Jeremy Hunt warns of ‘significant losses’ as Tories brace for dire 2024 local election results 

How many councillors are the Tories expecting to lose?

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has admitted that the Tories are expecting “significant losses” in the 2024 local elections as the government prepares for what is set to be a set of dire results. 

The Tories are bracing for a heavy loss, as Labour and the Conservatives look to defend around 1,000 councillors each in the local elections. However the Tories have been predicted to lose half of its councillors, as senior Tory strategists have privately concluded its campaign is now about damage control. 

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has lowered expectations early as he told broadcaster Sophie Ridge on Wednesday evening that his party is expecting an election thrashing. 

Speaking to Sky News, Hunt said: “We are very realistic, we’ve been in power a long time and government’s in office can often get punished in local elections.

“We are expecting it to be a difficult day tomorrow.”

Asked how many councillors the party expects to lose this week, Hunt highlighted past Governments, as he talked of local elections losses under Tony Blair which he said was easily 200, 300 councillors and that David Cameron lost hundreds of councillors in the run up to the 2015 election.

He went on: “We are expecting to see significant losses, that often happens during local elections.” 

New YouGov MRP predictions backup Hunt’s expectation, finding that the Conservatives are on course for ‘significant losses to Labour’ in the 2024 local elections. The analysis by YouGov has previously been successful in giving an accurate projection of election results. YouGov said its key findings were that Labour is expected to make significant gains across the country, while the Tories will struggle in many key contests. 

The most symbolic loss would be the West Midlands and Tees Valley mayoral election where the incumbent Conservative mayors are hoping to hold on to power. Rishi Sunak will be watching his back as losing these and a disastrous local election result could start a Tory revolt. 

However it seems Rishi Sunak is taking a hopeful, or blissfully ignorant approach, as he urged activists in CCHQ this week to help him pull off the “greatest comeback in political history”.

(Image credit: Andrew Parsons – Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

Comments are closed.