Conservatives in the UK may face a strong electoral defeat after fresh predictions forecast losses of up to 800 council seats due to backlash over Brexit.
Whilst pundits Michael Thrasher and Colin Rallings said that Tories could lose between 500 to 1,000 seats, Lord Hayward estimated that the party would lose closer to 1,000.
Lord Hayward also said that Liberal Democrats could snatch around 500 seats, with Labour also taking 300, but also said that turnout was likely to be lower than normal due to the "level of disenchantment with the major parties" from voters.
Helen Whately, Tory deputy chairwoman, admitted on Sky New's Sophie Ridge on Sunday that local election were "going to be a difficult night", but
Tory deputy chairman Helen Whately admitted the local elections "are going to be a difficult night".
Ms. Whately said: "They come for us at a time in the election cycle where they were always going to be difficult so the seats that are up for election next week were the ones that were last elected in 2015, general election year, so that tends to boost turnout.
— Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) April 28, 2019
"It was also a good general election for us when we won a majority so we were at a high point."
An Opinium poll published at the weekend revealed that the Brexit Party was becoming increasingly more popular and was snatching a considerable voter base from the Tories. It revealed that Labour would lead in elections at 33 percent, with Conservatives at 26 percent and the Brexit Party at 17 percent.
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) April 27, 2019
But a YouGov poll predicts that the Brexit Party could defeat Labour and Conservatives in the European parliamentary elections on 23 May, with leads by six and fifteen points, respectively.
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) April 28, 2019
55 percent of the British public also believe that the EU referendum should not have taken place due to the UK government's difficulties in inking an agreement on Brexit.
Aides working alongside UK prime minister Theresa May are planning to table Brexit legislation in Commons before the 23 May deadline, with Tory chair Brandon Lewis stating that Parliament could do so in order to avoid subpar EU election results later in the month. Mr. Lewis also said there was a "huge frustration" amongst members whom have defected to the Brexit Party.
"I hope that Conservative members, colleagues, volunteers, activists will come to want to not just vote for, but campaign for Conservatives to get elected, because ultimately Conservative representation is better than any other party," he said.
Conservatives have struggled to garner a voter base due to the party's handling of Brexit, with the UK Brexit Party and Change UK, formerly the Independent Group, gaining in polls alongside Labour. The Brexit Party and Change UK announced their lists of candidates in April, with several of the latter's candidates being forced to resign over racist and defamatory tweets published online.