Brexit minister James Cleverly has tried to play down Conservative expectations for the local elections.
After nine years in government you would expect the party to “lose lots and lots of seats”, he told the BBC. “That’s the normal situation.”
Mr Cleverly said Swindon was an area where Tory local councillors “work hard and deliver good council services”.
“I hope they are judged on that delivery, but it would be unrealistic for me to pretend, that nine years in government, and with Brexit as a backdrop, this is going to be anything other than a really, really tough night for us.”