Sir John Curtice Has Some Good News For Conservatives Ahead Of Local Election

1 May 2019, 08:48 | Updated: 1 May 2019, 09:01

The country's leading pollster had some good news for the Conservatives ahead of the local in elections in which they are predicted to lose a number of seats.

Conservative peer Lord Haywood predicted that his party could lose 800 seats - 1 in 6 councillors - in tomorrow's vote.

Sir John Curtice, the psephologist who predicted Brexit, said the fact that The Brexit Party are not on the ballot paper will limit the Tories' losses.

Sir John Curtice on LBC
Sir John Curtice on LBC. Picture: LBC

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, he said: "Most of the seats that are up for grabs were last contested on the same day as the 2015 General Election, who of course, David Cameron won a narrow overall majority in the House of Commons with a seven-point lead.

"In the local elections, the Conservative Party did almost as well in them. So they are defending a high baseline in a set of local elections in the Tory Shires for the most part - so this is an area where there are plenty of Tory seats to be won over.

"These were always going to be a difficult set of local elections for the Conservatives, even before the party failed to deliver Brexit and, according to the opinion polls, they are facing mass defections to the Brexit Party.

"However, there might still be a silver lining for the Conservatives.

"We have to remember that the Brexit Party is not on the ballot paper tomorrow. And Ukip are only fighting around 1 in 6 of the seats.

"So those leave voters who are unhappy with the Conservatives over Brexit frankly face the choice tomorrow in most of the local elections of either turning out to vote and still voting for the Conservatives - because I doubt that they'll consider voting for Labour or the Liberal Democrats - or staying at home.

"Therefore, probably, the results won't be quite as bad for the Conservatives as perhaps some of the impression you might have from the headline opinion polls."