Tories’ election ‘targets’ include new Croydon East seat

Labour’s Sarah Jones, a Croydon MP since 2017, might have a tough battle on her hands come the General Election, after her constituency was seen on a no-longer-secret list of Conservative Party target seats.

Paperwork: the Tory spreadsheet seen outside Downing Street, listing the party’s election targets

It was a day of comings-and-goings on Downing Street yesterday, with the Sunaks having some furniture delivered to No10.

But as well as covering the delivery crew, one enterprising news photographer managed to grab an image of a Tory flunkey carrying what appears to be a spreadsheet of the Conservatives’ election plans.

Croydon Central, which Jones won from Tory Gavin Barwell in 2017 and where she improved her majority in 2019, has always been a Lab-Tory swing seat. But changes recommended by the Boundary Commissioners, who are rebranding the constituency as Croydon East, seem likely to make Jones’s seat even more marginal.

After several bruising years at Westminster, there’s a growing band of disillusioned Conservative MPs who have already declared that they will stand down at the next General Election, which has to be held before the end of 2024.

The paperwork on display outside Rishi Sunak’s temporary gaffe yesterday appeared to be a working document listing the vacated seats, and those Labour-held seats that the Conservatives think they have a sniff of a chance of winning.

That may be only an outside chance, however.

The latest opinion polls, conducted over the weekend, have Labour ahead of the Conservatives by 21 percentage points, 48per cent to 27per cent.

If that sort of result was replicated in a General Election, Labour would win a landslide 497 seats, while the Tories would be reduced to just 70 seats, completely wiped out in Wales and with just one seat in Scotland.

On those kind of numbers, the Tories would also be wiped out in Croydon, too, with Chris Philp losing his hitherto rock-solid Croydon South seat to a 7,000 Labour majority.

In close up: Croydon East appears to be 65th or 66th on the Tory ‘attack’ list

But as was demonstrated in last year’s local elections, Croydon since Tony Newman and his numpties bankrupted the borough, may not comply with national, or even London, voting trends.

Election planning tends to seek to direct campaign resources towards those seats that are more “winnable”, so scoping out priorities at this stage in the run-up to an election (and with polling figures such as this week’s, Sunak and the Tories won’t be going to the country any time soon) is a fundamental task.

Among the other Tory targets revealed on the list are Doncaster Central, Wolverhampton South East, Hull East, Gower and Swansea West, Alyn and Deesside, Torfaen, Coventry East and the LibDem-held Richmond Park.

The Tories’ seats list showed Croydon East as an “attack” target, though only categorised as a category “5”, at 65th or 66th (the list is unclear) on the Conservative priorities.

So not much of a priority at all.

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4 Responses to Tories’ election ‘targets’ include new Croydon East seat

  1. Sarah Bird says:

    My understanding is that Croydon south, Chris Philp’s, comfortable seat, is one of the seats that the Labour party are seeking to target.. All of the local MP ‘s and Councillors actions or non actions should be remembered the ballot box , how they voted and acted . The 15% council tax hike being one of the points. A complete change is required as it is needed at the council offices forthwith..

  2. Andrew Pelling says:

    Nice Mont Blanc fountain pen, likely the version that retails at £570.

  3. Peter Underwood says:

    The most recent Council election in this seat was in Selsdon Vale and Forestdale. Both the Conservatives and Labour lost votes with the Greens gaining votes to finish second. From my conversations with voters during that election it was clear that lots of them are fed up with both of the old parties and are looking for a fresh Green start.

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