Last week’s by-elections saw some movement to the right. The Conservatives easily picked up the open seat in Thanet, Birchington South, and also gained Torridge, Hartland and Bradworthy from the Lib Dems. Labour did well to hold off the Tories in Freshney ward in Grimsby and remain as the largest party on North East Lincolnshire council.
For this week the pick of the polls is in Peterborough, where the Conservatives have a crucial seat to defend in Orton Longueville ward. The Tories gained control of Peterborough council in May, but if this seat is lost that majority will disappear. Orton Longueville is south of the Nene, covering some of the more deprived New Town districts of Peterborough; despite that it is a Tory-inclined marginal, but UKIP won a seat here in 2014 and 2016. The Conservatives gained the UKIP seat in May, but only have a five-point lead over Labour.
If you don’t agree with this assessment, or if you do, your link to the betting exchange Smarkets is here: https://smarkets.com/event/942787/.
There are two other Conservative defences this week, in Lytham St Annes and Norfolk, which of course will be discussed in full detail on Britain Elects in due course.