On the face of this should be a safe CON by-election hold

On the face of this should be a safe CON by-election hold

Following the very sad demise at such a young age of James Brokenshire we now have another Conservative Westminster by-election defence in the offing. The GE2019 outcome from Old Bexley and Sidcup makes it look a very safe seat indeed and it would be a sensation if the Tories do not hold on.

There are two figures I always check first when a specific constituency comes into play – how did it vote in the 2016 Referendum and what proportion of the electorate are graduates. The Brexit figure was Leave at an estimated 63.2% while the proportion of graduates at the 2011 Census 26.85% which makes it 320th in all Commons seats.

It is very hard to see Labour at the moment being able to mount a competitive challenge here but the LDs, no doubt, will fancy their chances of getting a good result. The key geographical factor for Ed Davey’s party is that this is just on the border of Greater London making it more accessible to the hundreds of volunteers who would be needed to make an impact each day during the campaign.

My guess is that the party will mount a serious campaign but this is a very hard one for it to pull off. Getting a good second place ahead of Labour could be a victory in itself.

Mike Smithson

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