Boris Johnson is at risk of losing several seats in Conservative “blue wall” heartlands, a new poll suggests.
YouGov conducted research in 53 constituencies in the south and east of England currently held by the party, which voted Remain in the 2016 EU referendum and have a higher-than-average concentration of university degree holders.
It said vote intention in the “blue wall” stands at 44% for the Conservatives, 24% for Labour, 18% for the Liberal Democrats, 9% for the Greens, and the rest for other parties.
YouGov research manager Patrick English wrote: “The Conservatives could be set to lose up to 16 seats in their ‘blue wall’ heartlands if an election was held tomorrow.”
On the vote intention findings, he noted: “That represents a change of minus eight for the Conservatives from their 2019 performance in these constituencies, plus four for Labour, a surprising six-point drop for the Liberal Democrats, and a sizeable seven-point gain for the Greens.
“The Conservatives are falling almost twice as fast in the blue wall as they are nationally, with the latest YouGov poll showing them five points down on their 2019 general election showing.”
Concerns over the Government’s handling of Brexit and the need for people to have a say on local housing developments were among the issues to feature in the responses of those surveyed.
Mr English also said the research suggested the Conservatives’ by-election defeat in Chesham and Amersham was “no isolated incident”.
The Tories held the Buckinghamshire seat with a majority of more than 16,000 in 2019 but the Lib Dems won it by 8,028 votes last month.
Mr English added: “If the swings were uniform across all constituencies, Labour would be set to gain a total of nine blue wall seats and the Liberal Democrats three.
“While it would not be anywhere near enough to offset the party’s losses in the so-called red wall in 2019, Labour punching holes in traditional Tory foundations will send alarm bells ringing across Conservative Associations and MPs in the south.”
YouGov polled 1,141 adults between July 20 and July 28.