I went along to the home of Noel Rippeth, Gateshead Lib Dem group leader and agent for Blaydon, for a war council meeting to finalise details for the last few days of the campaign here. Noel showed me today's Sunday Times which was reporting on Blaydon. They describe the constituency as "the Lib Dems' best chance of a gain in the Tyneside conurbation." The newspaper highlights our good performance in local elections in Blaydon.
To win Blaydon, we need a 7% swing. Labour's majority was 5500 last time so it will be a challenge to win here. It is not out of the bounds of probability however that it can be done. The recent YouGov poll in the North East showing a 13% swing from Labour to Lib Dem may be a straw in the wind but the Evening Chronicle prediction on 28th April (based on the YouGov poll) that the Lib Dems could win Blaydon is useful - it also formed the headline in much of our weekend literature.
So, the battle for Blaydon is wide open. Whoever wins, the result will be very close.
Sent via BlackBerry