WORTHING could be a “key bellwether” at the next election, according to a political forecasting website.

Electoral Calculus said the Conservatives would lose five seats to Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Sussex if a general election were held today.

Labour would gain Crawley, East Worthing and Shoreham and Hastings and Rye, with the Liberal Democrats currently on course to win Eastbourne and Lewes from the Tories.

It comes after Worthing Borough Council flipped to Labour for the first time at the local elections in May.

Martin Baxter, founder of Electoral Calculus, said that while Labour is on track to be the largest party at the next election, the party cannot currently be sure of securing an overall majority.

He said: “In Sussex, as in many other places around the country, the Conservatives look set to lose seats to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

“The main political change is that Boris Johnson, who was made leader of the Conservatives due to his previous election-winning success, is no longer an electoral asset since he has been forced to step down.

“Neither of his likely successors look like they have the same electoral magic that Johnson used to command.

“But Keir Starmer himself has not generated a huge amount of voter enthusiasm so that Labour cannot yet be sure of winning an overall majority, even though they are likely to be the largest party.”

Should Labour win East Worthing and Shoreham, the party would be expected to win around 300 seats.

However, should the Conservatives also lose Worthing West to Labour, currently held by Sir Peter Bottomley, Keir Starmer would be on course to hold 350 seats and win an overall majority in Parliament.

“The town of Worthing is a key bellwether and could be a place to watch closely on election night,” Mr Baxter said.

Electoral Calculus’s current forecast puts Labour roughly four per cent behind the Conseratives in Worthing West, with neighbouring MP Tim Loughton given a 64 per cent chance of losing his East Worthing and Shoreham constituency.

The forecast comes as Health Minister and Lewes MP Maria Caulfield told The Argus that she believes that the Conservatives can “absolutely win a fifth term” in office in 2024.

She said: “Once we’ve got a new Prime Minister in place and a more stable period of time, it’ll be back to business as usual and back to the day job.”

Electoral Calculus’s forecasting model currently gives Ms Caulfield just a 35 per cent chance of keeping her seat at the next election.