General Election London: Lib Dems in fierce battles against Tories for three marginal seats

Sir Ed Davey’s Liberal Democrats are targeting three marginal seats to rebuild their south west London stronghold.

The Liberal Democrat leader, who was launching his manifesto on Monday with a “fair deal for renters” pledge, has already visited Wimbledon which if they seizes it from the Tories would be one of their flagship wins on July 4.

But Rishi Sunak has also headed to the home of tennis constituency, so it looks like it could be a nail-biting match between the two parties.

Conservative Stephen Hammond held it at the 2019 general election with a majority of just 628 but has stood down as the local MP.

Boundary changes have benefited the Lib-Dems and their candidate Paul Kohler appears best placed to challenge Tory Danielle Dunfield-Prayero, with Labour’s Eleanor Stringer also in the race.

Conservative MPs have represented the constituency since 1885, apart from five years after the Second World War, and from 1997–2005 during the Tony Blair landslide years when it was Labour.

The Lib Dems are also targeting Carshalton and Wallington, which is being defended by Conservative Elliot Colburn.

He won the seat five years ago with a majority of just 629 so it is high up on the Lib Dems’ target list.

They are less hopeful of winning neighbouring Sutton and Cheam but could do so on a good night for them and a grim one for the Tories.

Former London minister Paul Scully was the sitting Tory MP but he has stood down following the controversy over the Conservatives picking their mayoral candidate, which saw him not making the shortlist and the chosen candidate being Susan Hall.

His majority in 2019 was 8,351 in this area of London, one of the few in the capital which was more pro-Leave than Remain in the Brexit 2016 referendum.

The Lib Dems are also defending three seats in London, Sir Ed’s Kingston and Surbiton constituency, Richmond Park and Twickenham which they are expected to hold.

They are also targeting a number of seats in London’s commuter belt, including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in Godalming and Ash.

They hope to oust him in a “Portillo moment” on July 5.

But he has vowed that the Conservatives will defend the so-called Blue Wall in southern England “brick by brick”.

Another huge victory for the Lib-Dems would be winning Esher and Walton, a hugely wealthy constituency on the edge of London which was previously represented by ex-Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

He has stood down and the seat is being heavily targeted by the Lib-Dems but it is far from clear that they will win in what was previously a solid Tory constituency.

Sir Ed has spent the first part of the election campaign doing a series of stunts to try to get the Lib-Dems publicity as they often struggle to get on the media as the third or fourth party of British politics.