Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Rallings & Thrasher: Conservatives set to lose half the council seats they defend in May

Writing in the Local Government Chronicle, Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher forecast a bad  night for the Conservatives in May's local elections:

"If the Conservatives repeat their poor performance of 2023, when the NEV [national equivalent vote] put them below 30%, they stand to lose up to 500 seats - half their councillors facing election.

"Labour may make about 300 gains, with the Liberal Democrats and Greens both likely to advance. We will not know the extent of any Reform party challenge until nominations close, but it cannot be completely discounted."

One reason the Tories stand to make such large losses is that the seats being contested on 2 May were last fought in 2021 (postponed from 2020 because of Covid lockdown), when the Johnson government was still quite popular.

As key contests for the Liberal Democrats, Rallings and Thrasher nominate Wokingham:

The Liberal Democrats are only just shy of a majority on Wokingham, and their performance against the Conservatives will be seen as indicative of opinion in the so-called ‘blue wall’ – normally Conservative and affluent parts of the south of England which voted Remain in 2016 and tend to take a more liberal view on social issues. 

though it's worth remembering that large parts of affluent Southern England voted Leave.

They also mention Hull, where we have control and Labour are the challengers, and Brentwood:

In Brentwood BC, where the Conservatives are the largest party, the Liberal Democrats will be hoping to take majority control for the first time since 2003. A repeat of last year’s results would be sufficient.

And if you would like more encouragement, John Curtice - answering questions after a public lecture at the University of Strathclyde last night - has said that Labour has a 99 per cent chance of winning the coming general election.


Anonymous said...

I used to know these things, but I've forgotten - when do nominations (and withdrawals) close? When will we have a better idea of how many contestants each party is putting forward? It will, of course, be interesting to see if the Tories have trouble fielding full slates of candidates.

Anonymous said...

Nominations close 4pm 5 April

Anonymous said...

(Thank you!)