A guest article by Jonah Kaplan
This is the most important yet unpredictable general election in a generation. The result of the election will determine our next PM, the future of Brexit, and the path our country has chosen to go down. Although all 650 constituencies will elect an individual MP to Parliament, these 20 individual key battlegrounds should determine the result of the election and reflect the will of the British people on December the 12th.
- Barrow & Furness (60.6% Leave)
Current MP is John Woodcock, Independent, a former Labour MP who is now endorsing the Conservatives and is not standing. This is a seat the Tories really have to win for a realistic chance at attaining a majority.
- Beaconsfield (50.7% Leave)
Current MP is Dominic Grieve, an Independent and passionate second referendum supporter who had the whip removed by Boris Johnson. A seat the Conservatives should hold but Lib Dems have stepped aside to give Grieve a better chance of winning.
- Bolsover (70.8% Leave)
Septuagenarian Dennis Skinner’s seat. Mr Skinner has held this seat since 1970 and is on the left wing Eurosceptic side of the Labour Party. Tories have traditionally never aimed to win this seat but hope Labour’s ambiguity on Brexit will allow them to achieve a great shock.
- Brecon and Radnorshire (51.9% Leave)
A Tory/Lib Dem marginal which Lib Dems won in a By-election earlier this year. This is one of the seats where the Remain alliance (Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, and Green Party) will be in play and the Tories will be desperate to win it back.
- Canterbury (54% Remain)
Currently a Labour seat that Tories must win if they are to get a majority.
- Cheltenham (56% Remain)
One of the Tory remain voting constituencies that they need to keep from the Lib Dems. Brexit Party’s withdrawal from this seat may play a result in the outcome.
- Cities of London and Westminster (72% Remain)
The Tory MP, Mark Field, is stepping down and the Lib Dems have put up a big name in Chuka Umanna, and are hoping to win this seat with the support of remain voters.
- Crewe and Nantwich (50.7% Leave)
A Tory/Labour marginal whose MP is Laura Smith, a rising Labour politician. Will demonstrate whether this election is a swing to the Tories or not.
- Esher and Walton (58.4% Remain)
The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab’s seat. Normally a safe Tory seat, but due to Raab’s Brexit credentials, Lib Dems sense a huge scalp here.
- Finchley and Golders Green (68.9% Remain)
Normally a Tory/Labour Marginal, with currently a Tory MP, Mike Freer. Faces opposition of Luciana Berger from the Lib Dems who will get a lot of support from voters here for her passionate opposition to anti-Semitism and Brexit.
- Glasgow East (56.2% Remain)
SNP beat Labour here by 40 votes and Labour will be desperate to win in order to demonstrate that it still has significant support in Scotland.
- Hartlepool (70% Leave)
Labour stronghold but one of the most leave voting areas in the country. Richard Tyce, chairman of the Brexit Party and one of the most high profile politicians of the party, is standing in this seat. A three way race between Labour, Tories, and Brexit Party, which is very unpredictable.
- Hastings & Rye (56% Leave)
Current MP is the former Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, who is stepping down. Tories won this seat by 300 seats and Labour sense they can win it this time.
- Kensington (68.9% Remain)
Labour famously won this seat from the Tories in 2017. The Lib Dem candidate is the well-known Sam Gyimah. Could be a very close three-way race.
- Newcastle-under-Lyme (61.6% Leave)
Been Labour for over 100 years but Tories came within 30 votes of winning it in 2017 and whether they can win in December will be representative of the ability of the Tories to consolidate the Leave supporting electorate.
- North East Fife (63.9% Remain)
The most marginal seat in the country with an SNP majority of two seats. Heavily coveted by both the Tories and Lib Dems.
- Peterborough (61.3% Leave)
A Tory/Labour marginal that Labour kept in a by-election this year. Tories hoping the leave electorate here will bring them victory.
- Southampton Itchen (60.3% Leave)
Tory MP with majority of 30 over Labour rival. One of the seats where the Brexit Party withdrawal may have a significant impact on the result.
- West Bromwich East (68.2% Leave)
Seat vacated by Tom Watson. A close Tory-Labour marginal where the independent candidate, George Galloway, may impede the Labour vote.
- Workington (61% Leave)
The constituency that might define this election. Mainstream media refer to the “Workington man”, a Northern older Brexit voter, as the sort of person the Tories are trying to win over this election. Traditionally this is a Labour stronghold but Tories will need to win this to show that their strategy has succeeded.
Jonah Kaplan is studying for an MA in International Studies at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center specialising in International Politics