Labour set to lose 125 council seats next month and suffer 'cataclysmic' Scotland defeat

Posted On: 
3rd April 2017

Labour is on course to lose 125 seats at next month's local elections - and suffer a "cataclysmic" defeat in Scotland, according to a new report.

Labour's prospects for next month's local elections are grim.
PA Images

Polling expert Robert Hayward said the party will suffer after losing touch with its traditional working class base.

Ukip are also on course to lose up to 90 seats as the party's post-Brexit decline in fortunes continues, he said.

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The Lib Dems and Tories, meanwhile, are set to be the biggest winners, with gains of around 100 seats each when voters across the UK go to the polls on 4 May.

According to Lord Hayward, who is a Conservative peer, Labour is likely to lose control of Lancashire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire County Councils. 

Of the councils which are up for grabs, he said the party is only certain to maintain control of Durham.

It is also set to lose control of Glasgow to the SNP, slip from first to third place in Edinburgh and also lose its small majority in Cardiff.

He said: "It will be a reflection of where the Labour party actually is - it isn't appealing to its old core of working class voters in the Midlands, the north and also Scotland."

Lord Hayward added that the result in Scotland - where Labour support has slipped from 29% the last time these seats were fought in 2012 to just 14% today - will be "cataclysmic" for the party.

The SNP are likely to maintain their current position in Scotland by gaining seats from Labour, but losing others to the Conservatives, including in Perth and Kinross.

Elsewhere, he said the Tories were likely to make gains from Ukip in East Sussex, Norfolk and Lincolnshire, while the Lib Dems will also make progress in Gloucestershire and could regain overall control of Cornwall and Somerset.

Based on his findings, Lord Hayward said the Conservatives would be on course for a majority of more than 100 seats if Theresa May called a snap election this year.

His prediction came as Jeremy Corbyn prepares to launch Labour's local election campaign tomorrow.

Analysis from academics Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher released yesterday predicted Labour would lose 50 seats in England, with the Tories gaining 50, the Liberal Democrats gaining 100 and Ukip losing 100.