Labour facing ‘one of the worst’ local election results in recent history

PUBLISHED: 16:36 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:36 03 March 2020

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during a press conference in central London, whilst on the general election campaign trail. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during a press conference in central London, whilst on the general election campaign trail. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Labour Party could be facing one of its worst local election results in recent history, its own research claims.

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The internal document - first reported by the BBC - estimates that the party may lose councils including Harlow, Amber Valley, Crawley, Sheffield and Plymouth.

It suggests Labour could potentially lose 315 seats under the worst-case forecast.

The document says Labour's predictive modelling "points to substantial losses that may constitute one of our worst local election performances in recent history".

The polling was conducted ahead of the general election in which the party saw its worst defeat since 1935, while the research took into account the December result.


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Labour's deputy leadership contest candidate Ian Murray said the research should be an "urgent wake-up call" for the party.

MORE: Elections could be postponed under government plans for coronavirus

"We are sleepwalking into disaster if we don't change, and communities across England will lose dedicated local Labour champions," he said.

"We have to change to become a credible alternative government of the future, not a protest movement of the past. We need to win again so that we can change people's lives."

According to every scenario in the research, Labour would lose control of Harlow in Essex, Plymouth in Devon, West Lancashire, Rossendale in Lancashire, Crawley in West Sussex and Amber Valley in Derbyshire.

Sheffield City Council, which has been held by Labour since 2011 and for much of recent decades, would also fall under one predictive model.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "We recognise the scale of the challenge we face on May 7 and we will be fighting for every vote in the local elections."

Voters in about 118 councils in England go to the polls on May 7, a little over a month after the new leader takes over.

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