Votes in the three very different seats could indicate general election swings and prompt cabinet reshuffle

The Conservatives are braced for painful byelection results in a vote on Thursday that could become a damning verdict on Rishi Sunak’s ability to win a broad enough coalition of voters at the next election to retain his party’s majority.

The party could lose all three of the constituencies that are up for grabs – which each have significantly different demographics that the Tories would need to win – with the prospect of hanging on to just one being touted by senior ministers as a victory.

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