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Theresa May visited widest range of seats among party leaders during campaign

The PM made almost two-thirds of her campaign visits to Labour seats.

Theresa May has visited a greater range of seats than any other party leader by travelling to 68 different constituencies during the seven-week election campaign, new analysis shows.

The main party leaders have covered thousands of miles in the run up to Thursday’s election, with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn campaigning in 63 constituencies while Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron took his campaign to 37 different seats.

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(PA Graphics)

Analysis by the Press Association found that Mrs May made 63% of her campaign visits to Labour seats, taking in 23 Labour-held marginals such as Ealing Central and Acton where Dr Rupa Huq took the seat in 2015 with a tiny majority of 274.

She also visited 20 Labour strongholds, including the ultra-safe seats of Birmingham Ladywood, Oxford East and Leeds Central, according to election visits figures up to the end of Wednesday.

The campaign took the Prime Minister to 18 Tory seats, half of which were marginals, while Mrs May spent little time targeting Liberal Democrat seats, visiting only Richmond Park during her campaign.

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Theresa May and Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith campaigning in Richmond (Steve Parsons/PA)

Mr Corbyn focused more on Labour strongholds than any other type of seat, spending 37% of his visits addressing crowds of party faithful, compared with only 5% in Labour marginals.

Overall, he visited 33 Conservative seats (52%), spending 25% of the campaign in Tory strongholds and 27% of his time in Tory marginals such as Ed Balls’ former constituency of Morley and Outwood, which was taken by the Tories in 2015.

Yorkshire has been a significant battleground for both parties, as Mr Corbyn chose to launch his party’s manifesto in Bradford West, while visiting 16 seats in the region, compared with only three Scottish seats and 10 in London.

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Jeremy Corbyn at the launch in Bradford of the Labour Party manifesto (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mrs May launched her manifesto in Halifax, a Labour-held marginal, and she also travelled to 12 Yorkshire seats, as well as seven in the North West and five in the North East.

Liberal Democrat Mr Farron made 54% of visits to Tory constituencies as his party tried to regain the seats it lost in the 2015 general election.

He also made repeated visits to key seats such as Dunbartonshire East, where former minister Jo Swinson is trying to win back her seat, and to Kingston and Surbiton where Lib Dem grandee Sir Ed Davey is hoping to be returned to Parliament.

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Tim Farron with candidate Jo Swinson and party activists in East Dunbartonshire ( Yui Mok/PA)

The Lib Dem leader also spent 27% of his time in Labour constituencies, making trips to seven Labour strongholds and three Labour marginals.

Professor David Cutts, an expert in political science at the University of Birmingham, said Mrs May’s visits to Labour safe seats showed confidence in the Tory camp, saying the campaign “would be won and lost” in the Midlands and the North”.

He said Labour had been holding lots of rallies in its safe seats but the party had extended some campaigning into marginals in the latter weeks of the campaign.

Prof Cutts said the Lib Dem vote was the unknown factor but Mr Farron had repeatedly visited areas they were likely to do well in such as south-west London and Scotland.

During the 2015 campaign former prime minister David Cameron visited 73 different seats, former Labour leader Ed Miliband visited 53 and Lib Dem Nick Clegg went to 38.

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