Conservatives set to lose dozens of key battleground seats, new modelling suggests

The Conservatives are set to lose dozens of key battleground seats, including that of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, new modelling suggests today.

The latest YouGov MRP model indicates that from the 88 ‘battleground’ constituencies which the Conservatives either won from Labour in 2019, or currently hold with a majority of less than 15pts over Labour, just three would remain in Conservative hands: Ashfield, Bassetlaw, and Dudley North.

A number Yorkshire seats where the Tories claimed victory as they swept to a majority across the so-called ‘Red Wall’ two and a half years ago are among those that would switch to Labour.

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According to the figures, Rother Valley, Penistone and Stocksbridge, and Don Valley would all elect Labour MPs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to CityFibre Training Academy in Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington.Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to CityFibre Training Academy in Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to CityFibre Training Academy in Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington.

The data also suggests that Wakefield, the stage for a key by-election battle in less than a month’s time, would also fall back into Labour hands.

Mr Johnson’s seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip would likely fall into Labour hands, with current results suggesting a 5pt Labour lead in the constituency.

Other high profile Conservative figures who could be set to lose their seat include former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, whose Chingford and Woodford Green patch looks to have a 13 point Labour lead, and Wycombe MP Steve Baker, which is showing a 10 point lead for Sir Keir Starmer’s party.

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However, the data suggests that the Conservative vote is holding up better in the Midlands, which is home to all three of the key seats that would remain blue.

The figures come as the Prime Minister’s leadership has come under renewed pressure in recent days, with a slow drip-feed of no confidence letters trickling in since the release of the Sue Gray report.

Sir Bob Neill, chairman of the Commons Justice Committee, added his name to that list last night, declaring that he did not think the Prime Minister’s explanations for attending events in No 10 were “credible”.

Posting a statement on his website, the MP for Bromley and Chislehurst said: “I have listened carefully to the explanations the Prime Minister has given, in Parliament and elsewhere, and, regrettably, do not find his assertions to be credible.

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“That is why, with a heavy heart, I submitted a letter of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady on Wednesday afternoon.”

The former minister said that a “change in leadership is required” if trust in politics was to be restored following the so-called partygate saga.

A vote on the Prime Minister’s future will be held if 54 of his MPs write to Sir Graham, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tories, declaring they have lost confidence in their leader.

Twenty Tories have publicly called for his resignation so far, with many critics holding back due to the war in Ukraine.

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Others may have called for a no confidence vote in private, however, as Sir Graham does not publicly reveal how many letters he has received.

It came as the Home Secretary’s assistant resigned over the “toxic culture” uncovered in No 10 by the Cabinet Office official’s inquiry.

Tory MP Paul Holmes quit as Priti Patel’s aide, saying he was “shocked and angered” by the revelations.

Mr Holmes did not, however, state whether he had submitted a letter of no confidence, instead pointing to Downing Street reforms in recent months.