Tories risk ‘near death experience’ in London with zero MPs, shock poll suggests

The Tories risk a ‘near death experience’ in London according to a shock poll showing them having zero MPs in the capital, says a leading political expert.

Professor Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics, stressed that the rise of Reform UK now meant the Tories could lose a string of what were relatively safe Conservative seats in Outer London.

The Tories are already facing losing most, if not all, of their seats in central London.

But the MRP poll showed a total wipeout across the city for the Tories.

If this happened, this would see the Tories losing to Labour in Bromley and Chislehurst, Bexleyheath and Crayford, Beckenham, Chipping Barnet, Chingford and Woodford Green, Croydon South, Harrow East, Hornchurch and Upminster, Old Bexley and Sidup, Orpington, Romford, Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Sutton and Cheam, and Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

“It would be shocking if the dominant party of British politics since 1945 did not win a single seat in the capital,” Prof Travers told The Standard.

“In the end I think it’s unlikely.”

However, he added: “It would appear from this poll that they are close to having a near death experience unless they recognise that they are going to need a different image in London (compared to other regions of England).

“It would be bad for democracy and bad for London if the Conservatives lost all or nearly all of their seats in the city.”

Labour’s representation from Scotland in the Westminster Parliament got all but wiped out in the 2015 General Election, when it lost 40 MPs to be left with just one.

The Tories lost six seats in 2017 to be reduced to 21 seats in London, and failed to win any more in 2019.

“You might have thought that would have been a jolt to the party hierarchy about the need to have a distinctive London offer with a distinctive London party in a way that the Scottish Conservatives have,” explained Prof Travers.

He told of the “carelessness of the Conservative Party” in “presiding over the orderly managed decline” of its support in London.

Most recently, Tory chiefs put out a video which sought to portray London as a dystopian city, using footage of the New York subway and pretending it was the Tube.

“It’s an extraordinary thing for a political party to talk down part of the country in an attempt to win an election,” explained the LSE academic.

“Most people like the place they live in. Even Londoners who don’t like Sadiq Khan, many of them will still like London.”

The MRP poll suggested Rishi Sunak’s Tories could be reduced to fewer than 100 MPs at the general election.

The 15,000-person survey was used to create a seat-by-seat breakdown, using a multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) process to model constituency-level results.

It indicated the Conservatives would be wiped out in Scotland and Wales and hold just 98 seats in England, with Labour on course for a landslide, winning 468 seats.

Chelsea and Fulham would turn from blue to red, as would Finchley and Golders Green, Cities of London and Westminster, Hendon, and Kensington.

The Liberal Democrats would take Wimbledon, as well as Carshalton and Wallington, and Esher and Walton just outside London.

Some of these seats are seeing significant boundary changes and getting new names.

The survey put Labour on 45 per cent with a 19-point lead over the Tories on 26 per cent.

The study, carried out by Survation for the internationalist Best for Britain campaign group, suggested several Cabinet ministers, including potential leadership contenders, could be ousted at the election as the Tories face their worst result.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, Home Secretary James Cleverly and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps would all lose their seats, according to the study.

The poll of 15,029 adults and MRP analysis by Survation was conducted between March 8-22.