50 marginal constituencies
1 general election
Author Archive
“No matter how much you think about it, how much preparation you do, you have no idea what it’s going to be like." Thangam Debbonaire on running for Parliament

“No matter how much you think about it, how much preparation you do, you have no idea what it’s going to be like.” Thangam Debbonaire on running for Parliament

We arrived at 10 on the hour to meet Thangam Debbonaire, Labour candidate for Bristol West, at her house in St Werburgh’s. Adam’s phone was ringing as he reached for the doorbell: a campaign team member checking our precise location and expected timings. Once our location — the other side of the door — was...
"There’s no reason why the whole of Cornwall isn’t Labour." Michael Foster squares up to Camborne and Redruth

“There’s no reason why the whole of Cornwall isn’t Labour.” Michael Foster squares up to Camborne and Redruth

We caught up with Michael Foster, Labour candidate for Camborne and Redruth, on the last day of our roadtrip down the UK. After being driven through Camborne by his election agent in a small (appropriately) red car with a picture of his face on, we spotted him the man himself in-between doorsteps. Appropriately then, the first...
Where next for Watford?

Where next for Watford?

Travelling on the London Overground to Watford, you wouldn’t necessarily realise that it’s a town separate from London. There’s no visual break as you cross the border. Yet Watford has been a settlement in its own right since Anglo Saxon times. These days, it’s often described as a two-way commuter town: home to several large...
“If the SNP are serious about anti-austerity and a more progressive government, let them vote us down if they dare." Chris Williamson talks radical politics from within Labour, and the contest in Derby North

“If the SNP are serious about anti-austerity and a more progressive government, let them vote us down if they dare.” Chris Williamson talks radical politics from within Labour, and the contest in Derby North

It’s by now a familiar theme of 2015 that smaller parties are chipping away at the vote of Conservatives and Labour alike. This trend is aided by perceptions that the mainstream parties are all the same or insufficiently radical — on either wing. In this context, it’s easy to forget that even within the Labour...
Broxtowe: getting to grips with a key Conservative-Labour marginal

Broxtowe: getting to grips with a key Conservative-Labour marginal

Broxtowe encompasses a long, rambling strip extending to the west and north of Nottingham. Although within the Nottingham Urban Area — the designation used by the ONS to reference the continuous urban sprawl between Nottingham and what were once distinct towns — it is not under the authority of Nottingham City Council. So, the constituency...
Ed Balls is standing again in Morley and Outwood. What do voters there think about the economy?

Ed Balls is standing again in Morley and Outwood. What do voters there think about the economy?

Ed Balls was MP for Morley and Outwood from 2010, having represented the now-abolished constituency of Normanton between 2005 and 2010. If Labour were to form the next government — and he retained the seat — Balls would be be Chancellor of the Exchequer. So it’s a marginal in which the stakes are high. In...
“Everywhere is a target” - Neil Hay, SNP candidate for Edinburgh South, talks electoral strategy and the local contest

“Everywhere is a target” – Neil Hay, SNP candidate for Edinburgh South, talks electoral strategy and the local contest

The gap between Labour and the SNP in Edinburgh South at the 2010 general election was over 11,000 votes. Meanwhile, there were only 316 votes between Labour and the Lib Dems. But a lot has changed since then. “This is an SNP/Labour marginal,” asserts Neil Hay, SNP candidate for the constituency. We met in a cafe in...
A Law Unto Themselves? — The SNP in Dundee West

A Law Unto Themselves? — The SNP in Dundee West

Scottish nationalism is a movement of many strands, and SNP candidate for Dundee West, Chris Law, brings together several of the more disparate elements. Till now, the seat — which spans both portions of the city area, and rural Angus — has been a Labour stronghold. But 2015 is likely to return a different result,...
Who will rock the boat in Argyll and Bute?

Who will rock the boat in Argyll and Bute?

Argyll and Bute covers nearly 7000 square kilometres of land and sea. It includes twenty six islands, Britain’s fleet of nuclear-armed submarines, Macbeth’s (or Mac Bethad mac Findlaích‘s) burial ground, and a religious community. Its economy is based on tourism, farming, fishing and energy. It’s also a four-way marginal, which has been held by the Liberal Democrats since...
Immigration "the very top issue" for voters in Ashfield — says Helen Harrison, Conservative candidate

Immigration “the very top issue” for voters in Ashfield — says Helen Harrison, Conservative candidate

Ashfield is one of those areas whose identity was shaped by an industry — coal mining — which no longer exists. Since the late 1960s, the local population has had to transition into new industries. Its towns are increasingly home to Nottingham commuters, and now combine elements of the urban and suburban with older pockets...
Scotland: Experiences of a Paradigm Shift

Scotland: Experiences of a Paradigm Shift

The concept of a ‘swing’ doesn’t really apply in the English contest for the 2015 general election. The Conservatives and Labour are neck and neck, third-force parties disrupt the electoral arithmetic on a local level, and where the collapsed Lib Dem vote will go to varies based on local dynamics. But, in a turn of...
Will the giants of Glasgow fall? An interview with Stewart McDonald, SNP candidate for Glasgow South

Will the giants of Glasgow fall? An interview with Stewart McDonald, SNP candidate for Glasgow South

Glasgow South is a relatively new constituency, born in 2005 of parts of previous Westminster seats with much more evocative names: Glasgow Cathcart, Glasgow Govan, Glasgow Rutherglen and Glasgow Pollok. The electorate, though, are still making Scottish voices heard — this time, by giving unprecedented support to the SNP. For the first two years of its...