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The View from the Ridge: Could Labour loyalty scupper PM’s majority?

Old allegiance: Many voters in crucial marginals have been Labour for generations

THIS is my last column before voters choose who they want to form the next government on Thursday.

The polls are pointing towards a Conservative majority and Boris Johnson’s team are quietly hopeful that it will be their man heading back through the doors of No.10 on Friday, December 13.

A few potential trip wires have been cleared by the Conservatives — including this week’s visit by US president Donald Trump and the head-to-head debates with Jeremy Corbyn.

However, the polls have been narrowing in recent weeks. After a disappointing campaign, some voters who were toying with the Lib Dems are now drifting back to Labour.

If this continues, it could be a problem for the Conservatives, who called the election in the hope that the Remain vote would be split between Labour and the Lib Dems.

As voters coalesce around the two main parties, what happens next week may be decided by a few crucial Labour-held marginals — in places such as Great Grimsby, Bury North and Ashfield. The Conservatives are hoping that in those Leave supporting areas, their core message that a vote for the Tories is a vote to get Brexit done will cut through.

It’s why Team Johnson believe that when they’re not talking about Brexit on the campaign trail, they’re not winning.

But there’s something else that matters in those Leave supporting Labour constituencies — something that can’t easily be polled or put on a bar chart.

Loyalty.

Many people in these areas are from families who have voted Labour for generations. In the privacy of the voting booth, the presence of their parents and grandparents could weigh heavily on their minds.

Will they really put a cross by the Conservatives?

In 2017, when Theresa May was relying on the same voters, they didn’t turn out in the numbers she needed for a majority.

In less than a week’s time we’ll know if Mr Johnson suffers the same fate.

Trumping great apology needed…

Jest-in Trudeau: Laughter at summit PICTURE: AP

AN EMBARRASSINGLY undiplomatic incident was caught on microphone at the Nato summit this week, when a group of world leaders were overheard discussing why the French president was late.

Canadian leader Justin Trudeau blamed Donald Trump: ‘He was late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top… you just watched his team’s jaw drop to the floor.’

The famously thin-skinned US president was unimpressed… and something tells me that it will take some grovelling to mend that relationship.

Julie goes softly softly to catch out the leaders

Disarming: Julie Etchingham

HATS off to Julie Etchingham — one of the most underrated TV interviewers.

Her disarming style tripped up Jeremy Corbyn this week when he appeared evasive over whether he sits down to watch the Queen’s Christmas message and left viewers wondering why he wouldn’t give a straight answer.

Wrong message: Jeremy Corbyn

Etchingham has form — it was she who got Theresa May to say the naughtiest thing she’s ever done was running through a field of wheat. It goes to show the most macho interviews aren’t always the most illuminating.

■ AFTER my interview with Jeremy Corbyn last Sunday, I’m excited to announce I will be joined by Boris Johnson on the last weekend of the campaign. Tune in to Sophy Ridge on Sunday at 8.30am on Sky News to hear what he says — and if you have any questions to put to the PM let me know on Twitter.

@SophyRidgeSky