Tory Peer Predicts His Party Will Lose At Least 400 Seats In The Local Elections

Polling expert Lord Hayward said the Conservatives are on course for a "bad night".
Voters in England and Wales will go to the polls on May 2.
Voters in England and Wales will go to the polls on May 2.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

The Tories are on course to lose more than 400 seats at next month’s local elections, according to a Conservative peer.

Polling expert Lord Hayward said his party would have “a bad night” on May 2, piling even more pressure on Rishi Sunak.

However, he said it “will not be a blowout for Labour”, with the party expected to gain between 200 and 250 seats as they are squeezed by left-wing and independent candidates.

According to his analysis for Channel 4 News, the Lib Dems will gain around 100 seats, with a “surge” in support for the Greens seeing them gain 30 councillors.

The Tory peer said small “disruptor” parties like Reform UK, resident groups and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) could also damage the Tories and Labour.

He said: “Overall, I expect the Tories to have a bad night but it will not be a blowout for Labour.

“The new disruptors will probably have a greater impact on Labour than the Tories.”

He said he would put the Tory losses at “somewhat less” than the 500 predicted by Sky News pollsters Michael Rallings and Colin Thrasher.

“I would put the figure on the upside of 400,” he said.

More than 2,600 seats will be up for grabs across England, with the Tories and Labour defending around 1,000 each.

The last time those seats were up for election, in 2021, the Conservatives were enjoying a surge in popularity thanks to the success of the Covid vaccine rollout.

They comfortably won with a national equivalent vote (NEV) share of 40%, compared to Labour’s 30%.

But the chaos which led to the demise of both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss has sent the Tories’ poll numbers plummeting since then and Sunak has failed to arrest the Conservatives’ decline.


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