Red Wall obliterated: Tories set to turn Labour heartlands Blue in English elections

Keir Starmer discusses questions to Boris Johnson in PMQs

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YouGov polling shows the Conservatives are set to win across Labour heartlands in Thursday’s local elections with large numbers of council seats are up for grabs. Voters will also go to the polls next week to elect mayors in the West Midlands, Tees Valley, West Yorkshire and the West of England.

As well as the local elections, which determine the make-up of councils, Labour is also battling to hold on to Hartlepool in a two-way by-election fight with the Conservatives.

The polling which questioned 1,712 voters between April 16 and April 28 shows the Conservatives will sweep to victory in major marginal areas including Derby and Northumberland.

Labour majorities in Sheffield, Warrington and Wolverhampton are also under threat, according to the polling.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer paid a visit to Dudley this week in an attempt to keep the area red as the polling shows the Tories may also gain one of the tightest marginal councils in the country.


Speaking during a visit to Sandwell College, he said: “We’ve got big teams out knocking on doors, talking to people every day and the feedback we’re getting is positive.

“We’re fighting for every vote and we know we’ve got to earn every vote.”

Across the board, the YouGov poll shows Labour is set to lose between 35 and 88 councillors across its former northern heartlands.

Labour would lose 59 seats in the 20 areas identified by YouGov as Red Wall councils.

Meanwhile, the Tories are expected to make between 69 and 122 gains and could gain control of Lincoln and Hyndburn which covers Accrington in Lancashire.

This is equivalent to a nine-point swing for the Tories from Labour in Red Wall areas compared to local elections which last took place in 2016/17.

Despite the Tory gains, however, Labour may maintain majority control in County Durham, and could well secure a majority in Burnley.

Sir Keir said he had been to the County Durham town twice in recent days and said that people there were telling him their priority was “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

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When asked about the party’s future, the leader of the opposition added the party “can’t take anything for granted” and would be “working every minute, every hour, every day, as we go into this election”.

When asked on “Who would make the best Prime Minister?”, 38 percent of people in Red Wall councils said Boris Johnson, while 30 percent said Keir Starmer.

A further 31 percent were not sure.

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