Curtice: The Conservatives are still in serious electoral problems

Meanwhile, the Conservatives suffered another serious setback in the parliamentary by-election in Blackpool South.

Support for the party fell to 32.1 points, the third biggest drop ever recorded in support for the Conservatives in a by-election.

Support for the party has fallen by 25 points or more in no fewer than eight by-elections in this parliament.

Much of the damage to the Conservatives’ fortunes in Blackpool appears to have been caused by Reform, whose 17% of the vote is the party’s best result yet in a by-election.

More broadly, Reform won an average of 11% in the limited number of municipal districts it contested, down from 5.5% last year. These additional votes appear to have come mainly at the expense of the Conservatives.

Labor will see the results as further evidence that voters are seeking a change of government, even in parts of Britain that voted strongly in favor of Brexit in 2016.

Most notably, the party won Hartlepool, where it lost a parliamentary by-election to Boris Johnson exactly three years ago.

The Greens also have reasons to celebrate. Not only have they gained seats, but their vote has increased from last year and is on par with their previous best performance in the 2019 local elections.

But the big message from the local polls is that the conservatives continue to go through deep electoral problems.

John Curtice is Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Social Research and The United Kingdom in a Changing Europe. He also co-hosts the Trendy podcast.

Analysis by Patrick English, Stephen Fisher and Robert Ford.