Conservative MPs in Stockport at risk of losing their seats

12 Aug 2019 03:48

The MP for Cheadle, Mary Robinson, and William Wragg, who is MP for Hazel Grove, are both predicted to lose their seats to the resurgent Liberal Democrats, in a new poll of key Tory marginals.

Mary Robinson, who has been the MP for Cheadle since 2015, had a majority of more than 4,500 (8%) at the last election. But the new You Gov poll suggests she would finish more than 7% behind her Lib Dem opponent, Tom Morrison, at the next election.

And William Wragg, who currently enjoys a majority of 5,500 (12.5%) in Hazel Grove, would also lose his seat at the next election to the Lib Dems, by a margin of 3.5%.

The You Gov poll of more than 1,200 voters in 20 key constituencies, shows that Boris Johnson faces losing more than half of them to the Lib Dems.

The polling covered constituencies with the smallest Conservative majorities where the Liberal Democrats came second in 2017. It shows:

  • A 14.1% slump in Conservative support and an overall swing of more than 8% to the Liberal Democrats, compared to the 2017 election.
  • The swing to the Liberal Democrats increases further if Boris Johnson campaigns for a No Deal Brexit, but the most worrying results for Downing Street come in response to two further questions:
  • When voters are asked what they would do in the hypothetical situation where their local Conservative MP stood as an independent anti-No Deal candidate, the party's official candidate would be defeated by the Liberal Democrats in all but three of the 20 seats surveyed.
  • If other parties opposed to No Deal united on a single platform, the Conservatives would be defeated in 13 out of 20 seats.

Asked if there was a General election tomorrow, the survey shows that just 70% of 2017 Conservative voters plan to vote for the party and that a third of these lost votes would go to the Liberal Democrats, with many others defecting to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party.

Across the UK, according to the You Gov poll, the Conservatives would lose the following seats:

Zac Goldsmith, who would finish 16% behind the Lib Dems in Richmond Park

Derek Thomas, who would finish 15% behind the Lib Dems in St. Ives

Alex Chalk, who would finish 11.5% behind the Lib Dems in Cheltenham

Peter Heaton-Jones, who would be 8.2% behind the Lib Dems in North Devon

Mary Robinson, who would finish 7.7% behind the Lib Dems in Cheadle

Maria Caulfield who would finish 5.8% behind the Lib Dems in Lewes

Anne Main, would be 5.3% behind the Lib Dems in St. Albans

William Wragg who would be 3.5% behind the Lib Dems in Hazel Grove

James Heappey who would be 3% behind the Lib Dems in Wells

Scott Mann would be 2% behind the Lib Dems in North Cornwall

The polling also shows that, excluding "don't knows", 56% of voters in these key battleground seats support (with 44% opposed) a public vote on whether Brexit goes ahead. A quarter (24%) of current Conservative supporters back a People's Vote.

And, if the public is given the final say on Brexit, these seats would to stay in the EU buy a margin of 54 to 46 per cent.

The polling also shows a deep pessimism about Brexit with voters in these seats saying by a margin of two-to-one that the economy, the NHS and their children's futures would be worse off. By a margin of four-to-one, they think living standards will fall.

Peter Kellner, past president of YouGov and one of Britain's leading political commentators, said:

"This polling shows that, in the battleground seats, Boris Johnson's hard line on Brexit is far from a deal sealer in any early election. Even before a campaign has begun, when the Lib Dems could expect to benefit from enhanced coverage and their tactical voting message will almost certainly gain traction, Jo Swinson's party is well placed to make significant gains at the Tories' expense.

"Given the volatility of recent general election campaigns, it's hard to see Boris Johnson opting for an early election as anything other than a mad gamble. Of course, he's always shown himself willing to take risks, but a lot of Conservative MPs could face a very premature end of their political career even if nothing changes from this poll.

"In fact, there are very good reasons to believe a poll like this, under-estimates the real level of Lib Dem support because that party has generally shown itself to be highly effective in its target seats at squeezing Labour and Green votes to block the Tories. Such left-wing voters may not actively consider switching to the Lib Dems until a real campaign has begun and in 'peace time' tell pollsters which party they'd like to support, not which party they will eventually almost certainly vote for."

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