JUNE POLL: For sitting MPs Steve and Lucy its likely to be a walk in the park - but could Julian win back Cambridge from Daniel? And what of Peter?
- Credit: Archant
Should both decide to stand again – and there’s no indication to suggest otherwise- both Steve Barclay in NE Cambs and Lucy Frazer in SE Cambs will be returned with significant majorities after June’s snap election.
Mr Barclay, who won 55 per cent of the share of the vote in 2013 and secured a majority of 16,875 over UKIP, said: “This General Election is a clear choice between the strong leadership of Theresa May and a weak coalition under Jeremy Corbyn.
“ It is clear that the Government’s small majority is insufficient to deliver the necessary changes to make Brexit a success, because the opposition parties are not acting in the national interest and are intent on causing uncertainty.
“We therefore need a fresh mandate to continue to build a strong economy whilst also negotiating the right approach with our EU partners.”
However that’s not to say the Conservatives will have it all their own way in Cambridgeshire with Julian Huppert, the former Lib Dem MP for Cambridge, delighted with the prospect of a possible early return to Parliament.
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Mr Huppert’s 2015 defeat was by a relatively narrow margin, losing by 599 votes to Labour’s Daniel Zeichner in a constituency where they shared 71 per cent of the vote; Patrick O’Flynn for UKIP polled just 5.2 per cent of the total vote.
“Delighted & honoured to be reselected unanimously by Cambridge Lib Dems to re stand for Parliament,” Mr Huppert tweeted. “So much to do for our city and our country”.
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Lucy Nethsingha was the Lib Dem candidate in 2015 in NE Cambs (she polled 4.5 per cent of the votes, securing fourth place) but in 2017 she will be switching to SE Cambs.
“I am delighted that Teresa May has called a General Election, as it will give the opportunity for people to vote on her government’s record,” she said.
“So far she has pushed for a damaging hard Brexit which no-one voted for, and has starved our schools and hospitals of money.
“This winter is the worst the NHS has seen, with record numbers of people stuck in hospital because of lack of social care.
“This government is leading the country in the wrong direction, and we need to send a message to the Conservatives that they can’t take people for granted.”
Ms Nethsingha has moved across to a more Europe favoured constituency – in NE Cambs 71.4 per cent voted to leave and in SE Cambs just 50.9 per cent voted for the departure zone. Ms Frazer, the MP, is a firm remainer. In 2015 Lib Dems came second with 20.2 per cent of the vote – Ms Frazer won 48.5 per cent and a clear 16,600 majority.
MEP Vicky Ford was confident a Tory stranglehold would remain across East Anglia, citing as evidence her criss crossing Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk supporting her party’s candidates in local elections.
“I have been in areas that have previously seen a strong vote for Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP,” she said.
“On the doorsteps there is massive support from voters for Theresa May. A General Election result with a significant majority will allow her to lead with increased certainty. This will strengthen her negotiation position in the important discussions ahead and deliver the best outcomes for the UK.”
UKIP’s local government spokesman Peter Reeve didn’t seem too disappointed by the election announcement. In 2015 he stood for Parliament in NW Cambs, polling a respectable 12,275 votes to earn him second place with Shailesh Vara for the Conservatives winning the seat with a near 20,000 majority.
A June election was “brilliant news” said Mr Reeve suggesting it would be “a great opportunity to get some REAL believers in Brexit into the Commons to negotiate properly”. Whether he was offering a commentary on increasing the number of hard line Tory MPs or suggesting possibilities for his own party was not specified in his 140 character tweet.
Ms Frazer said: “I am honoured to be your MP and I want to have the opportunity to continue to fight for you and our area. On June 8 there is a choice about who leads our country. I want a strong Prime Minister who will get the best deal for us in the EU”.