Seats To Take In 2020 - Bridgend

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This is the first in the series of constituencies CWF is already flagging up as ones the Conservatives could target in 2020. The Government have a very slender majority and obviously need to increase it. The sooner the seats are identified the more campaigning can be done to take them. We start with the Welsh seat of Bridgend. I hope you're reading this Prime Minister ...

Just above the Vale of Glamorgan is the urban and seaside seat of Bridgend. This seat has only ever been Conservative in 1983. A time when almost every seat was blue. So no great Conservative history to base this article on ...

But the Conservatives have been wearing down the majority of this seat since 2001. The gap between Labour and the Conservatives in this once 'safe Labour seat' is now only 1,927 votes. Bear in mind this constituency wasn't even a 40:40 seat in 2015 ...

Meirion Jenkins, the 2015 Conservative candidate for Bridgend, told me "There is a traditional Labour vote which has moved from the Valleys. But many people I spoke to said 'my grandfather may turn in his grave' but they were thinking of voting Conservative."

The Bridgend area is up and coming in South Wales. The relatively small changes in living standards under the Coalition had their maximum effect on the type of voters in the seat. Just imagine what a full fat Conservative government can do to improve living standards. If this seat was in England it would be analogous to Watford or Basildon. Sadly the strong tribal Labour vote of South Wales means it is not blue yet ...

But obviously a seat is not won on favourable demographic changes alone. Meirion and his campaign team were constantly and memorably visible in local media. They had the genius idea to splash all over the newspapers how he broke his leg yet was continuing to campaign. This stuck in people's minds the efforts he would go to canvass on crutches. A hardworking campaigner will be seen as a hardworking MP ...

Even good candidates would probably not think of putting this story in the paper. As an added bonus this story then kindled good relations with the local paper so that the Conservatives then got a good crack of the whip. This shows how important it is for a candidate to be in the local papers all the time ...

When asked whether this seat could do a Gower, Meirion answered "unquestionably. We have won two council seats in that area since the general election. The people of the South Wales consider their votes much more now." If the Conservatives can win Gower, a seat they have never held before 2015, there is a good chance they can take Bridgend ...

Elliott Johnson is the Political Editor of Conservative Way Forward.

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