Liberal Democrats 'aim to unseat as many Conservatives as possible' in the South

WATCH: ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw reports on the campaign trail in Eastbourne

The Liberal Democrats are aiming to unseat as many Conservative MPs as possible at the General Election, according to the party’s leader.

Sir Ed Davey said the Lib Dems represent “a real threat to Conservatives across the South” with several long-serving Tory MPs “running scared” by standing down ahead of polling day.

The party leader was speaking on a campaign visit to Eastbourne in East Sussex, a key target seat for the Lib Dems.

WATCH: Sir Ed Davey explains the Lib Dem election strategy

Addressing party activists assembled at the seaside town’s pier, Sir Ed said: “They've made such a mess of our country – on the economy, on the health service and on the environment.

“People want to see the back of the Conservative government and, as Liberal Democrat leader, I'm determined that we defeat as many Conservative MPs as possible.”

In addition to Eastbourne, key targets for the party include Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Lewes in East Sussex, Chichester in West Sussex and Wokingham in Berkshire.

Lib Dem Leader Sir Ed Davey (left) with the party's election candidate for Eastbourne, Josh Babarinde. Credit: PA Images

The long-serving Conservative MPs for Wokingham and Tunbridge Wells both announced they are standing down today, buoying Lib Dem hopes in both constituencies.

Sir John Redwood has represented Wokingham since 1987. Greg Clark has been the Tunbridge Wells MP since 2005.

Sir Ed Davey told ITV News: “I think it’s a sign of how the Liberal Democrats are a real threat to Conservatives across the South of England.

“I think John Redwood deciding not to stand is an example of Conservatives running scared of the Liberal Democrats.”

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