A pollster for Sky News has predicted that the Tory Party could lose more than 400 seats in local elections, whilst a projection from polling data points to a loss of over 1,000 seats.
Professor Michael Thrasher, associate member of Nuffield College, University of Oxford, told news presenter Sophy Ridge “there are a lot seats at stake” in the local elections on May 2nd.
Currently of the three main political parties, the Conservatives hold the most seats and councils in England, with 4,906 seats and 140 councils, while Labour has 2,106 seats and 68 councils, with the Liberal Democrats having 647 seats and six councils.
While predicting a loss of 405 seats for the Tories, in polling data prepared for last week’s Sunday Times Prof Thrasher also said that they could lose as many as 1,100 seats if polling proved accurate.
There are 8,425 seats up for grabs in 248 councils across England, excluding London, and while the elections are for local lawmakers responsible for providing local services, Conservative campaigners have said that talk of the government’s failure to deliver Brexit is dominating on the doorsteps.
A senior Conservative Party member also believes the party could suffer badly, telling the Sunday Express that “even before the problems with Brexit we calculated we will lose more than 1,000 [remaining] seats.”
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Professor Matthew Goodwin from the University of Kent at Canterbury has said that a “perfect storm” is heading towards the Conservative Party, pointing to the “catastrophic failure of Theresa May and her Government to deliver Brexit, and then her incredibly unpopular decision to work with the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.”
Writing in The Sun, the political analyst said that if the projected losses in local elections are “the tremor,” then the “earthquake will arrive a few weeks later, when voters head to the polls to decide who will represent them in an institution they thought they were leaving — the European Parliament.”
Prime Minister Theresa May twice delaying Brexit and her refusal to take the country out of the EU in a no-deal scenario — after her Brussels-approved withdrawal treaty failed in the House of Commons three times — has forced the country into European Parliament elections nearly three years after the UK voted to leave.
As such, the Conservative Party has been hovering around third place in polls for the May 23rd European Parliament election, with the Nigel Farage-founded Brexit Party breaking through into first place two weeks ago.
A YouGov poll published Sunday has the Brexit Party retain that position with 28 per cent of the vote, followed by Labour at 22 per cent and the Tories at 13 per cent — less than half that of the Brexit Party. While another poll by Survation, released Saturday, has the Brexit Party and Labour neck-and-neck at 27 per cent with the Tories on 16 per cent.