Here’s an interesting idea: if 1270 ordinary people living in the six most marginal Tory seats in the country had stayed in bed on 7th May 2015, then the EU Referendum and everything that followed it may never have taken place. If this handful of voters hadn’t turned out to vote Tory, the party would not have reached the 326 seat threshold needed for an outright majority. In the ensuing coalition government, probably with the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives would most likely have been prevented from fulfilling their manifesto commitment to call a referendum on our membership of the EU (cue, a huge sigh of relief from David Cameron).

In this alternative universe, perhaps the Camerons’ new wendy-house is sitting in 10 Downing Street’s back garden, the Evening Standard’s new editor is a journalist, and “Brexit” is being marketed as an exciting new brand of on-the-go breakfast bar.

This time round, Theresa May is headed for a landslide victory and is making inroads even in Labour strongholds like Wales and the north of England. That’s just as well for her, as she needs to secure a thumping great majority to justify her decision to hold the third national vote in as many years. If you think this election is boring at the moment, imagine how you would feel waking up on 9th June to the news that the Tories are returning to govern with an extra ten or so seats. What about if they won big overall, but were decimated in the metropolitan areas, in particular London? A Britain sagging from the anti-climax of the decade would be low hanging fruit for a Corbyn-cleansed and newly invigorated Labour party (assuming Labour moderates can actually get rid of him), meaning that anything less than the landslide triumph across the country that we have been teed up to expect could end up being Pyrrhic victory for the Conservatives.

All this means that, although the outcome of the election isn’t in doubt, the Tories can’t be entirely complacent, especially if Theresa May wants the entire country united behind her after voting day. Because despite managing to eat into the Labour vote in its traditional heartlands, the Conservatives still a unique problem when it comes to London. Can they break down the metropolitan firewall around London in just five weeks, and reverse the trend which has seen the capital turn redder year on year?

The biggest hurdle is a constitutional disadvantage: in the diverse and densely populated capital, drawing geographical boundaries around people linked by common issues is almost impossible. Pockets of deprivation are found in the wealthiest areas, and two people living on opposite sides of London are just as likely to have common concerns as two living on parallel streets.

Take, for example, Brentford and Isleworth, a West London marginal with a current Labour majority of just 465. In the leafy, affluent east you’ll find the middle-class families of Chiswick clutching Gail’s sourdough loaves, while in the West, the Hounslow Heath ward is struggling to build social housing fast enough.  

In the past, this clash has translated into a pretty much 50/50 vote split between the two main parties. The western wards have returned Labour majorities in the last five elections, while the tree-lined streets of Chiswick have proved fertile ground for the Notting Hill set.

This meant that in 2015, Conservative candidate Mary McLeod had a two point checklist: first, she had to make sure that traditional Tory voters turned out in full force. With those votes in the bag, she could turn her attention to siphoning off a handful of traditional Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters. If she succeeded in both those tasks, she would win the seat. She lost, but only just, and her efforts meant Labour just scraped a win with its sixth smallest majority.

But two years later and the concept of the “traditional voter” is as passé as Stronger In. In Chiswick, arch Cameronites who would have voted and campaigned for the Tories are now swaying towards the Liberal Democrats. To lure them back, Ms McLeod (who is standing again) must persuade affluent financial services employees that they want a government who can deliver a “strong Brexit”, and that what they are missing is a third noisy and dirty runway, with Heathrow Airport just eight miles away.

At the other end of the constituency, she has a whole different problem on her hands. In a patch which voted heavily to leave the EU, she will be required to attract electors away from both Labour and UKIP. For a Tory candidate under “Brexit-means-Brexit” May, that sounds like an easy sell, but to lifelong Labour voters who are tribal in their loyalty, the idea of voting Conservative is intrinsically repulsive – no matter what the party now represents.

Throw in a sprinkling of Green Party sympathisers (who liked Cameron, but will certainly have misgivings about a prime minister who scrapped the Department of Energy and Climate Change on her second day in office), and the task ahead for Ms McLeod seems pretty daunting.

If the Brentford and Isleworth situation illustrates anything, it is that that London Tory candidates are going to have to fight for every vote in many battles on multiple fronts if they are to win these seats.

And that strategy comes with a pitfall of its own: Londoners talk.

The Liberal Democrats, so the story goes, learnt this the hard way when campaigning in the 2007 Ealing Southall by election. According to locals, zealous campaigners leafleted the north of the constituency (full of Heathrow employees) calling for a major investment in the airport, then pottered down to the south to spread the message that they were vehemently opposed to a third runway at Heathrow. Word got out, and after drafting in 500 campaigners to deliver 200,000 leaflets (far more than they could afford) Labour won.

A landslide victory may be assured for Theresa May’s success, but if she wants to secure the capital as well, her London candidates have their work cut out for them.

Over the next five weeks they must work day in day out to garner every vote from a population so unpredictable that pollsters have thrown in the towel in despair. They must be everything to everyone, while taking pains to ensure that do not look like they are trying to be everything to everyone. And to compound it all, they are dealing with a post-referendum London, a city which overwhelmingly voted Remain, with no clues as to how these metropolitans feel now.

Rather them than me…