Home » FACTBOX-UK election: Ten seats to watch as the results come in

FACTBOX-UK election: Ten seats to watch as the results come in

FACTBOX-UK election: Ten seats to watch as the results come in

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) – Opinion polls project Britain’s Labour Party is on course to return to government with a large majority in Thursday’s national election after 14 years in opposition.

Opinion polls project Britain's Labour Party is on course to return to government with a large majority in Thursday's national election after 14 years in opposition.(AP )
Opinion polls project Britain’s Labour Party is on course to return to government with a large majority in Thursday’s national election after 14 years in opposition.(AP )

Polls close at 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) and results are due to be announced in each of parliament’s 650 constituencies throughout the night.

Since the last UK general election was held in December 2019, new boundaries have been applied to the constituencies to reflect population changes, with some seats being abolished and replaced.

Below are ten seats to look out for which could provide clues as to how the rest of the night will unfold, in order of expected declaration time:

BASILDON AND BILLERICAY, RESULT EXPECTED 2315 GMT

This seat, being contested by Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden, has been comfortably won by the ruling Conservatives at every election since it was created in 2010.

Winning here would mean Labour overturning a majority of more than 20,000 votes and could be a sign of the size of the Labour landslide to come.

BROXBOURNE, RESULT EXPECTED 2315 GMT

This seat has been won by the Conservatives at every election since it was created in 1983. In 2019, they won it with a majority of just under 20,000 votes.

A Labour victory in Broxbourne would be a huge loss for the Conservatives and an early indication of the size of the possible national swing towards Labour leader Keir Starmer’s party.

SWINDON SOUTH, RESULT EXPECTED 2330 GMT

Swindon South is a bellwether seat, having elected a representative from the party which goes on to form the government at every election since 1983.

Conservative former justice minister Robert Buckland has been the member of parliament since 2010 and is defending a majority of 6,625.

This is the kind of seat Labour would win comfortably if it is going to achieve the large majority opinion polls have predicted.

CRAMLINGTON AND KILLINGWORTH, RESULT EXPECTED 2345 GMT

This newly formed constituency includes most of the former seat of Blyth Valley, which was the first seat in the previously Labour heartlands known as the “Red Wall” to be taken by the Conservatives in 2019.

The Conservatives overturned a 7,915 majority in the seat, which had been held by Labour since it was formed in 1950.

A win here for Labour could mark the beginning of the rebuilding of the wall.

HAMILTON AND CLYDE VALLEY, RESULT EXPECTED 0045 GMT

This is a newly created seat in Scotland but its predecessor, Lanark and Hamilton East, had been held by the Scottish National Party (SNP) since it won it from Labour in 2015.

At the last election in 2019, Labour came third behind the Conservatives here.

If Labour take this seat it could indicate the party has achieved the kind of swing away from the SNP it needs to regain many of the Scottish seats it lost in 2015, when Labour was all but wiped out in its former stronghold.

CANNOCK CHASE, RESULT EXPECTED 0100 GMT

Labour would have to achieve a huge swing to reclaim Cannock Chase, which it held from 1997-2010. The Conservatives won it with a majority of nearly 20,000 votes in 2019.

Modelling by opinion pollsters YouGov has projected a Labour win is likely here, an outcome which could signal the Conservatives are in for a very bad night.

This seat also voted 69% in favour of leaving the European Union at the 2016 referendum, so a win here could be a sign of a recovery in support for Labour in Brexit-backing areas.

CASTLE POINT, RESULT EXPECTED 0100 GMT

The incumbent, Conservative candidate Rebecca Harris, has represented the seat since 2010 and had a majority of more than 26,600 votes at the last election.

The area voted overwhelmingly in favour of leaving the EU in 2016 and the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party (UKIP) topped 30% of the vote at the 2015 election.

If Reform UK, led by Brexit campaigner and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, wins here it would be a strong indication of his party’s surge in support in leave supporting areas and bad news for Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives.

GODALMING AND ASH, RESULT EXPECTED 0230 GMT

This seat is being contested by finance minister Jeremy Hunt who has been the area’s Member of Parliament since 2005. Some polls have forecast he will lose it to the Liberal Democrats.

If Hunt is defeated his fate will symbolize a collapse in Conservative support in the affluent “home counties” around London that had been solid for more than a century.

Hunt has never seen his share of the vote in his constituency dip below 50%, but YouGov has predicted it will fall to 29%, with the Liberal Democrats on 46%.

WATFORD, RESULT EXPECTED 0300 GMT

This is considered a bellwether seat, having elected a lawmaker from the winning party at every British general election since 1974.

At the last election in 2019, the Conservatives won it with a majority of just over 4,400 votes.

CLACTON, RESULT EXPECTED 0300 GMT

Some polls have predicted Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, leader of the right-wing Reform UK party, will take Clacton, his eighth attempt to win a seat in parliament.

The seat, which the Conservatives won in 2019 with a majority of more than 24,700, voted for Farage’s earlier party, pro-Brexit UKIP, in 2015. (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Toby Chopra)