LBC presenter and well-connected political blogger Iain Dale has come up with constituency by constituency predictions for the general election, lots of which are in this weekend’s Independent on Sunday. His views on Hampstead and Kilburn are the most interesting for us, as he’s changed his mind about how he thinks the patch will swing.
You might think, he’s a Tory, he’s bound to say that, but if you look at how he has dealt with other constituencies, you can see a desire to be even-handed in his approach.
“Glenda Jackson is standing down,” Dale says. “Her successor candidate, Tulip Siddiq, faces a doughty campaigner in the Tory Simon Marcus but this seat will be determined by whoever wins the most former Lib Dem voters to their side. I’ve had a lot of new info on this seat and have changed it to a Tory gain.”
With Tulip leading Lord Ashcroft’s polls and a clear favourite with the bookmakers, sources of clues which Dale says he has consulted, what could this new info be?
The Tories locally, for their part, continue to hint that the mansion tax debate has flattened the scores in a place like Hampstead and Kilburn. “It’s made it 50/50 now,” one campaign source insists. I’m not sure Labour supporters agree.