Three more target seats have today been opened for candidate applications.
The new tranche consists of:
Carshalton and Wallington (Lib Dem majority: 1,369): Held by Tom Brake of the Liberal Democrats since he gained it from the Conservatives in 1997, his majority has dwindled since its 2010 peak. At last year’s election, Matthew Maxwell-Scott received the largest Conservative vote and vote share since 1992, and the Party hopes to finally turf Brake out next time round.
Newport West (Labour majority: 5,658): Labour veteran Paul Flynn first won this seat in 1987, and has been Newport West MP ever since. The Labour majority increased in 2017, but the Conservative vote and share also rose to its highest in 30 years, so there is a strong Tory presence. Flynn is now 83 years old, and recently announced that he intends to stand down “as soon as possible” due to ill health, though he hopes to avoid the cost of a by-election by serving until the next General Election. Local Tories will welcome the decision to hold a competitive candidate selection, given the top-down imposition of a candidate last year caused a fair bit of ill-feeling.
North Norfolk (Lib Dem majority: 3,512): Another long-held Liberal Democrat constituency, North Norfolk has been represented by Norman Lamb since 2001. At the peak of Cleggmania, Lamb enjoyed a majority of over 11,000 votes, but the seat is now far more competitive for the Conservatives.
Applications close for all three seats at noon on Monday 3rd December.