50 marginal constituencies
1 general election
The 50for15 Roadtrip

For the final results in each of 50for15's constituencies, see this post.

The 50for15 team have already been travelling up, down, and across the country to look at the key issues of the 2015 general election. So far we’ve been to 25 of our 50 seats, and we’re excited to announce our plans for April, the final full month of the general election campaigns.

Over the course of two weeks, we’ll be taking the pulse of the UK, visiting 23 of our key marginal seats. From Argyll and Bute in western Scotland, down to Camborne and Redruth in Cornwall, we’ll be shadowing campaigns, speaking to activists, and asking voters in key constituencies across the country for their opinions on what is one of the most unpredictable elections in a generation. What will happen in the key Labour-Conservative battlegrounds? How many seats will the Lib Dems hold? To what extent will the SNP, Green Party and UKIP disrupt the vote in contests that were once considered a competition between two parties?

We’ve called it a road trip but in reality we’ll be travelling by train, bus, car, or bike, and would be grateful if anyone can offer us a lift for any leg of the trip. And if you’re feeling even more generous, and can offer us somewhere to stay, or have any recommendations of good places to spend the night, do get in touch: 50for2015@gmail.com – we promise to offer good chat about the election in return!

A provisional timetable is below, and we hope to cover a variety of stories from across the country and we will be updating the schedule as we organise more events.

If you’re from one of the seats we plan to visit, we’d love you to get in touch – one of the main aims of 50for15 is to engage people with politics!

Provisional Timetable

Tuesday 7th April: Set off from Argyll and Bute and travel to Edinburgh

Wednesday 8th April: Morning in Edinburgh South and then onto Carlisle for the afternoon and evening.

Thursday 9th April: Travel to Stockton South and shadow campaigns there.

Friday 10th April: On to Morley and Outwood and Bradford East.

Saturday 11th April: Down to Sheffield Central.

Sunday 12th April: Arrive in Nottingham, visit Gedling and Broxtowe.

Monday 13th April: Nottingham to Derby North and the evening in North Warwickshire.

Tuesday 14th April: Birmingham Edgbaston and then Solihull.

Wednesday 15th April: Onto Northampton North.

Thursday 16th April:  Alex heads to Great Yarmouth, while Claire goes to Watford, with the evening in Hampstead and Kilburn.

Friday 17th April: Oxford West and Abingdon.

Saturday 18th April: From Oxford to Cardiff North.

Sunday 19th April: Cardiff to Bristol West and on to Wells.

Monday 20th April: Newton Abbot and Plymouth Sutton and Devonport.

Tuesday 21st April: Ending the trip in Camborne and Redruth.

The articles from our trip are published below:

Our articles
“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...
"Occasionally people say, 'Why are you banging on about potholes? That's nothing to do with Westminster'." – Craig Williams, Conservative candidate for Cardiff North

“Occasionally people say, ‘Why are you banging on about potholes? That’s nothing to do with Westminster’.” – Craig Williams, Conservative candidate for Cardiff North

Craig Williams is the Conservative candidate for Cardiff North, a seat that was held by his party from its creation in 1974 to 1997 and again from 2010 to 2015. Jonathan Evans, the MP from 2010 to 2015, announced he would not stand again in January 2013, and Williams was selected as his replacement two...
There may have been five candidates, but it still felt like the two-party system at Plymouth Uni's Sutton and Devonport hustings

There may have been five candidates, but it still felt like the two-party system at Plymouth Uni’s Sutton and Devonport hustings

In the otherwise yellow and blue wash of Devon and Cornwall, the city of Plymouth is one of the few places that has often returned Labour MPs. Even in Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide, the only Labour MPs outside Plymouth were returned by Exeter and Falmouth & Camborne – on which the current seat of Camborne...
"Free-market policies don't work in Cornwall" – Loveday Jenkin, Mebyon Kernow's candidate in Camborne and Redruth

“Free-market policies don’t work in Cornwall” – Loveday Jenkin, Mebyon Kernow’s candidate in Camborne and Redruth

To most of the world, Cornwall is just another county of England. Perhaps to be lumped together with Devon – as in the case of the Devon and Cornwall police force. Or perhaps to some, with Somerset, Dorset, and a few other ‘Ooh-arr’ places to form South West England – as in the case with...
Meet (Liberal Democrat) Tessa (Munt) – "This seat may well judge me as an individual rather than my party"

Meet (Liberal Democrat) Tessa (Munt) – “This seat may well judge me as an individual rather than my party”

“Come to Axbridge, it’s one community on from Cheddar,” Tessa tells us. And in the constituency of Wells it is Tessa, it’s not Tessa Munt – it’s barely even Tessa the Liberal Democrat. Her posters, which are spread thickly across this corner of Somerset, urge constituents to ‘Vote Tessa.’ The words ‘Liberal Democrats’ don’t feature...
Can young people Swing the Vote?

Can young people Swing the Vote?

The number of people registered to vote seems likely to have fallen this year: the final figures are not yet out, but recent figures from the Office for National Statistics suggested it could be as many as 800,000 fewer. On our roadtrip, we caught up with various organisations that were trying to do something about this....
Ethan Wilkinson speaks two European languages fluently. He's also UKIP's candidate for Cardiff North...

Ethan Wilkinson speaks two European languages fluently. He’s also UKIP’s candidate for Cardiff North…

Given the number of photo-opps Nigel Farage has in pubs, if a UKIP candidate suggests doing an interview in a pub, it’s only reasonable to expect that by the end of it you’ll be boozed-up and nicotined-out. (Isn’t it?) But, contrary to my hopes, this is not the experience of meeting Ethan Wilkinson, the UKIP...
"I'm suspicious about what the Guardian's agenda is" – Lib Dem Stephen Williams on the "distorting" effect of the media in Bristol West

“I’m suspicious about what the Guardian’s agenda is” – Lib Dem Stephen Williams on the “distorting” effect of the media in Bristol West

“On nobody’s basis is Bristol West a marginal seat,” Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams, who has spent last ten years representing the constituency in Parliament, tells us over lunch on our roadtrip. “We won by eleven and a half thousand votes last time.” However, Williams, who is standing again for election, will concede that the seat...
In a tight Lib Dem-Conservative marginal, who came out top at the hustings?

In a tight Lib Dem-Conservative marginal, who came out top at the hustings?

Of the six Parliamentary candidates lined up in front of the altar of St Peter and St Paul, Botley, it’s probably fair to say that only two were serious contenders to transubstantiate into the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon in less than a month’s time: the Liberal Democrats’ Layla Moran, and the Conservatives’ Nicola...
What's the real crossroads for Great Yarmouth? We join Labour's Lara Norris on the doorstep

What’s the real crossroads for Great Yarmouth? We join Labour’s Lara Norris on the doorstep

Great Yarmouth station, whose three platforms are each so long that, standing at one end, you cannot see the other, looks as though it was built for more prosperous times. It certainly seems incongruous when a one-carriage train pulls in. Like another once-affluent coastal town, Great Grimsby, UKIP is polling well here. The party only...
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...