With the Tories trailing just behind Labour in the opinion polls, predictions are rife that the 2015 general election will be a bloody tough campaign. With a drop in the Lib Dem vote, the rise of Ukip and a potential swing towards Labour, it’s difficult to predict who will win. But like all general elections, a handful of marginal seats will decide who walks into No.10. Here are UK’s most marginal seats which will play a vital role next year.
1. Fermanagh & South Tyrone
Held by: Michelle Gildernew — Sinn Fein
Easily the UK’s most marginal seat, Michelle Gildernew has held Fermanagh & South Tyrone since 2001. Although she managed to increase the Sinn Fein vote by seven per cent, Gildernew clung on with a 0.01 per cent majority in 2010. A challenge from the independent candidate Rodney Connor — who had the backing of the DUP and the Ulster Conservatives — almost took the seat. Connor tried to challenge the result in court, after claiming he witnessed six votes uncounted, but was unsuccessful. It’s unknown whether Connor will run again for the seat in 2015.
2. Hampstead and Kilburn
Held by: Glenda Jackson – Labour
Electoral Calculus prediction: 72 per cent chance of LAB hold
One of the surprises of the 2010 election, Glenda Jackson managed to hold onto the seat she has held in one form or another since 1992. The Tories put a lot of effort into the seat but their candidate Chris Philp failed to win. Hampstead and Kilburn, a three-way marginal, looks set to be an interesting case study for the state of the political parties in 2015. Simon Marcus, who sat on the London riots panel, is running for the Tories while the Quilliam Foundation’s controversial Maajid Nawaz will be running for the Liberal Democrats. Labour councillor Tulip Siddiq will be stepping into Jackson’s shoes; she’s retiring from Parliament.
3. North Warwickshire
Held by: Dan Byles – Conservative