How will this affect the campaign?
There seems to be little doubt that the Tories will take hits from the SNP and the Lib Dems in the coming General Election. On top of that there could be messy situations in seats where Tory MPs who have been sacked stand again under a different flag potentially splitting the blue vote.
If the Tories are to stay in the game and possibly win a majority then they need to take LAB seats something that proved particularly difficult at the last general election. TMay’s then party lost 28 seats to LAB but only gained six seats from them. It was the Scottish CON gains from the SNP that saved her bacon.
One of the challenges in what would be a Brexit dominated election is that LAB voters are less concerned about Brexit than those of other parties. This is shown in the above chart based on new Ashcroft polling data published at the weekend. Opinium’s poll for the Observer had broadly similar figures.
This is also in line with the large sample General Election day in June 2017. by Lord Ashcroft which sought to find out why people had voted as they did. A key question what was the main factor in determining people’s votes. This found 48% of CON ones named Brexit as the prime influencer whereas just 8% of Labour once said the same.
So just over 2 years ago CON voters were 6 times more likely to be concerned about Brexit than LAB ONES.
Labour might not be as vulnerable in its effort to retain seats in leave voting areas as might appear.