We saw in February that Caroline Lucas has a pretty good chance as being elected as the Green Party’s first MP. This still looks to be their best shot of winning a seat, but there are several other constituencies that will be interesting to watch over the next couple of weeks and on election night.
The seat’s currently held by Labour, who have a notional 5000 majority over the Tories. The Lib Dems are also in contention, themselves only about 8000 behind Labour in 2005, so this is very much a four-way marginal. The two polls I know of for the seat give completely different results, but the Green Party’s own poll seems more plausible, and this puts the Greens in the lead.
One issue is that this poll was taken well before the Lib Dem surge (up about 10pts since then). I suspect that if the Libs seem more likely to be elected and to be part of a coalition government, this could well draw votes to them from the Greens. I doubt this will be enough for the Lib Dems to win the seat, though, and the constituency polls suggest the Tories are out of the running, particularly since they’ve lost national support since then. So at the moment, this looks to be between Labour and the Greens, and is too close to call.
This is held by Labour’s Joan Ruddock, and is very safe territory. Last time, Labour won 56% of the vote (albeit down from 65% in 2001); it would take an epic upset for them to lose it. Nonetheless, it’s also one of the Greens’ strongest seats: last time, they won 11% of the vote, narrowly beaten by the Tories into fourth.
Given that the Greens are targeting this as one of their key seats, and their candidate is relatively high profile and credible, they seem very likely to increase their share. Overall, there looks to be a good chance of them overtaking the Tories and Lib Dems to finish second.