Last week, the most detailed You Gov political survey in five years suggested that the Tories face a wipeout in the next General Election.

Whether now or in November (as has been predicted) the Conservatives are tipped to lose as many as 170 seats.

This would mean that they could lose the entire so-called Red Wall.

These are the block of seats in the north of England that slipped out of Labour’s grasp and into the Conservative Party’s lap in the 2019 General Election which many saw as a referendum on Brexit.

From red to blue

Even better for a re-energised Labour Party, there are now realistic expectations of making inroads into traditional Tory territory.

If the north has traditionally been a red wall, southern England’s electoral map historically has been as blue and yellow as a Ukrainian flag.

The yellow of Liberal Democrats is expected to flourish again in places that slipped back to blue after their disastrous 2010 coalition agreement.

But it’s the creep of redness into England’s Home Counties that is likely to leave Conservatives blushing after the next election.

Labour is expected to paint many of the shires south and west of London a new shade of red.

If that happens, the self-styled party of government could be left with less than 175 seats.

Added to that, some of the biggest names in the political race are expected to take a Grand National tumble.

That might include the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, super rich friend of the super-super rich, often jokingly referred to as the Minister for the 18th century.

For that to happen though, electoral pacts might be needed.

Presently, in public at least, political parties frown on such acts.

But in the privacy of voting booths, pencils are likely to slip across traditional boundaries as British people bid farewell to the present government.


There’s a weariness in England and Wales, in particular, about the ways in which the Tories have ridden roughshod over established rules of political accountability.

Energy bills are skyrocketing, food prices fuelling hunger and NHS services at breaking point after millions got wasted by government ministers making profits for mates in the midst of a pandemic.

And the only response, the only comeback seems to be a switch of focus to migrant boats in the English Channel.

But this big obsession is fooling nobody except those with small minds.

This government has proven itself to be rotten to the core.

Almost everybody wants rid of it. Even those who have traditionally voted Conservative are expected to abstain from voting this time round.

I know it might seem that people like me never have a good word for the Tories but as individuals their supporters do also have a conscience.

Though I’ve no liking for Margaret Thatcher, I can sort of understand why economics-wise, she appealed to people in the south of England.

But the most recent triumvirate of Prime Ministers seem to have no principles at all, never mind flawed principles.

They’re just out for themselves and their friends, and not even hiding the fact.

That’s why they will be got rid of unless something absolutely staggering happens in the next 10 months.

But the public mood is such that even the creation of another Falklands situation wouldn’t save Sunak.

Keir Starmer then looks fairly certain to be the next Prime Minister unless large sections of the Left also abstain from voting.

Somehow I doubt that will happen in the final equation.

Even if some people on the Left and even the Centre-Left don’t entirely agree with all of his policies, I think they’ll grit their teeth at election time.

More localised

The British electoral system is also more localised than nationalised in the sense that people vote for an MP, not a Prime Minister.

People also tend to vote for values as much as parties. That’s why English voting patterns seem especially rigid to outsiders. Again, the first-past-the-post system gives people very little choice.

So if and when a Labour government gets in, what might change?

I suppose the mood music of politics for a start.

Although the next Labour Party manifesto won’t be as socialist-minded as Jeremy Corbyn’s, it’s likely to have aspirations for a more equitable society.

That seems to be completely absent in the present government’s vision as it allows for endless price gouging, corruption and xenophobia.

In some quarters, Keir Starmer is seen as buying into the same kinds of conversation to win Tory votes, but that’s possibly from fear of defeat.

And personally, although I don’t like Keir’s sympathies towards nationalism and militarism, this latest poll suggests that it’s working.


Up in Scotland, for example, it’s predicted that the Scottish National Party could lose half of its seats to a resurgent Labour.

Again that’s probably partly to do with a lot of other factors but shows that people from John o’ Groats to Lands’ End are just sick of the Tories.

The desire for Scottish independence and the demand for a second referendum has lost a lot of its momentum for the present time.

Presumably, that will rise again but for now, there’s a hunger for change of another kind; a desire to just get rid of the Tories.

Impact on Ireland

Probably too, a more left-leaning Labour government is going to have an impact on the island of Ireland.

Most likely that’s going to be a Blair-like victory for both sides – with only Jamie and Jim totally blind to that.

Stormont will probably get up and running again, with a Nationalist majority that’s predicted to become an increasing feature of future elections.

At the same time, the pragmatic Mary Lou McDonald is likely to work better with Keir Starmer than she ever could with Rishi Sunak, so north-south relations might be at their best since the schism of Brexit.

All in all, there’s a lot of hope coming soon to an election near you.

Nothing, including distractions about small boats, can save the Tories from an inevitable shipwreck.

It’d take a disaster of Titanic proportions at this stage to shift the sea change from blue to red on England’s shores. That after all is where these General Elections are lost and won.

Paul Breen is @CharltonMen on Twitter/X.