Labour facing one of worst local elections in recent history in 2020, leaked party report suggests – live news | Politics

Labour’s general election result was the worst for the party, in terms of seats won, since 1935, but there is more electoral misery to come in the local elections, according to an internal party report leaked to the BBC’s Iain Watson. The document says the party is facing “one of our worst local election performances in recent history” in England and should brace itself for the loss of “hard working councillors” across the country.

In his report Watson goes on:

The document examines three different scenarios, based on varying polling methods – and taking into account Labour’s general election performance.

These suggest the so-called red wall, breached so spectacularly by the Conservatives in December’s general election, is continuing to crumble in some areas.

In every scenario, Labour would lose control of Plymouth, Harlow in Essex, Amber Valley in Derbyshire and West Lancashire. In two scenarios Southampton would be lost and in the worst-case scenario, the bastion of Sheffield, held by Labour for most of the last 75 years, would also fall …

The document suggests that the situation could be even worse as the party’s polling hasn’t taken into account the recent Conservative poll “bounce” but it adds that it can not yet estimate the effect of a change of leadership on the election results.

But, of course, by the time the local elections are held in May everything could change because the coronavirus outbreak is likely to have disrupted ordinary life to a remarkable degree – with political consequence that, at this point, are just unknowable. One consequence is that the local elections could even be delayed.

The big event at Westminster today will be the publication of the government’s coronavirus action plan. Boris Johnson is holding a press conference to announce it this morning, and then Matt Hancock, the health secretary, will be making a statement in the Commons.

Mostly we will be covering these developments on our coronavirus outbreak live blog – my colleague Ben Quinn is writing it at the moment, but I will be contributing – but there will be some mention of developments here too. Here is Ben’s blog.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: Boris Johnson chairs cabinet.

9.30am: Mark Carney, the outgoing governor of the Bank of England, gives evidence to the Commons Treasury committee.

Around 10.30am: Johnson is due to hold a press conference as the government publishes its coronavirus action plan.

After 12.30pm: Matt Hancock, the health secretary, gives a statement to MPs about the coronavirus action plan.

As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to post a summary when I wrap up.

You can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here. Here is the Politico Europe roundup of this morning’s political news. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must-reads.

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