In a recent communication to its members, the Labour party has announced it will not seriously contest the constituency of Harpenden & Berkhamsted at the next election.
The Labour party called the constituency a “non battleground seat”, as they began to select their election candidate.
At the last General Election, the Liberal Democrats finished a strong second in Harpenden to the Conservatives. The news from Labour confirms that the new seat of Harpenden & Berkhamsted will again be a fight between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative party. The Liberal Democrats also hold all the Borough and County Councillors in Berkhamsted and Tring, Tring is also part of the new Westminster seat.
The trend from local elections appears to support this too. The past fortnight alone has seen voters overwhelmingly reject Conservative by-election candidates and electing Liberal Democrat councillors. In Harpenden Rural, Dr Allison Wren overturned a large Conservative majority to win the county council seat for the Lib Dems with 58% of the vote, while the Lib Dems also held the district council seat of Sandridge & Wheathampstead, with Simon Johns winning 56% of the votes.
Victoria Collins, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Harpenden & Berkhamsted, said:
“Labour’s announcement confirms what we already knew: this constituency will be a two horse race between the Liberal Democrats and a desperately out-of-touch Conservative party.
“With our local health services at breaking point, local rivers being destroyed by sewage and many finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, people are saying loud and clear it's time for change.
“Labour has bowed to the inevitable and admitted they cannot win here. The Liberal Democrats are on a winning streak here in Hertfordshire, as people send this government a clear message.
“As we’ve seen again over the last few days, the Conservative party is too busy fighting among themselves to govern this country. They’re taking people here for granted and failing to deliver for our communities.
“Enough is enough. It’s time we had a local champion who can deliver the change we so desperately need here in Harpenden & Berkhamsted.”