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The 6th most marginal constituency in the UK, the Conservatives held the Southampton Itchen seat with a majority of just 31 in the last general election. Royston Smith has been the Conservative MP since 2015, after taking the seat from Labour’s John Denham. However, his already small majority of 2,316 dwindled to 31 in the last General Election, meaning this seat is wide open.
Former Council leader Simon Letts will once again battle Smith in what was a two-horse race. The Liberal Democrats have put forward Liz Jarvis as their candidate for the ward, whilst UKIP candidate Kim Rose will hope to perform better in this election after the -11% swing for her in the last General Election. Osman Sen-Chadun is the Green candidate.
Southampton Test has been a Labour stronghold since Tony Blair got into power in 1997. The current Labour candidate, former SUSU president Dr. Alan Whitehead, has represented the seat since the 1997 election and has contested the seat since 1983. His strong majority in 2017 means it will be difficult for him to lose his seat, but in this unpredictable election, anything can happen.
He will be contested by Millbrook ward councillor Steven Galton for the Conservatives, whilst Joe Richards will hope to boost the Liberal Democrats’ votes. The 2017 election saw the Liberal Democrats’ worst performance in this constituency in their history.
The Brexit Party’s inaugural election will be contested here by Philip Crook, who plans to take votes from Labour. The former serviceman will also compete with Green candidate Katherine Barbour, who becomes the Green’s first Parliamentary candidate in Test since 2015.
Romsey and Southampton North
A relatively young constituency, this is the fourth general election with Romsey and Southampton North in its current form. It has, however, always been won by a Conservative, Caroline Nokes. Despite having the whip removed in September, she returned to the party at the end of October to contest this relatively safe Conservative seat.
Claire Ransom is the Labour candidate, taking over from Dr. Darren Paffey – a local councillor and Southampton lecturer – to contest the seat. Craig Fletcher is also a new candidate for the Liberal Democrats – he replaces Catherine Royce who stood for the Lib Dems in the last election. UKIP announced Geoff Bentley as a candidate for the seat, having not put a candidate forward in the last election. With Nokes back in as the Conservative candidate taking nearly 3 in 5 votes at the last election, there is unlikely to be a huge shock in this constituency.
Winchester as a constituency spans over 800 years of history. Since 2010, it has been a Conservative seat, represented by Steve Brine. Brine, who lost – then regained – the Conservative whip in September, will be challenged by councillor Paula Ferguson (Liberal Democrats), who will hope to build on her party’s huge growth from 2015 to 2017. Labour has fielded George Baker as their candidate, whilst the Justice and Anti-Corruption will once again field a candidate here – Theresa Skelton.