13 Tory MPs are standing down in Blue Wall seats

Lib Dem HQ have told us that 13 Conservative MPs are standing down in Blue Wall seats where we are the main challengers. Many of them lie within Council areas where Lib Dems have done well in local elections in the last two years.

Here is the full list (with my comments):

  • Nadhim Zahawi – Stratford-on-Avon. Lib Dems won control of Stratford-upon-Avon Council last year.
  • Steve Brine – Winchester. Lib Dems have controlled Winchester Council for some time.
  • Stephen Hammond – Wimbledon. Wimbledon is our top target seat and with the new boundaries now includes parts of Lib Dem controlled Kingston upon Thames.
  • Dominic Raab – Esher and Walton. Lies within Elmbridge Council where Lib Dems are the largest party.
  • Chris Grayling – Epsom and Ewell. A bit of an outlier as Epsom and Ewell District Council has been controlled by Residents’ Associations for many years, so it is difficult to gauge the current support for mainstream parties.
  • Adam Afriyie – Windsor. Lies within Windsor & Maidenhead Council where we took control last year.
  • Paul Beresford – Mole Valley. Lib Dems have controlled Mole Valley Council for some time.
  • John Howell – Henley. Lies within Lib Dem controlled South Oxfordshire District Council.
  • Philip Dunne – Ludlow/South Shropshire. Seat previously held by Lib Dem Matthew Green.
  • Paul Scully – Sutton and Cheam. Sutton has been a Lib Dem controlled Council for many, many years.
  • Theresa May – Maidenhead. Lies within Windsor & Maidenhead Council where we took control last year.
  • James Heappey – Wells. Lies within Somerset County Council, controlled by Lib Dems.
  • Nickie Aiken – Cities of London and Westminster. The unusual structure of the City of London makes this difficult to call, but Chuka Umunna put up a strong showing in 2019.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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11 Comments

  • Chris Moore 9th May '24 - 6:45pm

    Hello Mary,

    we took control of Stratford-on-Avon last year. We’ve held Winchester for some time.

  • @Chris Moore – oops – will correct it.

  • Imagine going to the trouble of standing down when they could all be happily welcomed into the Labour Party… 🙂

  • A couple of these probably aren’t to do with us. In Windsor we are notionally 3rd on new boundaries and most of our councillors are in the Maidenhead side of the borough, not impossible we could win but it’s not likely to be a target seat.

    Cities of London and Westminster also has us notionally in 3rd with new boundaries and we have zero councillors there.
    IMO the local party would be better off focusing on Queens park and maida vale, where yougov predicts the con vote will fall by enough that if we can get our support back up to where it was in 2019 we will finish 2nd to labour, so could have the potential to win the following election when labour will be in power.

  • nigel hunter 10th May '24 - 9:09am

    Wimbledon ,Epsom Ewell, Wimbledon sound dodgy to aim for. The others ok. HOWEVER come a GE, in the past (and maybe still) voters vote different than in locals. Should we not be selling our policies in these (and others) areas to test the ground and build up?

  • Chris Moore 10th May '24 - 9:29am

    @Nigel Hunter: we came a few hundred votes behind in Wimbledon in 2019. At the last London elections, I believe we won all or nearly all the council seats in the Wimbledon constituency. It’s a top target seat.

  • nigel hunter 10th May '24 - 9:40am

    I take it back. Go after Wimbledon as well but not the others. We still do need to sell our policies that will make an impact in those areas as well as our national policies

  • Charles A Pragnell 10th May '24 - 12:29pm

    There is a bigger picture here, particularly Somerset, it is true Wells and The Mendip hills is doable along with Sarah Dyke in Somerton and Glastonbury, plus Yeovil , and Taunton could potentially turn Orange at the election. Dorset will be competitive this time. The local elections showed alot of gains in West Dorset and in Mid Dorset and Poole North. North Dorset is out of reach, but the two seats mentioned could turn Orange.The Lib Dem polls do underscore what is actually happening in target seats. I suspect the 10% shown in the National Polls could change once into the short campaign . In 1997 the Lib Dems started their campaign on 10% , by election day that was 16.5% and 28 gains! The hope most be to return to being the 3rd party at Westminster, polls in the Scotsman show a Labour surge. That had positive implications for the Lib Dems.

  • Tristan Ward 10th May '24 - 1:25pm

    We have a tremendous candidate in Ed Lucas in Cities of London and Westminster and he has built a strong team that is canvassing everyday at the moment. It’s a bit of a wild card, but Lucas has a national profile as a former Economist journalist with a column in The Times. The House of Commons needs more people like him in it.

  • Might be worth reminding ourselves of the April YouGov constituency polling which gave us 40 gains on the new boundaries and a total of 49. Also worth noting that we are well within second place striking distance in another 19, plus 3rd in two 3 way splits. Potential total of 70!!!!!!!
    Me I still reckon we will do well with 20 and over the moon with 25. We have been here before so many times.

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