Boris Johnson is on track to pull off a huge election coup by winning Labour bastions such as Bolsover and Sedgefield, according to analysis of polls.
The striking findings come from a huge seat-by-seat sample of 46,000 Britons studied for the Best for Britain campaign.
The Remainer group used the data – assembled from polls by firms including YouGov in September and October – to create a tactical voting site designed to maximise support for pro-EU parties.
It warned that without voters deploying their ballots tactically the Tories would be on track for a Commons majority of more than 30.
However, Professor Chris Hanretty of the University of London has now used the raw figures to undercover what results the analysis estimated for each individual seat.
According to those figures, the Conservatives are on track to win current Labour heartland seats such as Bolsover in Derbyshire, home to veteran left-winger Dennis Skinner for decades.
Other Northern heartlands – many of whom voted Leave in 2016 – like Tony Blair’s former seat of Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland, Ashfield and Don Valley are also predicted to turn blue.
Boris Johnson has been pushing hard to win over blue-collar Labour voters in the Midlands and North, and needs a massive breakthrough if he is to put together a Common majority
Northern Labour heartlands like Tony Blair’s former seat of Sedgefield are also predicted to turn blue
But they do face losing constituencies such as Cheltenham to the Lib Dems.
If the results did come to pass on December 12, it would amount to a seismic shift in the political landscape of the UK.
Boris Johnson has been pushing hard to win over blue-collar Labour voters in the Midlands and North, and needs a massive breakthrough if he is to put together a Common majority.
The Conservatives are on track to win current Labour heartland seats such as Bolsover in Derbyshire, home to veteran left-winger Dennis Skinner (pictured) for decades.
The PM is hoping his slogan of ‘Get Brexit Done’ plus the deep unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn can overcome long-term antipathy to the Tories in former mining areas.
Prof Hanretty, who is known for producing constituency-level estimates of the Leave vote in the 2016 referendum, cautioned that it was ‘hard to evaluate the accuracy of the estimates without knowing a lot more about the model’.
But analysis of a large poll sample using a similar technique gave a prediction that closely matched the 2017 election result.