Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Who will win in Warwick and Leamington?

The visit of Gordon Brown today emphasises the importance of this ultra marginal. A recent MORI poll of 57 Labour-Conservative marginals shows the two parties tied at 36 per cent with the Lib Dems on 20 per cent.

There aren't that many special local factors in the constituency, even though local issues have featured in the campaign. The incumbent MP, James Plaskitt, has been an assiduous enough constituency MP, but is not a political high flyer. Any incumbency factor may have been offset by the vigorous and long-term campaign mounted by Chris White for the Conservatives.

Given their lack of presence in the constituency, and the fact that it is a Conservative-Labour marginal means that the Liberal Democrats are likely to poll below their national vote share.

The Labour majority was 266 in 2005, but the transfer of three predominantly Conservative wards to the new Kenilworth and Southam constituency gives a notional Labour majority of 4,393. There would need to be a swing to the Conservatives from Labour of over 5 per cent for them to win the seat. If they did, it would mean a slender Conservative overall majority, but because there will not be uniform national swing, they could win the seat and not have an overall majority.

I will be on the plane to the States on Thursday and my vote has already been cast. Will Chris White be on a Chiltern Railways train to London on Friday afternoon with a piece of his election literature to prove that he is the new member for Warwick and Leamington? Or will James Plaskitt resume his duties? I am genuinely uncertain, but the local Conservatives appear to be quietly confident. So my guess is a majority of 828 for Chris White.

1 comment:

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