Herald Express (Torbay, Brixham & South Hams Edition)

MP predicted to lose seat as Torbay becomes key election battlegrou­nd

- By GUY HENDERSON Local Democracy Reporter guy@radioexe.co.uk

TORBAY looks like becoming a key battlegrou­nd in this year’s general election. Sitting bay MP Kevin Foster is one of two Devon Conservati­ves predicted to lose their seats, according to a new poll. Figures from market research and data firm YouGov say Labour is poised to win more than 400 seats in a landslide victory. Other polls predict an even greater margin of victory for Labour.

The YouGov poll predicts Tory MPs Kevin Foster and Johnny Mercer in Plymouth are among those at risk of losing their seats, with Mr Foster’s Torbay seat going to the Liberal Democrats and Mr Mercer in Moor View losing to Labour.

Mr Foster dismissed the prediction­s and said there was only one poll that mattered – the one taking place on election day.

The Conservati­ves would win just 155 seats nationwide according to YouGov, down from 169 in a similar poll published in January.

Conservati­ve candidates would, however, take the rest of the seats in Devon, including that of Lib Dem Richard Foord, whose current Tiverton

and Honiton constituen­cy is being abolished and incorporat­ed in the new Honiton and Sidmouth seat, where Mr Foord will challenge current Conservati­ve East Devon MP Simon Jupp.

Torbay’s Lib Dems have welcomed the poll, with candidate Steve Darling saying: “This shows that Labour can’t win here, and that the next election in Torbay will be a clear twohorse race between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservati­ve Party. The national media are looking at Torbay as a battlegrou­nd seat at the next election and the Liberal Democrats are on the up after our big gains at the local elections. After years of people struggling to get a GP appointmen­t, soaring prices in the shops and our seas being polluted by filthy sewage, it’s clear it’s time for a change in Torbay.”

But Mr Foster said: “There have been various polls, with one last week suggesting a Labour win in Torbay, a prediction site saying it will be a clear Conservati­ve hold and now this one.

“Yet only one poll will matter, the one on election day. I’ll leave others to pick which national poll they like, as residents want to see their representa­tives dealing with issues, not simply scoring party political points in an attempt to get attention.

“Last year the polls did not predict the Conservati­ve Party gaining Torbay Council, some even thought it might go Lib Dem as it did back in the 1990s, yet the strong offer locally from the Conservati­ve team and the failures of the Lib Dem/Independen­t coalition leadership saw a very different result when voters went to the ballot box.”

 ?? ??
 ?? Lib Dems ?? ⟫The bay’s Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Darling recently launched his general election campaign
Lib Dems ⟫The bay’s Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Darling recently launched his general election campaign
 ?? ?? ⟫Torbay MP Kevin Foster
⟫Torbay MP Kevin Foster

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