Environment minister and staunch Brexit-supporter Zac Goldsmith is facing a tough reelection battle in his pro-EU Richmond Park constituency. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images Environment minister and staunch Brexit-supporter Zac Goldsmith is facing a tough reelection battle in his pro-EU Richmond Park constituency. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

DEFRA ministers struggling to save their seats, new poll shows

Environment secretary Theresa Villiers and DEFRA minister Zac Goldsmith face the prospect of losing their parliamentary seats in tomorrow's general election, according to a new YouGov poll that indicates the Conservative Party could have its best electoral performance since 1987.

While the poll indicates the Conservative government can be confident of returning to power with a small majority, its top team at DEFRA could fall victim to a surge in support for Labour and the Liberal Democrats in London. 

Villiers, who is standing again in Chipping Barnet, is forecast to lose her seat to Labour, with the poll projecting a five-point shift away from the Conservatives in the constituency, which backed remaining in the EU in the 2016 referendum and re-elected Villiers in 2017 with a majority of 353. 

Meanwhile, Goldsmith, who is defending a majority of just 45 in Richmond Park, is on course to lose his seat to the Liberal Democrats. 

READ MORE: Which MPs with green roles are most vulnerable?

While junior environment minister Rebecca Pow is set to keep her Taunton Deane seat, with a 14-point lead forecast, the poll nevertheless puts a surprise Liberal Democrat victory within its margin of error. 

The YouGov model also indicates that Labour’s Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, is likely to lose her seat, with the Conservatives currently on an eight-point lead in her Wakefield constituency. 

However, Labour’s shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman could hold onto her Workington constituency - a key target of the Conservatives early on in the election campaign - with the latest poll indicating a last-minute swing back to Labour. 

Farming minister George Eustice is set to increase his 1,577 majority in Camborne and Redruth, with the YouGov poll putting him 10 points ahead of Labour. 

The poll forecasts that the Conservatives could win 339 seats on a national vote share of 43%, up 22 seats on their 2017 performance, and giving them a parliamentary majority of 28.

Labour, by contrast, could lose around 31 seats compared to 2017, putting the party on 231. 

However, “there are a number of areas which could be incredibly tight”, YouGov cautions. “There are 85 seats where the leading party is ahead by five percentage points or less.”

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