Constituency profile: Ashfield

The constituency of Ashfield, which Boris Johnson visited on Friday, was one of the nail-biters of the 2017 election.

A recount was necessary and when the result was eventually declared, Labour MP Gloria De Piero held the seat with a majority of just 441.

There had been a swing from Labour to the Conservatives of nearly 9%.

This time round the Tories will be determined to take the seat.

They need a swing of just 0.5% to do so, making Ashfield one of their top targets in the country.

It ranks at number six on a list of Labour seats most vulnerable to the Tories.

POLITICS Election Ashfield
POLITICS Election Ashfield

Labour has held the seat continuously since 1979 but the Conservatives believe their chances have been boosted by the decision of Gloria De Piero not to run again, meaning Labour is having to field a brand new candidate.

The Brexit Party is also contesting the seat, however, along with the Ashfield Independents (who came third in 2017).

The presence on the ballot of these other parties will make the outcome even more unpredictable.

The area covered by the local authority of Ashfield – not directly comparable with Ashfield constituency – voted 69.8% Leave in the 2016 EU referendum.

This was the 11th highest Leave vote in the UK.

No surprise, perhaps, that Nigel Farage picked Ashfield as the location for the Brexit Party’s official campaign launch.