Tories prepare for local elections massacre with one in five councillors set to lose seats

PUBLISHED: 11:49 28 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:05 28 April 2019

Theresa May could be leading the Conservatives to heavy losses in the local elections. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Theresa May could be leading the Conservatives to heavy losses in the local elections. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Anger over Brexit could cause one in five Conservative councillors up for election to lose their seats in next week's local elections, revealing polling data has showed.

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Could the Conservatives face heavy losses at the 2019 local elections? Picture: PACould the Conservatives face heavy losses at the 2019 local elections? Picture: PA

Analysis presented by Professor Michael Thrasher, from the University of Plymouth, on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday showed that the Tories could lose as many as 1,100 seats when the vote is held across the country next Thursday, May 3.

Prof Thrasher said the fact the Conservatives won so many seats in the 2015 local elections - the last time the seats up for election on Thursday were voted on - means that: “The Conservatives are defending a high position.

“There is a lot of stake for them. The baseline is 2015 and since the, you'd expect the Conservatives would lose ground from there.”

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In the worst case scenario, based on polling data, the Tories could lose more than 1,000 seats - about 20 per cent of the 5,521 seats they are defending - while Labour could gain 840 and the Liberal Democrats 170.

Yet figures based on previous by-elections indicates a Liberal Democrat fightback, with the party gaining 400 seats compared to Labour's 105.

Speaking on the same programme, Conservative deputy chairman Helen Whatley said: “No doubt it's going to be a difficult night for us.”

And while she admitted that canvassing is always a “mixed experience”, she said: “I feel there's more anger at politics than there was before.”

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis urged people to stick with the party.

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