I gather the latest tranche of target seats is now open for candidate applications. They are:
Dewsbury: Gained from Labour in 2010, for the first time since the 1980s, Dewsbury was lost again in 2015. Despite a record Conservative vote here in 2017, Labour’s Paula Sherriff managed to extend her majority to 3,321 (5.9 per cent).
Penistone and Stocksbridge: In various incarnations and on various boundaries, this seat has returned Labour MPs at every election since 1931. However, UKIP’s collapse last year saw an extraordinary increase in the Tory vote share of 15.5 percentage points, reducing Angela Smith’s majority to 1,322 (2.6 per cent).
Plymouth Sutton and Devonport: Oliver Colvile gained this redrawn seat as a marginal in 2010, and held it in 2015, but was unseated last year by Labour’s Luke Pollard. The incumbent enjoys a majority of 6,807 votes (13.3 per cent) but evidently CCHQ believe his vote to be assailable.
Stockton South: James Wharton, who famously introduced the EU Referendum Act, lost here by 888 votes in the 2017 election. Like several other seats in this tranche, it was gained from Labour in 2010 and held in 2015. Winning it back will be a goal for the Tees Valley Conservatives who have made inroads in recent years.
Wolverhampton South West: Paul Uppal won this seat from Labour in 2010, only for it switch back in 2015. New Labour candidate Eleanor Smith increased the majority last year to 2,185 (5.1 per cent).
Applications close on Friday.