Will the Tories lose London?

Tuesday’s Evening Standard ran a front page story suggesting the Conservatives will fail badly at the local elections in London.  So what’s the truth?

London borough council elections come around every four years, this year on Thursday 3 May.

Thorncliffe are preparing a detailed scientific borough by borough analysis of the local elections.  You can find out more, order and purchase a tailored version of this analysis here.

For those of you who want just an overview, here’s a little insight:

Lord Hayward, who provided the information to the Standard, predicts that the Tories will lose Barnet to Labour and Kingston to the Lib Dems. He goes on to say that his party will face difficulties holding on to Wandsworth, Westminster, Richmond and Kensington and Chelsea and will likely lose seats in Bexley, Bromley and Hillingdon but should hold on here.

Thorncliffe has polled its own members of staff, all of which are political, for their collective wisdom. This is not a scientific analysis, but most of us are already deeply embedded in local campaigns across the capital and beyond.

The consensus is that overall Labour is expected to make some gains, the number of councils flipping will not be as high as Lord Hayward predicts.

Barnet is judged to be the most likely council to be lost by the Conservatives with 70% of members of staff predicting it will be won by Labour.

Wandsworth is believe to be the second most likely borough to change hands with 45% of staff members of the view that Labour will win here.

Only 27% of staff predict that Kingston Upon Thames will fall to the Lib Dems.

And 9% of staff believe that the Tories will lose Richmond or Hillingdon.

No one at Thorncliffe currently predicts that anyone other than the Conservatives will win Kensington & Chelsea or Westminster or any of the other safely held Tory boroughs such as Bexley and Bromley.

There is unanimous agreement at Thorncliffe that three councils Labour took off the Tories in 2014, Croydon, Hammersmith & Fulham and Redbridge will all stay Labour in May.

However 20% of staff members believe that the Conservatives will take back Harrow off Labour in a result that will go against the London-wide swing. The rest of the currently held Labour boroughs are all expected to stay red, even in Haringey where political infighting and an overall shift to the hard left will not be enough to see any party other than Labour holding that council.

One point to note was that both Labour and Conservative members are more pessimistic of their own party’s chances at the election in May. Not one Labour member is of the opinion that Conservatives will lose Wandsworth while the majority of Tories in the office believe that they will.

This could be a result of Brexit; old political coalitions are giving way to new ones, based less on class and more on outlook. Affluent but metropolitan Conservative voters could be tempted by parties with a stronger ‘Remain’ message while working class Labour voters who voted ‘Leave’ may be being tempted to vote Conservative in May. This would lead to a weaker vote in the two main parties’ strongest areas which could lead to less optimistic predictions.

Over these politically turbulent next four months Thorncliffe can offer a bespoke and comprehensive political analysis of a borough or ward where you may have a development interest.

To order our detailed scientific borough by borough analysis of the local elections, click on the button below.