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Boris Johnson needs to find the Tory heartlands before he fights for them

City AM

Director Will Tanner wrote for CityAM on the outcome and aftermath of the local elections. He writes:

“Recent by-elections have led some to fear that conservatism overreached itself in 2019. In three by-elections in little more than six months – Chesham and Amersham, North Shropshire and Old Bexley and Sidcup – the Conservatives jettisoned almost 60,000 votes from their 2019 high-water mark and lost two seats that had never before failed to return a Tory MP. The results led to speculation of the collapse of “Blue Wall” Tory heartland seats, similar to the break up of Labour’s Red Wall in 2019. Tomorrow’s local elections, where the party could take a battering in London, may further entrench this narrative.

Conservative MPs in the South are, not unreasonably, jittery. But by-elections and mid-term local elections are a poor proxy for general elections. Applying the same techniques that identified the “Red Wall” to today’s electorate does not reveal the conditions for a similar geographic correction in 2024 without a huge swing away from the Conservatives. There is simply no cluster of seats in the South of England where the Conservatives overperform demographic expectations in the way Labour did in parts of the North and Midlands before 2019. The “Blue Wall” is a mirage.”

Read the full article here.

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