International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has brushed off suggestions that Thursday’s local elections are a referendum on the prime minister’s premiership.
Quizzed by Sky News over whether the 5 May results will impact whether or not Boris Johnson remains in No 10, Trevelyan said: “No. Because as I say local council elections… A, they are not a broad reflection, you don’t get a picture…”
When the topic of potential protest votes against Conservative candidates was raised, she hit back: “Well, sometimes you get that but you wouldn’t be able to see that in the whole because they aren’t all out elections in most places.
“As I say, 12 years into government you do get as you describe it sometimes a protest vote. That is the beauty of democracy.”
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A fresh Electoral Calculus survey reported on by this morning’s Telegraph, claims the Conservatives could lose 550 seats, marking the party’s worst local election performance since the 1990s. The survey says the Tories could lose control of both Wandsworth and Westminster councils, along with Southampton, Barnet, Thurrock and Newcastle-under-Lyme. The survey suggests that Labour could win more than 800 seats and control of 16 local councils.
When she was asked what a successful outcome would look like,
Trevelyan told Sky News: “I think, as ever, with local council elections, we will win some, we will lose some. That is the nature of the beast anyway.”
When specifically quizzed on the potential of losing 550 seats, she explained : “I am not close to the precise detail but I would expect us to win some and lose some, that would be normal and expected, but what I think we will see is a really strong showing from Conservative voters who want to come out and demonstrate that they know that locally-run councils run by Conservatives are better.”