RISHI Sunak has warned of a “hard night” for the Tories as millions take to the ballot box today to vote in local elections.
Across 230 town halls in England, 8,000 seats are up for grabs.
Millions of residents in England will take to the polls today to vote in local elections[/caption]
The results, which will trickle through from early tomorrow morning, will be a huge indicator of how well the Tories and Labour are doing[/caption]
Winning candidates will play a major role in managing local services including housing, bin collections and street maintenance.
Today’s poll will be the last before next year’s general election.
And gains and losses will help party strategists figure out which types of messaging and policies are working and, crucially, which aren’t.
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Both parties are using today as a trial run for next year’s showdown event.
At a glitzy think tank drinks reception last night, the PM warned his party faces a tough evening.
“‘We should be prepared that tomorrow night is going to be hard for us,” he told suited and booted politicos at a private members’ club in central London.
“Good councillors will lose their seats because of all that has happened over the past year.”
The Tories say they expect to lose around 1,000 seats.
However, party chiefs always insist they will lose more seats than is likely to be the case.
That way when the losses are smaller the result can be framed as better than expected.
Mr Sunak added: “I’ve only been Prime Minister for six months but I do believe we’re making good progress. Just think about where we were then and where we are now.”
Meanwhile, Labour are predicting modest gains of around 400.
In reality, they’ll probably win more than that.
Elections wizard Sir Professor Sir John Curtice said if Labour wins over 10 per cent of the projected national vote share, estimated using council results, then Sir Keir is on track to takeover No10.
Today the Labour Leader said: “If you believe it’s time to build a better Britain you can do something simple – grab your ID, get down to your polling station and vote Labour today.”
A Labour activist door knocking in South Gloucestershire this morning told The Sun: “I didn’t expect it but I think the Conservatives are going to lose.”
She added: “But also I can’t underestimate the Lib Dems.
“I have had five leaflets from them and even a door knocker which we’ve never seen before.”
A combination of soaring inflation, the cost of living crisis and Liz Truss’ disastrous premiership have massively helped Sir Keir Starmer win over votes.
But Tory sources believe Mr Sunak can still turn things around.
“We are still the party with energy and the party with the ideas,” Mr Sunak insisted last night.
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“Listening to Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs these past few weeks, its crystal clear he is well and truly out of political arguments, let alone ideas.
“Let us together think big about our country, how we level up, how we take advantage of the AI revolution and how we strengthen that sense of pride we will all feel this Saturday in our community and in our country.”