General Election 2019: Shock poll puts Liberal Democrats ahead of Tories in South Cambridgeshire
The Liberal Democrats are ahead in the race to win the South Cambridgeshire seat at the General Election, according to an opinion poll.
The constituency has traditionally been a safe Conservative seat, but a poll of 410 people by Survation puts Liberal Democrat Ian Sollom in front of Tory hopeful Anthony Browne.
Asked how they would vote if the election was held tomorrow, 40 per cent opted for the Lib Dems, while 36 per cent favoured the Conservatives. Labour, for whom Dan Greef is standing, was supported by just 12 per cent, while the Brexit Party got seven per cent and the Greens, who have since stood aside as part of a Unite to Remain agreement with the Lib Dems, got four per cent.
The seat is currently held by Heidi Allen, who was elected as a Conservative in 2015 and re-elected in 2017, but switched to the Liberal Democrats last month - following spells as an independent and with Change UK - only to announce that she would not be standing for re-election due to the threats and intimidation she had received.
The polling, commissioned by the Lib Dems, was conducted on November 4 and 5, after Ms Allen, a prominent Remain candidate, had announced her decision not to stand. Named candidates were used in the fieldwork.
Mr Sollom said: “This poll shows clearly that I am the best placed Remain candidate to win this seat.
“South Cambs is at the forefront of the fight to stop Brexit. We do not want to be represented by a right-wing Tory allied to Boris Johnson.
“The big drop in the Labour vote here shows that Remain-supporting Labour voters are more than willing to back me. Likewise, many of the people who voted for Heidi Allen realise that I will stand up for their views on Brexit.
“We now have evidence that I can win South Cambs for the Liberal Democrats. At the moment, it is looking very close, but with the votes of Remain-supporters who haven’t voted Lib Dem before, we can get a big majority and send a powerful message that South Cambs will not accept Brexit.”
Survation removed those who were undecided or refused to say how they would vote from the results.
Mr Browne was dismissive of the poll.
He told the Cambridge Independent: “This is just another dodgy Lib Dem poll and has as much credibility as their leader saying she will be the next Prime Minister.”
Mr Browne has previously told the Cambridge Independent that the result of the 2016 referendum must be respected, meaning the UK must leave the European Union.
He said: “Refusing to accept the result doesn’t so much undermine the referendum itself, but rather confidence in democracy. We must respect democracy and move on.”
Prior to Heidi Allen’s landslide election in 2015, the South Cambridgeshire seat was comfortably held by Conservative Andrew Lansley for four terms dating back to 1997.
The poll follows another by Survation that put Liberal Democrat Rod Cantrill ahead of Labour’s Daniel Zeichner, who is standing for re-election.