Scene of a famous upset in 2017, Kensington is one of the most exciting seats of this election. Labour’s majority is a miniscule 20 but the Tories are by no means certain to win, despite their improved national position. Former Tory minister Sam Gwimah – who quit over Brexit – stands for the Lib Dems and should take substantial votes off both parties in this overwhelmingly Remain seat. Just 36% could be enough to win so don’t underestimate the resilience of Labour’s base.
If the Tories don’t overturn a 22 majority in this 71% Leave constituency, they are in big trouble nationally. Ian Austin’s successful defence in 2017 was a big upset but he soon quit Labour in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and is now even endorsing Boris Johnson. Labour’s hopes may now rest upon the fact their candidate, Melanie Dudley, shares her name with the constituency.
Another Leave seat (62%) in the West Midlands that produced a stunning betting upset in 2017. The bad news for Labour is that five-time winner Paul Farrelly is standing down, leaving a golden opportunity for politicalbetting.com contributor Aaron Bell to overturn a majority of just 30. The Tories could win this even on a bad night where they lost seats overall.
Crewe and Nantwich
This has become something of a bellweather. When Edward Timpson took it in a 2008 by-election, it signalled the end of New Labour. Laura Smith‘s surprising win in 2017 was one of Labour’s most impressive gains – especially considering it voted 60/40 for Leave in the referendum. Her 48 majority looks extremely vulnerable and requires an incumbency bounce. However, Timpson’s decision to fight a different seat, rather than pursue what appears an easy regain on paper, might offer a clue.
This student-heavy, 55% Remain seat produced arguably the biggest upset of 2017 with Labour winning on an 11% swing. Given her party’s subsequent lack of clarity over Brexit, Rosie Duffield‘s 187 majority is extremely vulnerable. Labour appeared to receive some good news this week when the Lib Dem candidate unilaterally withdrew but Tim Walker has since been replaced. We will see what, if any, message that sends.