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Here's Why The South West Is Key To The Tories' Hopes Of Avoiding Electoral Oblivion

The South West hasn't featured greatly in discussions about the Tories' biggest headaches heading into 4 July.

However, having won nearly ninety per cent of seats in the region at the last general election, the Conservatives face hemorrhaging territory to both the Liberal Democrats and Labour next week. If they are obliterated in the election, it is likely this area of the country will be a key one: and with discontent over everything from housing to the party's behaviour, they face an uphill battle.

“You’ve got to win, you’ve got to kick the Conservatives out”. Steve Darling, the Liberal Democrat looking to unseat the Conservatives in the seaside seat of Torbay, got the backing of one voter while he was out delivering leaflets this week.

Torbay is just one of many constituencies in this corner of England where Tory candidates hope highly localised campaigns — with limited reference to Rishi Sunak's struggling national party — will be enough to help them cling on.

The Conservatives won 48 of the 55 seats in the South West five years ago as part of former prime minister Boris Johnson's general election victory. 

According to one Tory insider, however, because so much of the party's focus has been on 'Red Wall' Midlands and the North since that victory, the South West has been allowed to slip off the party's radar. They said figures in party high command had failed to remember the region's importance in electoral battles of the past.

“They forgot that we’ve lost the South West before, and they forgot that we’ve lost to both Labour and the Lib Dems in the South West," they said.

With less than a week to go until polling day, Ed Davey's Liberal Democrats are eyeing swathes of victories in Conservative-controlled seats across the

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