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Conservatives 4, Labour 3, Lib Dem 1– YouGov projection for Cambridgeshire

YouGov projects 422 Labour wins a ‘result beyond landslide territory’

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A fascinating election night is promised in Cambridgeshire with YouGov’s latest poll suggesting three successes for Labour and one for the Liberal Democrats out of the eight constituencies being contested. The biggest ‘name’ to fail is expected to be that of Shailesh Vara, who has represented NW Cambridgeshire – that includes part of Peterborough such as Hampton and Stanground and surrounding towns and villages such as Yaxley and Ramsey – since 2005.

A former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, he also served as a minister for Northern Ireland, a minister for justice, a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions and as a Government Whip.

YouGov predict the Labour candidate has a five-point lead over Mr Vara which would be a remarkable victory for the ambitious 21-year-old Labour city councillor from Cambridge Sam Carling who has nursed the seat for six months and will be out to overturn the 26,000-majority enjoyed by Mr Vara in 2019.

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A much easier route to Parliament is likely for Mr Vara’s neighbour, Andrew Pakes, who YouGov believes will secure a whopping 49.6 per cent of the vote, with Mr Bristow likely to achieve just 24.9 per cent of the vote.

Mr Bristow is clutching at straws, according to Sky News, who said this week they had seen a letter to constituents in which he says the election “may change who runs the country – but don’t let it put Peterborough’s progress at risk”.

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow shared this photo during a visit to Peterborough by Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, former deputy Conservative party chairman.

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow shared this photo during a visit to Peterborough by Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, former deputy Conservative party chairman. Mr Anderson defected in March to Reform and until Parliament was dissolved was the first Reform MP.

“More than ever, we will need a local champion in parliament who is on your side,” he continues.

“Someone who is fighting your corner – whether that’s with the Labour-led council or the next government”.

The problem for Mr Bristow is that, according to statistics compiled by TheyWorkForYou, he has consistently voted for Government policies that would stop improvement of biodiversity, ‘generally voted against measures to prevent climate change and consistently voted against improving environmental water quality.

TheyWorkForYou also say he consistently voted against higher taxes on banks, consistently voted for more restriction regulation of trade unions, and consistently voted against higher taxes specifically to fund health and social cares.

At the 2019 general election, he won the seat with a majority of 2,580 votes, and even having now won the support Peterborough entrepreneur Mike Greene – who stood against him as the Brexit candidate – Mr Bristow will recognise the tide has turned against his party.

The other major change, according to YouGov, will be victory for Liberal Democrat candidate Pippa Heylings.

It was no coincidence that Sir Ed Davey came to South Cambridgeshire to unveil his party’s election battle bus.

Sir Ed Davey with Pippa Heylings at the Lib Dem launch at Whittlesford

The constituency is their top target seat in East Anglia and with Lib Dems dominating the district council and achieving other local successes, Pippa is comfortably expected to win.

YouGov agree expect her to steamroll through with 43.7 per cent of the votes in the newly reshaped constituency which has enjoyed some boundary changes.

Ely and East Cambridgeshire constituency looks like a hold for Lucy Frazer, but Labour and Lib Dems are breathing heavily down her neck, according to You Gov.

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NE Cambs is expected to remain true blue, with Steve Barclay odds-on favourite to win and although Labour is shown as only 11 points behind, no change is expected by YouGov.

Steve Barclay meets Conservative councillors and supporters explain how he is proud to be the Conservatives candidate for North East Cambridgeshire and looking forward to hitting the campaign trail

Steve Barclay meets Conservative councillors and supporters explain how he is proud to be the Conservative candidate for North East Cambridgeshire and looks forward to hitting the campaign trail

Cambridge, of course, is predicted by YouGov to remain Labour which leaves just Huntingdon and the new constituency of St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire.

Boundary changes enabled the Conservatives to conveniently remove sitting MP Jonathan Djanogly and select former army officer Ben Obese-Jecty as their candidate, but the gap might yet be too close to call.

Lets prove there are ‘NO no-go zones for Labour’ says Luke Viner Labour candidate Luke Viner aims to win in South Cambridgeshire and to “build on the string of Labour victories in blue-wall seats, we can prove there are NO no-go zones for Labour”. Luke, chair of South Cambridgeshire Labour and a Fulbourn parish councillor, is hoping voters will back someone who has “lived and breathed this constituency my entire professional life”. On Bank Holiday Monday Luke drew a sizeable crowd to a packed event at Sawston Free Church. He was supported by Labour fellow parliamentary candidates Elizabeth McWilliams (Ely & East Cambridgeshire), Alex Bulat (Huntingdon) and Kevin Bonovia (Stevenage), and Labour’s Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson. Luke explained what the Labour Party means to him and why he is standing to be elected as an MP. “I was born under the last Labour government, and received my early education under it,” he said. “It gave me a great start, a passion for learning, including my love of music. Things worked then. You could see a doctor within 48 hours. Class sizes were under 30 and teachers were well respected. The economy had a long period of strong growth. “However, since the Tories were elected, enabled for the first five years by the Lib Dems, things have gone downhill. “Austerity brought terrible hardship and long-lasting damage to our services including the NHS, education, and local council services. “Nowhere near enough houses have been built, particularly truly affordable including social housing. Our economy has been wrecked by Tory incompetence. We are poorer, more taxed than ever before and what do we have to show for it?” He added: “I want to be elected so that I can represent the people of South Cambridgeshire at the very heart of a Labour government that is once again back in the service of the British people. “A government that would work to return the country to how it should be run, cutting waiting lists, increasing the number of teachers, increasing the numbers of police officers on the beat, building 1.5 million new homes including many truly affordable homes and growing the economy.” Mayor Johnson said: “Luke is very impressive. He is hugely energetic, very smart, and totally committed to do the very best for the community has called home for five years. “He understands the importance of cooperation, community and compassion and he would make a great MP for South Cambridgeshire.” Luke Viner at a Labour rally on Monday supported by Labour fellow parliamentary candidates Elizabeth McWilliams (Ely & East Cambridgeshire), Alex Bulat (Huntingdon) and Kevin Bonovia (Stevenage), and Labour’s Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson.

Luke Viner at a Labour rally supported by Labour fellow parliamentary candidates Elizabeth McWilliams (Ely & East Cambridgeshire), Alex Bulat (Huntingdon) and Kevin Bonovia (Stevenage), and Labour’s Combined Authority Mayor Dr Nik Johnson.

YouGov puts him less than 5 points ahead of Labour challenger Alex Bulat who has, like Sam Carling in NW Cambridgeshire, been busy for six months bedding herself into the constituency.

She is running a formidable campaign and the Labour councillor, and Cambridgeshire’s first migrant and refugee champion, can by no means be considered as runner-up at this stage.

Likewise, there are curious anomalies about the prediction for St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire where the big unknown will be that of independent candidate Stephen Ferguson.

He entered the race quite late after winning support from some Labour quarters who were unhappy about having Lambeth councillor Marianna Masters parachuted in as their candidate.

“The executive (St Neots Labour Party) might be happy, but I have been contacted by half a dozen members of the local Labour party who are ‘so happy’ with this decision that they’ve asked me to stand and pledged their support for me,” he said.

Cllr Stephen Ferguson (Independent) said he remained passionate about making being a councillor accessible to a wider range of people “and not the sole preserve of the retired and independently wealthy

Cllr Stephen Ferguson (Independent) the surprise Independent candidate for St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire

Tory candidate Anthony Browne has been MP for South Cambridgeshire but has switched to what he believes is the more winnable seat of St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire.

YouGov polling suggests it was a wise move, giving him an 8-point lead over Labour.

But these remain early days.

“Our first MRP projection of the 2024 British general election suggests that Keir Starmer could be heading to Downing Street with a historic majority of 194 seats,” says Patrick English, YouGov director of political research.

“With a central projection of 422 Labour wins, this result would be beyond landslide territory. Not only would Starmer’s majority be bigger than the number Tony Blair achieved in 1997 (179), but it would in fact be the second largest majority in British political history after Stanley Baldwin’s figure of 210 in 1924.”

“The Conservatives would be reduced to 140 seats, according to our model today. That would be their worst performance at a British general election for the party since 1906 – the first election where the Labour Party, then led by another Keir (Hardie), went into double-digit seat wins (27).”

EDITOR’S FOOTNOTE: Our thanks to @PhilRodgers – who you will find on Twitter – for his excellent election statistics and analysis. Well worth a follow. 

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