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General Election poll prompts Lib Dem call for strong Watford candidate
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."
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