Winchester and Chandler’s Ford is likely to see the tightest race in a General Election for more than twenty years. The latest YouGov poll, published this week, puts the Liberal Democrat candidate, Paula Ferguson, within 2%-3% of the Conservatives.
The figures, from YouGov’s MRP poll, commissioned by the Times newspaper have the parties as follows:
Liberal Democrat (Paula Ferguson) 44%
The last time the figures were so close was in May 1997, when Liberal Democrat, Mark Oaten, won the seat by just two votes. When this result was challenged by the former Conservative MP, it forced a by-election that Mark Oaten won by more than 21,000 votes. Responding to the poll, Paula Ferguson, said:
“This poll shows that every single vote is going to count here in the election. How people vote on December 12th won't only decide who the next MP will be, it could also affect what happens in the country as a whole, as Winchester & Chandler’s Ford is being seen as key marginal seat. "People are voting differently this time, either because they want to remain, or they share the Liberal Democrats' vision for a brighter future, or because they simply can’t or won’t vote for a Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson. Others are voting tactically.”
Among those moving their vote from blue to yellow is Alresford resident Stuart McCullouch. Now retired, Mr McCullouch was a Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force, before going on to work in Marketing and Project Management. He explained what has inspired his change of voting intention.
“I’ve always voted Conservative until this year, but they seem unable to move away from policies that make a few people rich, with the hope that some of it will trickle down to the rest. The UK is now one of the most unequal countries in the world. I wanted a political home that would address that more directly and with more energy than the Conservatives. “And it’s not just about the economy. The Lib Dems are addressing social justice at a local level, as well as nationally. I’m reassured by their policies on health and social care, and on mental health and wellbeing for both adults and children.”
Paula Ferguson added: “There’s so much we urgently need to do here in this constituency. On the doorstep, people are telling me about the reality of their daily lives. For too many people, their lives are getting worse, rather than better, and they don’t see things changing under the Conservatives.”