Parties will try to win the constituencies which had the smallest majorities in the 2017 election – here’s the ones to look out for.
Political parties in the UK are gearing up for a general election on Thursday which, they hope, will break the Parliamentary deadlock.
In order to do so they will aim to win certain seats off rival parties – with a special focus on so-called marginal or “swing seats” across the UK.
These are the seats with the smallest majorities and which have changed political hands over the years – and could dictate the result of the 2019 election.
North East Fife
SNP majority of 2
North East Fife is the most marginal seat in the UK, with a barely-there majority of just two votes.
If one person had voted the other way in the 2017 election it would have been left in a tie, with the Returning Officer forced to draw lots to determine the final result.
Instead the SNP’s Stephen Gethins just about won. His party has managed to hold the seat since 2015 but before that it was held by a Lib Dem MP.
The party’s candidate Elizabeth Riches came so close to winning in 2017 that Jo Swinson will likely have this seat in her sights in 2019.
Labour majority of 20
Labour’s Emma Dent Coad won the traditionally Conservative seat from Victoria Borwick – turning it from blue to red for the first time since it was formed in the seventies.
She won it by the smallest English margin of 20 votes and will be fiercely defending it from the Tories’ new candidate Felicity Buchan.
They will both also be challenged by former Tory MP – and now Liberal Democrat – Sam Gyimah who is also standing in the Remain-voting seat.
Perth and North Perthshire
SNP majority of 21
Perth and North Perthshire is another Scottish constituency with a tiny majority, with SNP MP Pete Wishart hold off Tory rival Ian Duncan by 21 votes.
It has been held by the SNP since it was formed in 2005 but with Conservative candidates consistently coming second.
In local percentage terms, this seat is the second-closest result of the 2017 election.
Independent majority of 22
Dudley North has been represented by former Labour MP Ian Austin – who resigned from the party earlier this year – since 2005.
In 2017, his majority of more than 4,000 in 2015 was reduced to a mere 22 votes more than his Conservative rival Les Jones – making it the Labour seat that was closest to being taken by the Conservatives that election.
Given Dudley backed Leave in the Brexit referendum by 68 per cent to 32 per cent, Mr Austin’s only hope could be that the Tories don’t team up with the Brexit Party which could effectively split the Leave vote.
Labour majority of 30
Labour has consistently won the north Staffordshire constituency in every election for the last 100 years – but more recently its majority has been getting steadily smaller.
In 2017, there were 30 votes between Labour’s Paul Farrelly and Tory candidate Owen Meredith.
While it has not been represented by a Tory since 1885, the party’s candidates have been edging closer to Mr Farrelly since 2010.
Tory majority of 31
Southampton Itchen was taken from Labour by the Conservatives with a majority of more than 2,000 in 2015 but this dropped to 31 in 2017.
Tory MP Royston Smith will be hoping to increase this in 2019 but Labour Simon Letts will want to reverse this and take back the traditional swing seat.
Tory majority of 45
Tory Zac Goldsmith narrowly won Richmond Park back from Lib Dem Sarah Olney was in 2017 by, a majority of 45 votes, having lost it to her just two years earlier.
Given that the area is chiefly Remain – by a large majority – the Lib Dems will be hoping to reverse that in this vote.
Crewe and Nantwich
Labour majority of 48
Crewe and Nantwich has been a marginal seat since 2008 and was one of the closest won seats in the 2017 poll.
After Tory candidate Edward Timpson have held the seat since 2008, he lost it to Labour MP Laura Smith by 48 votes.
Glasgow South West
SNP majority of 60
The formerly Labour seat of Glasgow South West was won by the SNP in 2015 with a majority of 10,000.
But this sharply dropped two years later to just 60, with Chris Stephens only just managing to hold onto the seat.
SNP majority of 75
Nearby Glasgow East has seen a similar pattern after being won by the SNP off Labour in 2008 – and flip-flopping between the two since then.
The SNP’s David Linden will now attempt to defend his 75-vote majority.
Considering how much better the SNP has been polling compared with Labour, the party is widely expected to boost its majority in both the Glasgow seats.
Read Chloe Chaplain’s full report on marginal seats here.