Theresa May is facing humiliation in flagship Tory councils at the local elections in London in May. She is heading for defeat in at least three authorities across the capital, according to a poll which suggests the Prime Minister’s leadership will attract fresh criticism from Conservative critics.
The YouGov analysis for the London Evening Standard puts the Tories on 28 per cent and Labour on 54 per cent a representing a critical swing to Labour since the last local elections in the capital, before the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
In the key authorities of Barnet, Westminster and Margaret Thatcher’s favourite authority of Wandsworth, where zero poll tax was championed, the Tories can expect to lose control. Hillingdon in outer London, where the Tories are traditionally strongest, even the safe Tory borough would be vulnerable to an increased Labour swing.
Overall, Labour shows a swing of 13.4 per cent compared to 4.2 per cent for the Tories.
According to the poll, a Labour swell would increase May’s internal difficulties over Brexit with Remain voters split by an overwhelming 65 per cent compared to just 15 per cent to the Tories. Professor Philip Crowley of the Queen Mary University of London, which conducted the survey, said “Labour are looking forward to the best performance in vote share in London by any party since 1968.
A number of Tory MPs are reported to be waiting until after the town hall results before deciding whether to press for a vote of confidence in May. Voters under 50 are strongly behind Corbyn while the poll records the Liberal Democrats at 11 per cent.