The Conservative party would make big gains across the North of England in a general election, a shock new poll has found.
According to analysis by Bradshaw advisory, Boris Johnson’s Brexit stance would see the Tories take 18 seats in the region, the majority in traditional Labour areas.
The findings show Labour losing 16 seats, taking them from 111 to 96, while the Conservatives would go from 40 to 58.
Under the results, the Liberal Democrats would go from one to three northern constituencies, and the six Independent/ Change UK MPs would all lose their seats.
One of those independents is former Labour MP Angela Smith, whose seat is identified in the analysis as at ‘high risk’ of going Tory.
However, she dismissed the prediction, telling The Yorkshire Post: “Given the current febrile nature of our politics I don’t think any vote projection for any seat can be relied upon.
“What is obvious from the 2017 election is that many seats are now marginal and cannot be predicted.”
Another constituency under threat of changing hands is Rother Valley in South Yorkshire, which registered a high Leave vote in the EU referendum.
The current Labour MP Kevin Barron has been a lone voice in the party in calling for Brexit to be completed.
He said: "Labour has always said that it respects the referendum result but our constant dithering about a second referendum and failure to support a deal to leave has left people with the impression that we are trying to block the decision made in 2016.
“This will no doubt cost us seats."
Tom Lees, Bradshaw Advisory’s Managing Director said: “Boris’s strategy is clearly starting to gain traction in Northern Leave voting seats who feel disconnected from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party who have steadily become more ‘Remain’ to try and hold off the Liberal Democrat surge.
“This combined with popular policy announcements and the fact that the North is generally getting older means long held Labour seats like Bishop Auckland, Great Grimsby and Blackpool South are likely to turn blue for the first time in generations.”
The analysis draw on a number of different sources to predict which seats are most at risk of changing hands.
The modelling brings together research from polling companies Onward, Survation, YouGov, Ipsos Mori and ComRes. It also looks at the age profile of seats, EU referendum vote analysis, the majority of the seats and whether the seat switched MP in the 2015 vs 2017 General Elections.
Tom Lees is the Managing Director at Bradshaw Advisory. He previously worked for Tory Brexiteer Michael Gove and played an active role in the Brexit campaign.