr Rees-Mogg hit out at the "complete vacuum of leadership" at Westminster and called on the Prime Minister to quit, saying she had lost the support of the grassroots in Conservative associations across the country.

"At the moment, nobody is saying anything supportive of the leader or of the leader's policy and the majority of people in associations I'm addressing - and these are members of the party - tell me they are voting for the Brexit Party," declared the Somerset MP.

On LBC radio, Mr Rees-Mogg, whose sister Annunziata is standing for the Brexit Party, called for Conservative voters to show loyalty even if they did not like Mrs May.

"The opinion polls are far from promising for the Conservatives for the European elections. You have to ask yourself: 'Why should Conservatives go out?’

"The truth is that people like me will vote Conservative because we are loyal Conservatives, who will support the party in any election.

"But many Conservatives, people who have been members for decades, feel this is a two-pronged opportunity; one, to say why haven't we left, and the other to say: 'We are not entirely convinced by the current leadership.'

"And people feel that if they vote Conservative they will be saying they are accepting Mrs May's deal and Mrs May's leadership.

"Many Conservatives, most Conservatives, want to leave the EU and would prefer to leave on WTO terms, the so-called no-deal exit, and therefore they don't feel that they should go out and support the Tories on this occasion. The results look as though they will be difficult."

In a direct message to Tory supporters, Mr Rees-Mogg said: "I would appeal to their loyalty, to their tradition, and to say that the Conservative Party will get a new leader at some point."

He added: "We want that new leader to have a base on which he or she can build and if we find that we are getting under 15 per cent of the vote, if we are coming fifth behind the Greens, then it will be harder for that figure to rebuild."

Meanwhile, Nigel Evans, Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, said the party faced an “absolute hammering" at next week’s Euro-poll.

“Even the opinion polls for the next General Election are woeful for the Conservative Party," he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett Show.

"They're the worst I've seen in my political history and I've been a member of the party for 44 years.

"The fact is, what are we going to say: ‘Please vote for our MEPs who we hope won't be able to take their seats because we will have done a deal?’ That's basically the message."

The ConservativeHome website, an influential voice within the party, said the powerful 1922 Committee should be prepared to signal the end of Mrs May's leadership by changing the party's rules to allow a fresh challenge to her position.

The PM is due to meet the committee's executive on Thursday and the website's editor Paul Goodman, a former Tory MP, called on it to act.

“However unpalatable it may be, the Committee must, if she refuses this week to go by the end of the summer, change the leadership challenge rules immediately; perhaps, with a trigger ballot threshold of 40 per cent or so.

"We are well aware that the most painless course for them is to opt for manana. But the wait for tomorrow risks marginalisation; even oblivion," he added.