by Stephen Tall on June 29, 2014
Yes, you read the headline right. Ladbrokes’ The Political Bookie blog this week featured five seats where, based on the betting, they reckon the Lib Dems might confound expectations…
1. Montgomeryshire. Conservative majority 1,184
“Some are expecting a turnaround with a new candidate.” Her name is Jane Dodds, selected a year ago.
2. Watford. Conservative majority 1,425
“In Lord Ashcroft’s constituency specific polling, they were just 5 points behind the Tories.” It is also the top Lib Dem target from the Tories not yet to have selected a candidate.
3. Oxford West & Abingdon. Conservative majority 176
“Another relatively surprising loss in 2010, this seat will certainly still be a target for the Lib Dems.” Layla Moran, selected 18 months ago, has a great team behind her, which has been producing some impressive local election results.
4. Ashfield. Labour majority 192
“It might seem extremely improbable that the Lib Dems could gain a Labour seat in the current circumstances but, if there is to be one, this could be it.” Jason Zadrozny will fight the seat again, having received a 17% swing in 2010.
5. Maidstone & The Weald. Conservative majority 5,889
“The least likely in our list, but Ladbrokes have seen money for the Lib Dems to oust sitting MP Helen Grant.” The only one of the five seats here not in the top 50 targets list we’ve been tracking, the Lib Dems – led by candidate Jasper Gerard – outscored the Tories by almost 10 per cent across the constituency in May’s election.
Which seats do you reckon they’ve missed?
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.