General Election poll prompts Lib Dem call for strong Watford candidate

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A senior Liberal Democrat has called for the party to field "a strong candidate" to fight the Watford seat in the 2015 General Election.

Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who is Watford Constituency Liberal Democrat Campaign Chair, said latest polling from the marginal seat showed the party was still in the race.

However this was only when voters were polled on which parties they liked when thinking about local issues.

Councillor Giles-Medhurst’s comments come as the town’s new-re-elected mayor, Dorothy Thornhill, is still considering whether to run as the Lib Dem candidate in the General Election.

Last week the Conservative peer, Lord Ashcroft, released the results key marginal parliamentary seats which were a close fight between the Tories and Lib Dems in 2010.

At the last General Elections the Conservatives gained Watford winning the seat by a majority of 1,425 votes. The Liberal Democrats came second and Labour, who had held the seat, slumped into third.

The main Ashcroft poll showed the Conservative incumbent, Richard Harrington ahead on 31 per cent with Labour second on 29 per cent, UKIP third on 20 per cent and the Lib Dems fourth on 14 per cent.

However the Watford Liberal Democrats have been buoyed by a second poll where people were asked about their voting intentions with specific thought to the constituency.

His polls showed Mr Harrington still top with 29 per cent and Labour in second with 25 per cent but then the Lib Dems moved up to third on 24 per cent and UKIP were fourth with 16 per cent.

Councillor Giles Medhurst said: "The poll was taken at the worst possible time for the Liberal Democrats and indeed the best time for UKIP, when there was massive media coverage for UKIP following our very poor Euro and local results across the county.

"We need to have a strong candidate, whoever that may be."

This week Watford’s Conservative MP Richard Harrington said: "I am glad we are the top. But there are so many polls and the only one that matters is the one in May next year when people will have a clear choice about who they want in Number 10 - David Cameron or Ed Miliband."

Labour were quick to seize on the poll that showed the Lib Dems in fourth, arguing the party was out of the running in Watford.

Labour Watford parliamentary candidate Matt Turmaine said: "As far as I can see the poll shows Labour is the main challenger to the Tories and the Lib Dems are slumping and going backwards and can’t win in Watford."

Nick Lincoln, chairman of Watford UKIP, said: "There is a long time between now and May but I hope that 20 per cent holds up. If we poll 20 per cent in May we may not win but we will have a dramatic influence on who will win."

Comments (5)

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12:12pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Oxhey Kev says...

Your having a laugh - Lib Dems will get wiped out all over the country. I'm afraid the tuition fees climbdown will never go away. Biggest mistake the Lib Dems signed up to and then retreated on. I have three teenagers coming up to university age and can look forward to them having a least £180,000 debt between them if they all do three year university courses. Do bother knocking at my door for your vote !
Your having a laugh - Lib Dems will get wiped out all over the country. I'm afraid the tuition fees climbdown will never go away. Biggest mistake the Lib Dems signed up to and then retreated on. I have three teenagers coming up to university age and can look forward to them having a least £180,000 debt between them if they all do three year university courses. Do bother knocking at my door for your vote ! Oxhey Kev
  • Score: 6

3:30pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Cuetip says...

I hope the voters are informed by Richard Harrington’s leaflets on what he supports. He strongly voting for Richard selling off the public assets eg the forests which was eventually abandoned, for increasing Air passenger Tax which pressure forced the Gov’t into a rethink, pushing for the privatisation of the Post Office and creating a very demoralised work force, resisting reform of an outmoded, anachronistic Hse of Lords, shown very little interest in a bankers bonus tax, which does little help to create a more diverse fairer representative democratic society as shown by the ‘Eton mess’ in the Cabinet.

He even voted strongly against the policy to help the most vulnerable in society where Welfare benefits ought to rise in line with prices. Remember you have to contrast this against a background where foodbanks are on the increase and millions of people in poverty live in UK households where at least one person works, the Living Wage Commission has said.The situation is a "national scandal" says commission chairman Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.

One minute the Government wants to blitz the Assad regime in the belief they are on the side of freedom fighters and now they are calling Isis radical extremists who are only doing what they wanted to do in the first place but were blocked by MPs who who thought such a move fool hardy. Even the US shied away from bombing Assad.

Watford’s ethnic mix has to be included. Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman and treasurer, fear the party has a race problem with ethnic voters.

Why was Adam Afrieyie a black MP so publicly abused in a Commons tea room by a popular Tory grandee Nicholas Soames for daring to question Britain’s EU membership and I quote 'a f***ing disgrace to your party, your fellow MPs, your Prime Minister and your country'in full view of other MPs? Other Tory MPs have said much worse about Cameron with no such abuse.

I hope for more transparency about the real intentions of our next MP in creating a fairer society for all and terms like affordable housing, free schools, creating a flexible workforce, need to be taken with a strong pinch of salt.
I hope the voters are informed by Richard Harrington’s leaflets on what he supports. He strongly voting for Richard selling off the public assets eg the forests which was eventually abandoned, for increasing Air passenger Tax which pressure forced the Gov’t into a rethink, pushing for the privatisation of the Post Office and creating a very demoralised work force, resisting reform of an outmoded, anachronistic Hse of Lords, shown very little interest in a bankers bonus tax, which does little help to create a more diverse fairer representative democratic society as shown by the ‘Eton mess’ in the Cabinet. He even voted strongly against the policy to help the most vulnerable in society where Welfare benefits ought to rise in line with prices. Remember you have to contrast this against a background where foodbanks are on the increase and millions of people in poverty live in UK households where at least one person works, the Living Wage Commission has said.The situation is a "national scandal" says commission chairman Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. One minute the Government wants to blitz the Assad regime in the belief they are on the side of freedom fighters and now they are calling Isis radical extremists who are only doing what they wanted to do in the first place but were blocked by MPs who who thought such a move fool hardy. Even the US shied away from bombing Assad. Watford’s ethnic mix has to be included. Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman and treasurer, fear the party has a race problem with ethnic voters. Why was Adam Afrieyie a black MP so publicly abused in a Commons tea room by a popular Tory grandee Nicholas Soames for daring to question Britain’s EU membership and I quote 'a f***ing disgrace to your party, your fellow MPs, your Prime Minister and your country'in full view of other MPs? Other Tory MPs have said much worse about Cameron with no such abuse. I hope for more transparency about the real intentions of our next MP in creating a fairer society for all and terms like affordable housing, free schools, creating a flexible workforce, need to be taken with a strong pinch of salt. Cuetip
  • Score: 7

10:19pm Mon 30 Jun 14

G_Whiz says...

No such thing as a strong Liberal. Soft on crime, soft on immigration, Soft on Brussels and soft on any good ideas!
No such thing as a strong Liberal. Soft on crime, soft on immigration, Soft on Brussels and soft on any good ideas! G_Whiz
  • Score: 5

10:44am Tue 1 Jul 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

The LibDem strongman, leader Nick Clegg, debated with Farage on live TV.

despite the spin, or as others might consider them, lies, about the EU, the LibDems still lost the debate as they were seen through by the electorate.

If their leader nick Clegg should choose to try personal attacks and twisting the facts so far that they showed no resemblance to the truth and still fail, what hope does any local LibDem have?

We all saw how Dorothy Thorhnill tried to keep the truth of the "Health Campus" having no hospital until 5pm on polling day. That was and remains a disgrace.

No matter who they put up, they will struggle because the National party is failing. Who can forget Nick's weasel words about paedophile Cyril Smith not being part of his party? With actions like those, who could in all honesty trust the LibDems with the future of our country, or indeed anything?
The LibDem strongman, leader Nick Clegg, debated with Farage on live TV. despite the spin, or as others might consider them, lies, about the EU, the LibDems still lost the debate as they were seen through by the electorate. If their leader nick Clegg should choose to try personal attacks and twisting the facts so far that they showed no resemblance to the truth and still fail, what hope does any local LibDem have? We all saw how Dorothy Thorhnill tried to keep the truth of the "Health Campus" having no hospital until 5pm on polling day. That was and remains a disgrace. No matter who they put up, they will struggle because the National party is failing. Who can forget Nick's weasel words about paedophile Cyril Smith not being part of his party? With actions like those, who could in all honesty trust the LibDems with the future of our country, or indeed anything? Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 1

11:04am Tue 1 Jul 14

Harry Caine says...

It is rumoured that certain Tory Grandees met with leaders of an ethnic group and they promised certain things connected with the West Watford Conservative Club. Seemingly, if true, they failed to deliver on that promise.

Given that there was little more than a 3000 vote spread of votes over the three primary candidates in 2010 and that this particular ethnic group can easily muster that number of votes; perhaps someone from Watford Tories might enlighten us all as to the veracity or otherwise of this rumour.

If true, will it come back to bite them in the b*m ?
It is rumoured that certain Tory Grandees met with leaders of an ethnic group and they promised certain things connected with the West Watford Conservative Club. Seemingly, if true, they failed to deliver on that promise. Given that there was little more than a 3000 vote spread of votes over the three primary candidates in 2010 and that this particular ethnic group can easily muster that number of votes; perhaps someone from Watford Tories might enlighten us all as to the veracity or otherwise of this rumour. If true, will it come back to bite them in the b*m ? Harry Caine
  • Score: 2

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