In the Tory heartlands of the commuter belt, remainers may revolt | John Harris

They may win this election, but the increasingly extreme Tories are losing their traditional support in the home counties

Back in September, Boris Johnson had a meeting with some of the 21 Tory MPs who were about to lose the party whip over their opposition to a no-deal Brexit. He was warned that if he was prepared to risk the hardest of Brexits, he might lose crucial parliamentary seats – reliably Tory places where a majority backed remain. One of the people present was Anne Milton, the MP for Guildford, the large Surrey town won by the Tories in 2017 with 55% of the vote and a 17,000 majority. She says she expressed her fears of defeat, only to have them thrown back at her. “If Guildford’s lost, it’s lost,” said the prime minister, and that was that. Two months later, Milton is standing as an independent, Guildford may well be a four-way marginal – and one of the election’s most fascinating stories is rolling on.

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