Tony Caldeira, entrepreneur and Chairman of the City of Liverpool Conservatives, gives the odds

If the Tories win most of their 10 target seats either side of the River Mersey, David Cameron will be heading for 10 Downing Street

This weekend is Grand National weekend here in Liverpool. Normally local activists would be off to the races but this year most Conservative volunteers will be campaigning hard.

The constituencies on either side of the River Mersey will be key  “battlegrounds” in the upcoming general election. There are 10 “marginal” seats around the river which could be won by the Conservatives. The party is targeting all ten.

On Grand National weekend, the political odds are very encouraging. Interestingly, the bookmakers ( in this case) have the Tories as favourites in 8 out of 10 of these crucial seats (as at
April 8th).

If the bookies are right, a very significant change in political representation could be coming to the banks of the Mersey – very soon.

“Racing Certs”

There are two seats which the bookies feel are already Tory.

City of Chester, which is number 19 on the Conservative target list, looks the most certain to turn blue. The exceptionally hard working team lead by local councillor Stephen Mosley are 1/16 to win the seat
back from Christine Russell MP.

In Wirral West, which is notionally a Conservative seat following “favourable” boundary changes, charismatic Esther McVey is a hot favourite. Ladbrokes have Esther as 1/10 to become the new MP.

“Odds On”

Then there are four seats, which need to have a swing of 6% or less, which would give the Conservatives a majority, putting David Cameron into number 10.

Warrington South is number 85 on the Tory target list and Ladbrokes have Conservative candidate, businessman David Mowat as 8/11 slight favourite.

The bookies are more confident that Conservative candidate Jeff Clarke will be the new MP in Wirral South, making him 1/6 in target seat 87 for the Conservatives.

Southport, where the Conservatives are head to head with the Liberal Democrats, appears too close to call for the bookmakers. The lead keeps changing with the bookies, who currently have local champion
Conservative candidate Brenda Porter at evens, slightly behind Liberal Democrat John Pugh MP at 8/11 in Tory target seat number 88.

In Sefton Central, home of the Grand National, Conservative Debi Jones is 4/6 favourite to take the seat from Labour. If Debi wins in target seat 117 for the Tories, David Cameron will almost certainly be Prime

“Neck and Neck”

There are three further target seats which could go either way. The swing required in these seats is between 7% and 8% and the bookmakers have the Conservatives as slight favourites overall in these seats. If these three seats turn blue on May 6th, David Cameron will have a working majority in the Commons.

In Weaver Vale, on the south bank of the Mersey, Graham Evans is the Tory candidate in Conservative target seat number 137. Ladbrokes have Evans as 4/7 favourite.

Adrian Owens is the candidate in West Lancashire, target seat number 139 for the Conservatives. He needs a 7% swing to oust Labour in this crucial seat and the bookies have him as 8/11 slight favourite.

In Ellesmere Port and Neston the contest is “neck and neck” with both Conservative candidate Stuart Penketh and the Labour Party on 5/6. If the Tories win here, in target seat 153, David Cameron will probably have a “relatively comfortable” working majority.

“Best Value Bet”

Arguably the best political bet on offer in the region is the 3/1 offered by bookmakers for Conservative candidate Leah Fraser to win in Wallasey. Following a stunning local by-election victory in Moreton
and lots of excellent work done by her local team, 3/1 on Leah to win looks like good value.

If the Tories win all 10 of these seats, the political landscape on the banks of the Mersey will be unrecognisable from the one we have today.

There is a lot of hard work ahead and of course nothing will be taken for granted, but there aren’t too many skint bookies around!

The candidates are ready, they’re under starters orders – and they’re off!

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