Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Conservatives eye Somerset marginal seats

George Osborne and David Cameron are visiting key marginal seats today Photo: Phil Noble/PA Wire

It's no surprise the Chancellor and other big Conservative figures are heading to the south west as the election enters its final hundred days. The region is rich in marginal seats which the Tories are hoping to win off the Lib Dems.

Forget the fact the two parties are in coalition - the political gloves are well and truly off - because the Tories know that while they may lose ground to UKIP and Labour elsewhere, they can pick up some seats in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

Somerset in particular is in Tory sights, as the Lib Dems are defending small majorities in three of the four seats they hold in the county - Wells, Somerton & Frome and Taunton Deane.

Elsewhere they are targetting another Lib Dem seat, Chippenham in Wiltshire. The party is looking to gains in the West Country to offset losses to Labour and UKIP elsewhere.

Labour will be focussing on seats it has held previously (in the Blair years) but lost last time - places like Gloucester, Stroud, Swindon South and Bristol North West.

The Lib Dems, for their part, will be trying to hang on to what they've got - particularly the relatively safe Bath, Bristol West and Thornbury and Yate. An unpredictable factor this time is provided by UKIP (who won their first seat on Bristol city council last year) and the Greens (who fancy their chances in Bristol West with its large student population).

But with council cuts beginning to bite, and ongoing pressure on the NHS, the economy looks set to be the main campaigning issue for all the parties.