General election 2019: MPs at risk of losing their seats
Some big-name politicians have good reason to feel nervous as the UK heads to polls
Voters are heading to the ballot box today to either back or help oust their local MP.
The first December election since 1923 has seen the major parties putting Brexit and the future of public services at the centre of their campaigns. The Conservatives are focusing on their “get Brexit done” message, while Labour has warned voters that the Tories pose a major risk to the NHS.
And in one of the most unpredictable elections in years, some sitting MPs will be worried that their seats are also under threat. Here are the politicians most likely to disappear from Parliament.
Esher and Walton: Dominic Raab - Conservative (won by 23,298)
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is one of the most senior MPs whose seat is threatened in 2019. The prominent Brexiteer campaigned for Leave during the referendum campaign and has been an unwavering pro-Brexit voice in Johnson’s government.
But that may cost Raab in his Remain-backing constituency of Esher and Walton, with the latest YouGov poll giving him a less than a two-point advantage over the Liberal Democrats’ Monica Harding.
Chingford and Wood Green: Ian Duncan Smith - Conservative (won by 2,438)
Former Conservative leader Duncan Smith is another committed Brexiteer, and backed Leave in the 2016 EU referendum. But his constituency voted - albeit narrowly - to stay in the EU, with Remain backed by 50.12%.
Green candidate John Tyne announced last month he was “tactically withdrawing” from battle to secure the Chingford and Wood Green seat, in order to help Labour take the seat from the Tories. Labour’s Faiza Shaheen is now fewer than two points behind Duncan Smith.
Chipping Barnet: Theresa Villiers - Conservative (won by 353 votes)
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers only just held on to her north London seat in 2017. She was a prominent Leaver during the referendum campaign, while Barnet voted 62.2% to remain. Villiers is up against Labour’s Emma Whysall, who ran her close last time and describes herself as an “unrepentant Remainer”.
Preseli Pembrokeshire: Stephen Crabb - Conservative (won by 314 votes)
A former cabinet minister and government whip, Stephen Crabb backed Remain during the referendum, while his Welsh constituency voted to leave by a margin of 57.1%. He has since said that he backs the Brexit vote, but like Villiers is running against a Labour candidate, Philippa Thompson, who pushed him close in 2017.
Kensington: Emma Dent Coad - Labour (won by 20 votes)
Remain-supporting Emma Dent Coad became Kensington’s first ever Labour MP when she won the seat in 2017. The constituency voted 68.7% in favour of EU membership, but in December she will test her popularity in a three-way contest against Conservative candidate Felicity Buchan and former Conservative leadership candidate Sam Gyimah, who defected to the Liberal Democrats in September and who has chosen to stand in Kensington rather than his current seat, East Surrey.
Canterbury: Rosie Duffield - Labour (won by 187 votes)
Canterbury had elected Conservative politicians in every election during the 1900s, so Rosie Duffield’s win by a margin of 187 votes in the 2017 general election was another huge success for Labour. Duffield is a Remainer, putting her out of step with her constituents, who voted 51% in favour of Leave, and is going up against a vocal Brexiteer in Conservative candidate Anna Firth.
Hastings & Rye: Amber Rudd (won by 346 votes and is stepping down)
Former work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd this morning announced that she would not be standing in December. She won Hastings & Rye by just 346 votes in 2017. The race between Labour’s Peter Chowney, who ran against Rudd, and the Conservative candidate could be close. The constituency voted to leave the EU by a margin of 54.9%-45.1%.
Other seats at risk
Fife North East (voted 58.6% to remain in 2016): Stephen Gethins - SNP (won by 2 votes)
Perth & North Perthshire (61.1% Remain): Pete Wishart - SNP (won by 21 votes)
Southampton Itchen (53.8% Leave): Royston Smith - Conservative (won by 31 votes)
Newcastle-under-Lyme (63% Leave): Paul Farrelly - Labour (won by 30 votes and is stepping down in 2019)
Richmond Park (69.3% Remain): Zac Goldsmith - Conservative (won by 45 votes)
Crewe & Nantwich (51.2% Leave): Laura Smith - Labour (won by 48 votes)
Glasgow South West (66.6% Remain): Chris Stephens - SNP (won by 60 votes)
Glasgow East (56.2% Remain): David Linden - SNP (won by 75 votes)
Stirling (67.7% Remain): Stephen Kerr - Conservative (won by 148 votes)
Pudsey (51.4% Remain): Stuart Andrew - Conservative (won by 331 votes)