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General Election 2019: YouGov poll predicts Labour on course for Canterbury victory with Conservatives winning all other Kent seats

The Conservatives will win all but one seat in Kent, according to a polling model that correctly predicted the outcome in each constituency at the last election.

YouGov last night published the findings of its seat-by-seat analysis after conducting 100,000 interviews over a week.

KMTV analyse the results of the YouGov poll

The results show Boris Johnson is on course to win a majority of 68.

But, as things stand, Labour's Rosie Duffield is set to hold on in Canterbury- her party's only seat in the county.

The poll uses the same method that accurately predicted Ms Duffield would overturn Tory Julian Brazier's 9,798 majority in 2017.

Labour's Rosie Duffield is on course to narrowly hold on in Canterbury
Labour's Rosie Duffield is on course to narrowly hold on in Canterbury

She won by just 187 - and YouGov believes Canterbury will once again be by far the most marginal seat in Kent.

Ms Duffield is set to win 47% of the vote, ahead of Conservative rival Anna Firth on 43%. Lib Dem Claire Malcolmson is on 8% and independent Michael Gould on 2%.

Canterbury's Conservative parliamentary candidate Anna Firth points out the bookies still have her as favourite
Canterbury's Conservative parliamentary candidate Anna Firth points out the bookies still have her as favourite

But both Labour and the Tories admit there is still everything to play for in the constituency.

The YouGov model predicts Ms Duffield could receive anything between 39% and 54% of the vote. Ms Firth could receive between 36% and 51%.

The Labour candidate said: "The only poll that really matters takes place on December 12.

"I’m looking forward to the last fortnight of this campaign, where I’ll continue to make the case to residents across Canterbury, Whitstable and the villages to re-elect me as their local MP.

"Whoever forms the next government, as your MP I will continue to fight for local people, our NHS, our schools and police and to protect local jobs and the economy, and I will continue to campaign against a hard-right Tory Brexit.

How YouGov thinks the parties are currently faring in each Kent seat
How YouGov thinks the parties are currently faring in each Kent seat

"There's no room for complacency when the stakes are this high and every single vote matters."

Mrs Firth pointed to bookmakers still having her favourite to win. Betfair put the Conservatives at 8/11 while Labour are evens.

She said: "They are polls. Only. The only poll that matters is the one on December 12.

"The YouGov poll is based on data that is two weeks out of date so there is clearly everything still to play for. We will be working flat out for victory.

"It is encouraging that the bookies are still predicting a Conservative win in Canterbury despite the YouGov poll."

Natalie Elphicke, with members of the Dover and Deal Conservative Party, is expected to win the seat her husband held since 2010
Natalie Elphicke, with members of the Dover and Deal Conservative Party, is expected to win the seat her husband held since 2010

Meanwhile, in Dover, YouGov are predicting a comfortable majority for Tory hopeful Natalie Elphicke - whose husband Charlie was the constituency's MP from 2010 until November this year.

She is set to receive 52% of the vote, ahead of closest rival Charlotte Cornell of Labour on 33%

Mrs Elphicke said: “The doorstep response in Dover & Deal has been incredibly positive. Time and again people tell me they want to get Brexit done and move forward. They know that will only happen with Boris Johnson and the Conservatives.

“Of course this opinion poll is encouraging. Yet everyone knows that polls can be misleading and are often completely wrong.

"The only poll that counts is the general election - and we are out round the clock fighting for every last vote. There is no room for complacency.

The Lib Dems are struggling to unseat Conservative Greg Clark in Tunbridge Wells
The Lib Dems are struggling to unseat Conservative Greg Clark in Tunbridge Wells

"Anyone who wants to get Brexit done and keep Corbyn out of Downing Street needs to come out and vote for the Conservatives on polling day."

The Lib Dems have been focussing their efforts in Kent on Tunbridge Wells. But Tory Greg Clark is on course to receive 51% of the vote, ahead of the Lib Dems on 29%.

All the other Kent seats are predicted to be comfortable Conservative majorities.

Voters are being advised to take the polling with a pinch of salt.

YouGov say: "This is not a prediction. It is our estimate of what the range of possible results would be if the election took place today and the voting intention was showing what it currently shows, based on our current data."

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Analyis by political editor Paul Francis:

With just under three weeks to go before polling day, it looks like the political map of Kent is destined to remain a distinct colour of blue.

The poll suggests the Conservatives are on course for a victory that would give them a clear working majority.

It says the Conservatives are poised to retain all their existing seats in the county, largely with similar margins of victory.

The one glimmer of hope for Labour is that it looks like hanging on by a narrow margin to Canterbury, where there is a ferocious battle for the seat.

The poll conducted by YouGov makes for bleak reading for both Labour and the Liberal Democrats - with the latter appearing to be losing ground.

The one seat the Liberal Democrats are targeting heavily - Tunbridge Wells - suggests that while it is likely to overtake Labour, it is unlikely to oust the Conservative candidate Greg Clark.

In Dover, which is an official Labour target, the Conservatives look set to to claim victory despite a troubled backdrop to the campaign.

The former MP Charlie Elphicke, who is facing charges of sexual assault, stood aside at the last minute and was replaced as candidate by his wife, Natalie.

Were the election held tomorrow, the Tories would win 359 seats - 42 more than they took in 2017. Meanwhile, Labour are set to lose 51 seats.

While all polls come with a warning that they represent only a snapshot of public opinion, there is no doubt that Labour is failing to make any kind of breakthrough in Kent that would deliver a set of results that under Tony Blair saw it hold close to half of the seats in the county.

It is difficult to see how Labour can halt the momentum the Conservatives seem to have.

But this is an election unlike others and the apparent surge in people registering to vote might just give Labour some hope that it can narrow the gap.

However, if the poll’s findings are anywhere near being replicated at the actual vote out on December 12, it seems Kent will once again be a Conservative stronghold.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

For more Kent 2019 General Election coverage click here


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