Theresa May's North West road trip has backfired

Theresa May Credit: PA
  • By Granada Reports' political correspondent Dan Hewitt

Throughout this campaign, Theresa May has made a point of visiting Labour seats in the North West with healthy majorities - seats that David Cameron saw as unrealistic prospects, and made little effort to win in 2010 and 2015. Seats like Hyndburn, Bolton North East, West Lancashire - places the Tories haven't won for at least 20 years.

It looks like David Cameron was right, because if that exit poll is right, those Labour seats are staying so.

The Prime Minister didn't go to Chester or Barrow or Wirral West, constituencies with tiny Labour majorities because the Tories saw them as a given. Now, they are on a knife edge.

Instead, it's Tory candidates in the North West now looking over their shoulders. In Bury North, where the Conservatives have a majorly of less than 400, in Bolton West (801), in Weaver Vale (806) where Jeremy Corbyn held a rally in front of a thousand supporters on the eve of polling day.

On the day Parliament approved her decision to call an election on April 19th, Theresa May headed straight to Bolton North East looking like a Tory Prime Minister about to win the party's first landslide since Margaret Thatcher. The knives were out for Jeremy Corbyn, who looked on course to preside over his party's worst result since Margaret Thatcher.

Instead, Mr Corbyn will have entrenched his position as Labour leader, and for the Conservatives, well the start of June could have brought about the end of May.