Poll gives Conservatives a clean sweep but shows swing to Lib Dems

Poll gives Conservatives a clean sweep but shows swing to Lib Dems

The only poll to accurately forecast the results of the 2017 General Election predicts that Conservative candidates will comfortably take Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling, Sevenoaks, Wealden and Maidstone and the Weald.

The YouGov MRG poll commissioned by the Times national newspaper, models constituencies across the 632 seats in Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland) based on more than 100,000 interviews.

While subsequent polls this week have shown a narrowing of Boris Johnson’s lead over the Labour Party, the MRG analysis shows Tories are on course to win a 68-seat majority on December 12 with 359 MPs, compared to Labour’s 211, the SNP’s 43 and the Lib Dem’s 13.

The model, which the pollsters admit does come with a large margin for error, shows Greg Clark will comfortably win in Tunbridge Wells next Thursday.

It also suggests that Tom Tugendhat in Tonbridge & Malling is set to equal his 63 per cent of the vote from 2017, but with the Liberal Democrats [18 per cent] overtaking Labour [14 per cent] to come second.

There is a similar picture in Wealden with Nus Ghani expected to take another 61 per cent – the same as she managed in 2017 – with the Lib Dems [21 per cent] also overtaking Labour [14 per cent] for second.

Helen Grant in Maidstone can expect to nearly equal her 2017 result by taking home 56 per cent of votes, while Laura Trott is expected to take Sevenoaks but not do as well as her predecessor, Michael Fallon, with his 63 per cent reduced to 55 per cent.

In Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark will also see his majority reduced.

According to YouGov, Mr Clark is set to take 51 per cent share of the vote. This is down on his 2017 result of 57 per cent, which secured the Conservative a 16,495 majority. Based on the same turnout it would see the former cabinet minister still beat his nearest rival by around 12,000 votes.

But the poll, released last week, sees a big swing to the Liberal Democrats in Tunbridge Wells, predicting Jo Swinson’s party are set to secure second place.

The Lib Dems have campaigned heavily in the constituency due to it having a majority that voted to remain during the 2016 referendum.

But the ‘Remain’ party has come under fire for the veracity of their campaigning. Last week, the Times reported how the Lib Dems have been posting campaign material in the guise of ‘fake newspapers’ and some voters say they have received a ‘bombardment’ of campaign material, with householders reporting as many as ten leaflets appearing on their doormat.

In 2017, the party secured less than 10 per cent of the vote in the constituency, but the YouGov figures suggest local candidate Ben Chapelard is on course to take 29 per cent – around 15,000 votes.

The result would see Labour’s Antonio Weiss relegated into third, the party’s 2017 vote share of 26 per cent reduced to around 18 per cent.

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said: “The MRP poll shows that the Liberal Democrats are rapidly closing the gap. With Labour out of contention, Tunbridge Wells is a clear two-horse race between Boris Johnson’s Conservative candidate and local Liberal Democrat Ben Chapelard.”


Candidates to set out their stalls

All five candidates in the 2019 General Election are to appeal to voters in Tunbridge Wells at a hustings tonight [Wednesday].

Greg Clark [Conservative], Ben Chapelard [Liberal Democrat], Antonio Weiss [Labour], Christopher Camp [Independent] and Nigel Peacock [Independent] will be at Tunbridge Wells Baptist Church from 7.30pm.

The public meeting will see all five candidates set out their parliamentary stalls and answer questions from constituents ahead of the polls opening next Thursday, December 12.

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