With Labor turning the red wall red again and the Liberal Democrats turning the blue wall yellow, Boris Johnson faces a war on two fronts – this is where the Tories are most vulnerable
Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)
Boris Johnson’s Tories face defeat in the general election if Labor and the Lib Dems can repeat their ‘pincer movement’ against vulnerable Tories across the country.
The double defeat in this week’s by-election saw Labor overturn a Tory majority in Wakefield’s north Red Wall seat with a 12% swing.
Meanwhile, the Lib Dems took advantage of Mr Johnson’s unpopularity in the South to yellow Tiverton and Honiton with a 29% swing for the first time in almost a century.
With the Prime Minister facing a “war on two fronts”, the Sunday Mirror has identified the 30 best target seats for both opposition parties, where they are in second place and thin Tory majorities leave them vulnerable.
All of them could be hit with a swing of 12% or less.
Thursday’s double defeat follows Sir Ed Davey’s party’s historic by-election victory in North Shropshire in December, where the Lib Dems beat expectations to win by a 34% momentum.
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“Over the past year the Conservatives have not just been beaten, they have been beaten up in their former heartland,” Sir Ed told the Sunday Mirror.
“From Buckinghamshire to Devon and Shropshire to Somerset, people have rallied behind the Liberal Democrats, wanting to send a message to this Conservative government.
“Following these political shockwaves, the Conservative MPs on the fringes who are not nervously looking over their shoulders are in complete denial.”
Shabana Mahmood, Labor’s national campaign coordinator, said: “The results of this week’s by-election took 12 years to produce. By failing, the Tories destroyed the economy and brought Britain to a standstill.
“Voters saw through the lies and their attempts to sow division and avoid accountability. This week’s message was clear: the Prime Minister and Conservatives are unfit to govern and must go.
“Tory MPs may have ignored Boris Johnson’s lawbreaking and failure, but voters have not. The voters spoke up and said enough is enough.”
After bringing together traditional Tories in the South and disgruntled Labor voters in the Red Wall to win 2019 on promises to ‘level’ the whole country, the Prime Minister is learning it’s ‘very difficult’ to have both on side to keep.
Elections expert Professor Tim Bale wrote for the Sunday Mirror: “It’s not just that, no matter where they live, they have realized that many of the Prime Minister’s promises meant nothing.
“It’s also that they want different things.”
Top Tories in danger include Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, former welfare chief Iain Duncan Smith and Richard Holden – who was behind the pressure for Durham Police to investigate Keir Starmer over the so-called “Beergate” affair.
Boris Johnson’s own seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip sits just outside Labor’s top 30 but would need less than an 8% swing to topple him.
Sir Ed added: “We have sent a clear message to Conservative MPs who insist on backing Boris Johnson: ignore the Liberal Democrat threat at your peril.
“If you don’t get rid of this law-breaking Prime Minister, we will pursue you seat by seat.
“We will assemble an army of activists. We will provide the change that people want and that our country needs. We will oust you from power.”
“Boris Johnson faces a war on two fronts”
By TIM BALE, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary, University of London
NO army trying to defend a territory wants to fight on two fronts. But the by-elections in Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield suggest that is precisely the challenge Conservatives face.
Boris Johnson won in 2019 precisely because, by pledging to ‘build Brexit’, invest in public services and ‘upgrade’ the country, he managed to win over traditional Tory voters in the south and former Labor voters in the north and in bringing the Midlands together.
It is now proving very difficult to keep both constituencies on the side.
It’s not just that no matter where they live, they’ve realized that many of the PM’s promises meant nothing. It’s also that they want different things.
If the Tories try to win voters back from the so-called “Blue Wall” with tax cuts, where are the voters in the “Red Wall” areas that have been promised more government spending?
Turns out Boris can’t have and eat his cake after all.
work target seats
- buried north
- Bolton Northeast
- high peak
- Heywood and Middleton
- Blyth Valley
- Stoke on Trent Central
- Chipping Barnett
- Durham North West
- Chingford and Woodford Green
- Warrington South
- Clwyd South
- Birmingham Northfield
- Wolverhampton South West
- West Bromwich East
- Vale of Clwyd
- Ynys Mo
- Derby North
Lib Dem is aiming for seats
- Carshalton and Wallington
- South Cambridgeshire
- Esher and Walton
- St Ives
- Cities of London and Westminster
- hazel grove
- Hitchin and Harpenden
- Finchley and Golders Green
- South West Surrey
- Sutton and Chem
- Harrogate and Knaresborough
- Brecon and Radnorshire
- South East Cambridgeshire
- Taunton Dean
- Mole Valley
- Romsey and Southampton North
- West Dorset
- Thornbury and Yate
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/60-target-seats-boris-johnson-27326809 60 target seats where Boris Johnson is vulnerable to election 'pincer movement'