Forget the Red Wall. These are the UK election battlegrounds to watch

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LONDON — As they head into the next election, Britain’s Tories are in a war for survival all around the country.

Analysis by POLITICO suggests many of the constituencies set to be closest fought when voters go to the polls in a general election due before January 2025 are spread across England and Wales, with some falling deep within solid Tory territory. Meanwhile, the so-called “red wall” of predominantly working class areas in the north and Midlands, which historically returned Labour MPs but in 2019 turned Tory blue, appears to be slipping out of their grasp.

These new Tory wins in 2019 meant that the party’s majority was built on a coalition of traditional, affluent Conservative safe seats and relatively deprived areas which heavily backed the 2016 Brexit vote.

The fall of the “red wall” to triumphant Tories became the dominant story of the 2019 election. But this time around, things are very different: most seats simply don’t exist in their previous form following a review of constituency boundaries, and Labour looks likely to make gains across the board.

POLITICO looked at the most recent constituency-level research by YouGov, carried out in December 2023 and January 2024, to bring you the real battlegrounds to watch.

The analysis highlights the scale of the challenge facing the Tories, who will be under pressure across a very wide range of different types of seat, some in places where they have never previously deployed significant resources, at the same time as defending other seats which they have little hope of hanging onto.