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Focus on Wokingham where two ex-CON MPs are slugging it out against each other

November 15th, 2019

The longstanding Brexiteer versus the defector to the LDs

The Berkshire constituency of Wokingham is one of the most intriguing battle grounds at the General Election for it is where the veteran Brexiteer, John Redwood, is seeking to defend his seat against the remain backing former CON MP from the neighbouring constituency, Philip Lee. Redwood has been MP there since 1987.

It will be recalled that when Parliament resumed in September it was while Johnson was speaking that Phillip Lee crossed the floor of the House of Commons from the Tory benches to sit next to Jo Swinson. His defection left the Tories with no working majority in the House of Commons

Lee and Redwood, of course, have totally different views of the EU with the former being closer to voters in Wokingham than the latter. At the referendum Wokingham went 57% remain.

This is a seat which is part of the Unite to Remain alliance and there is no Green standing. The key importance of this is that it is a signal to LD activists outside the area that it is a key battle ground and where they should help.

There was a small sample Survation poll which had Redwood 4% ahead.

In Euro2019 the LDs came top in Wokingham with 33.45% with the Greens getting 11.3%. The Tories were estimated to have got 13.4% with BP at 29.4%. LAB was at 4.9%

The question here is whether Redwood has built up support over the past third of a century there to get re-elected. Everything depends on the importance of Brexit to those who voted for Redwood at GE2017.

Ladbrokes currently make the Tories 1/4 favourites with the LDs at 11/4 which I regard as value. I’d assess this as closer to 50/50.

Mike Smithson