Lib Dems targets Conservative headquarters in southern England | Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems have identified 30 Conservative seats mostly in the south of England where they want to “yellow the blue wall” in the next election, including the constituency of Dominic Raab of Esher and Walton.
Ed Davey, leader of Lib Dem, said the party was looking to take seats away from the Tories and hoped to have candidates in place in most of those ridings by the end of January.
Without describing the seats as a target list, the party identified 30 constituencies where the Lib Dems would need only a 12% swing to topple the incumbent Tory. This is about a third of the historic 34% swing of Lib Dems who saw them win the North Shropshire by-election.
The list includes the Lewes seat of Health Minister Maria Caulfield, the Sutton and Cheam seat of Business Secretary Paul Scully, the South West Surrey seat of former Minister Jeremy Hunt. The first two are former Lib Dem seats, but Surrey is the heart of the Conservatives.
Davey pointed out that “almost all of our fringe fights are against the Tories or in Scotland against the SNP”. Since the Lib Dems’ success in the recent by-elections, there has been an upsurge in speculation about the potential for a Labor-Lib Dems partnership after the next election if each can take enough seats from the Tories.
The Lib Dems also scored a surprise victory in Chesham and Amersham, the former seat of the late Dame Cheryl Gillan, a former Tory cabinet minister. The party now hopes to replicate that success in dozens of fringe Tory seats across the country, preparing early for the next election.
Davey said there will be a new Lib Dem combat fund, which accepts donations to expand ground operations in key fringe Conservative headquarters, as well as a “Blue Wall Top” later in 2022 to fire the lessons from its successes in by-elections.
He said it was “just a fact that the seats in which we have the best chance are held by the Conservatives”.
“But I want to get Boris Johnson out of No.10,” he added. “This is my strategic goal and it is increasingly clear that there is no way to remove Boris Johnson’s Tories from power without us winning many, many more seats. We are the only credible challengers. for them in many of their countries. Even though we were third in North Shropshire in 2019, it was very clear that the disgruntled Tories would not vote Labor, but they saw us as an alternative. “
There is only one by-election scheduled for early 2022, in the Southend West seat of assassinated Tory MP David Amess, which is not contested by candidates from other major parties. The next general election is slated to take place in May 2024 under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, but it would be possible for an election to be called earlier and many politicians believe it is more likely to take place in May 2023.