Experts have predicted the best local election results for Labour in 40 years as much of London turns red.
But party chiefs fear the still raging anti-Semitism row has dented its chances.
Shadow Cabinet member and Campaigns and Elections Chair Andrew Gwynne tried to manage expectations yesterday.
He told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “I don’t think it will be anything like some of the opinion polls would suggest, because we are already defending about 80 per cent of the seats in some of those metropolitan boroughs.
“We’re already at a high water mark.”
Pollsters also now say Labour is unlikely to take the symbolic two Tory bastion London councils of Wandsworth and Westminster.
And the party will also now struggle to win a majority of councillors in Brent – seen two months ago as a surety – because of the large Jewish vote there.
But Mr Gwynne said: “Let’s be realistic here. We’ve never, ever held the City of Westminster. We last held Wandsworth in 1978.
“If we took those it would be a spectacular night.”
Tories chairman Brandon Lewis yesterday tried to turn election debate into a referendum on largely Labour-run councils’ performances rather than a protest vote against Theresa May’s government.
Mr Lewis also told the Andrew Marr Show: “It was interesting to see Andrew row back from turning the whole country red.
“It’s people’s frustrations locally that matter.”
But senior Tory MP Ed Vaizey admitted the Windrush scandal will have damaged the Tories’ chances at the ballot box. This comes as Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigns.
Mr Vaizey told ITV1’s Peston on Sunday: “We’ll have to work three times harder to win back ethnic minority voters I think”.
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