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At GE15 the result in Watford is set once again to be the most interesting, most argued about and most bet upon

June 20th, 2014

You can make a strong case for Red, Blue or Yellow

Back at GE2010 we had many arguments and discussions about what would happen in Watford which LAB was defending. Jack W, for instance, argued strongly that this was a Lib Dem gain while I put my money on the Tories. You can see the result by clicking the GE10 tab on the interactive chart.

My reasoning was that the overall tide was to the Tories and that the blues would probably do better in three way marginals.

Yesterday’s Ashcroft LD-CON battleground polling, featured in the chart, shows that this is going to be a tight contest once again with just five points separating the three main parties. It has the blues ahead. I’m not so sure.

What adds to the interest in Watford is that it is one of only a dozen areas outside London where there are elected mayors and the third such election took place on May 22nd. You should note that the local authority boundary is not the same as the parliamentary constituency but is not too different.

    Click on the Mayoral election tab and see that last month the Tories were pushed into fourth place on just 13.6% behind UKIP. Dorothy Thornhill of the Lib Dems held on easily with LAB 20% behind in second place.

Watford is a key target for Labour and on a national CON>LAB swing of 4% would take it.

Ladbrokes make LAB and CON joint 6/4 favourites with the LDs on 5/2. PaddyPower have LAB at 10/11 with the Tories at 15/8 and the LDs at 5/2.

There’s been a lot of speculation about what would happen if the mayor was chosen as the LD candidate. Her lowest first round vote share in four mayoral elections was 45.9%. Would she stand? I’ve no idea. If she did it how much of her personal vote would be retained at a general election? I don’t know that either.

The campaigning tab in the chart is based on one of Lord Ashcroft’s regular questions in constituency polling asking which of the main parties have been in contact.

Mike Smithson

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