Constituency profile: Bedford
The Tories have their eye on one of Labour’s most vulnerable seats.
The constituency of Bedford, which Boris Johnson visited today, is one of the Conservatives’ top targets.
Labour would lose the seat on a swing of just 0.9%.
It ranks as number 11 on a list of Labour constituencies most vulnerable to the Tories.
Bedford is the sort of place the Conservatives will be hoping to win comfortably at this election.
A big victory would suggest the party is doing well enough across the country to have a large majority in the next parliament.
A narrow victory could mean the Tories will fall short of a majority – especially if they also lose seats elsewhere.
Labour’s Mohammad Yasin is defending a majority in Bedford of only 789.
He won 47% of the vote in 2017, just ahead of the Tories on 45%.
The Liberal Democrats finished a distant third on 6%.
In this election Mr Yasin is up against candidates from the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Greens and the Brexit Party.
The presence on the ballot paper of the Brexit Party might be crucial in determining Labour’s fate.
Were they to pick up even a small chunk of former Labour voters, that could be enough to tip the seat in the Conservatives’ direction.
Bedford was a Tory seat from 2010 to 2017, before which it had been held by Labour since 1997.
At every general election since 1997 Bedford has been a marginal seat fiercely contested by both Labour and the Conservatives.
2019 will be no exception.