Warning for Theresa May as new poll finds Tories on course for London mauling

Posted On: 
21st February 2018

The pressure on Theresa May’s leadership has increased with new polling showing the Tories are on course for heavy losses in London at the upcoming local elections.

Theresa May at PMQs this afternoon
Credit: 
PA

New research suggests Labour will take control of town halls in Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster, with a better overall performance in the capital than any party since 1968.

It comes after senior MPs told PoliticsHome last month that Mrs May could face a leadership challenge if the Conservatives take a hammering at the polls in May.

EXCL Theresa May could face leadership challenge if Tories suffer local election 'meltdown'

Theresa May: Workers would be hit by tax rises to pay for Labour’s free student fees policy

Theresa May: I enjoy being Prime Minister

One senior Tory specifically warned that “if we lose Westminster and Wandsworth…the Prime Minister is in trouble”.

Both councils are up for grabs thanks to a massive swing towards Jeremy Corbyn’s party in inner London, according to the survey from the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University.

Overall the poll found that 54% of Londoners will vote Labour in the council elections, with just 28% backing the Tories

Philip Cowley, a politics professor at the university, warned that anger at the Grenfell Tower fire could even see wealthy Kensington and Chelsea fall to Labour.

“On paper, these swings mean Kensington and Chelsea should remain safe for the Conservatives, but the post-Grenfell situation here means I would advise caution,” he said.

“Basically, this poll means that the Conservatives are facing difficulties in almost every London council they still control.”