Conservatives face a thrashing in local elections because a ‘Brexit penalty’ will see voters desert the party

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THE Tories face a mauling in next month’s local elections because of a “Brexit penalty,” one of the party’s top election gurus has warned.

Election analyst Robert Hayward said voters would desert the Tories or stay at home at the May 2 council elections across England if Mrs May fails to get a deal agreed by then.

The Tories have no candidates in the seat of Remainer Cabinet minister David Gauke for fear of humiliation over his Europhile views
Getty Images – Getty

The Tories have no candidates in the seat of Remainer Cabinet minister David Gauke for fear of humiliation over his Europhile views[/caption]

He said “large numbers” of Brexiteers and Remainers are “so hacked off with it all and they won’t vote”.

And surprisingly the main winners of unhappy Tory voters will be the Lib Dems – and not Labour.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party could not find candidates to fight one in four seats up for grabs next month – despite boasting an army of more than half a million members since being elected leader.

The analysis by Lord Hayward, who famously coined the phrase “shy Tories” to explain why the party won a shock elections victory in 1992, revealed that the Tories are not standing any candidates in the seat of leading Remainer Cabinet minister David Gauke – for fear of being humiliated due to his Europhile views.


Lord Hayward said: “There is a Brexit benefit to the government if there is a deal. The corollary of that is that there is a dis-benefit, deficit, penalty to the Tory party. There’s no question about it.

“Talk to any MPs and they will say exactly the same thing. They want a deal so they can go out on the doorstep and say we’ve got a deal. But if there isn’t a deal, the Tories have a disadvantage.

“There are large numbers of people who just want it over with. Voter turnout will drop dramatically, partly because there was a general election in 2015 on the same day, but also because there are people just so hacked of with it all and they won’t vote.”

Jezza: It's a side shuffle

By Steve Hawkes, Deputy Political Editor

THERESA MAY was branded “crab-like” by Labour as cross-party talks on Brexit hit deadlock.

Jeremy Corbyn said the Government had yet to offer a meaningful compromise over a customs union.

And after a Shadow Cabinet meeting, the Labour leader signalled the Government had not met demands on workers’ rights or environmental protections.

Tory Ministers face their Labour counterparts today to try to make headway.

But Corbyn insiders indicated the ­Government had only tweaked its offer to them, and it was nowhere near enough.

It was slammed for simply moving sideways, with one source saying: “It’s all a bit crab-like.” Yet No 10 said it was “committed to finding a way through to ensure we can leave the EU”.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, urged the PM and Labour to “produce a positive outcome”.

He added: “The political declaration provides for a range of outcomes, including a customs union. We are ready to make this clear if it helps.”

Robert Haywood has warned Conservatives that many voters are likely to desert them in the upcoming elections
Sky News

Robert Haywood has warned Conservatives that many voters are likely to desert them in the upcoming elections[/caption]

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