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Nothing is as likely to agitate a government MP in electoral terms, bar boundary changes or an impending general election, as a set of local elections in which his party’s councillors lose seats.

For those former councillors then come knocking on his door, together with senior members of his local party, blaming the Government of the day, demanding change at the top – and demanding that the MP do something about it.

So look at the map above of this Thursday’s coming elections, and ponder it.  There are no sets of local elections west of Somerset.  Nothing much in East Anglia.  Nor in most of the East Midands.  Nor in Herefordshire and Shropshire.

As Harry Phibbs pointed out on this site earlier this year, “most Conservative MPs either have no elections in their constituencies or only for a minority of their councillors, often in a minority of the wards”.

I’m not saying that local elections in Tory-inclined areas aren’t substantial.  Nor that there will be no leadership challenge to Boris Johnson this month or this summer.

But it’s worth bearing the human element in mind: that very many Tory MPs have no reason to be out campaigning in their local areas this week.

Local councillors in these won’t lose their seats.  Control won’t be lost of local councils.  Those angry ex-councillors may be knocking on the doors of MPs in neighbouring constituencies – but not in his or her own.

It all matters in the mix and it’s worth thinking about how the land lies. The illustration above comes from Savanta Comres.