Election battle gets underway as polling shows potential Lib Dem gains
PUBLISHED: 10:57 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:17 07 November 2019
General Election campaigns are now underway across north London as polling shows the Lib Dems could get shock wins in Hampstead and Kilburn and Finchley and Golders Green.
Polling for Best for Britain shows that as things stand, Matt Sanders' Liberal Democrats are set to win the seat from Tulip Siddiq. Meanwhile it puts the party almost on level pegging with Mike Freer's Conservatives taking tactical voting into account.
However polling expert Chris Prosser from the University of Manchester said that MRP, the model used by best for Britain to put the polling together, can vary in reliability.
It combines broad survey data and constituency level data to generate its polling figures. Best for Britain is using the model to recommend which is the best "tactical" vote to make for remain supporters, and has been criticised since its release.
Dr Prosser said: "MRP estimates can be every accurate - in 2017 the YouGov MRP model correctly predicted a hung parliament when all the polls were suggesting a Conservative majority.
"But MRP is not magic. Like all statistical models, it is only as good as the data that gets put into it and how the model is designed. In 2017 there was another MRP model - produced by Lord Ashcroft - which incorrectly predicted a Conservative majority."
According to Ladbrokes, Labour is still favourite to win in Hampstead and Kilburn and Hornsey and Wood Green, and the bookmaker also believes the Lib Dems are likely to win in Finchley and Golders Green.
Ms Swinson made her first visit to Finchley and Golders Green since the election was called on Wednesday when she went to the Head Room Cafe in Golders Green Road, a sign of how high up the party's target list the seat is.
Ms Berger also introduced Ms Swinson at the party's campaign launch on Tuesday.
Meanwhile Labour's Keir Starmer and Ross Houston were among the candidates to hold their campaign launches at the weekend as activists and candidates prepare for six weeks of electioneering.
Digital adverts by the Lib Dems' and Conservatives have already been spotted on social media, with Tory candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn Johnny Luk securing a number of high-profile backers for his budget election videos, including Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid.