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Seats visited by party leaders on day 29: Key election data

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey visited Whinfell Quarry Gardens in Sheffield on Thursday, while on the General Election campaign trail (Danny Lawson/PA)
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey visited Whinfell Quarry Gardens in Sheffield on Thursday, while on the General Election campaign trail (Danny Lawson/PA)

The Labour and Lib Dem leaders both visited seats in Yorkshire on Thursday, ahead of their appearance in the evening on BBC1’s Question Time in York, while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak chose to stay off the campaign trail.

Sir Ed Davey went to what is plausibly the only constituency in the country the Liberal Democrats might gain from Labour on polling day: Sheffield Hallam.

It is a seat with a notable Lib Dem history, having been held by the party’s former leader, Sir Nick Clegg, from 2005 up to 2017, when he was beaten by Labour.

POLITICS Election Visits
(PA Graphics)

The 2019 general election saw a three-way tussle for Sheffield Hallam between Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, with Labour scoring a narrow win and the Lib Dems finishing close behind in second place.

At this election, the constituency is ranked fourth on the Lib Dems’ national target list, with Labour defending a majority of just 1,108.

A direct swing in the share of the vote from Labour to the Lib Dems of just one percentage point would see the seat change hands – though the outcome could also be influenced by the sheer number of candidates that are standing, with the Conservatives, Greens, Workers Party, Rejoin EU and the SDP also on the ballot paper.

A map showing Conservative-held seats visited by Sir Ed Davey during the election campaign
Conservative-held seats visited by Sir Ed Davey during the election campaign (PA Graphics)

Sir Ed has visited 32 seats since the start of the campaign, 28 of which are being defended by the Conservatives.

The other four are the safe Labour seat of Hackney South & Shoreditch, where he launched the Lib Dem manifesto; Sheffield Hallam, which he visited on Thursday; Cowdenbeath & Kirkcaldy in Scotland, won by the SNP in 2019 and more plausibly a Labour target at this election; and the safe Lib Dem seat of Bath.

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer spent Thursday morning in York Outer: the only constituency in the country with the word “outer” in its name, and which always appears last on any alphabetical list of UK parliamentary seats.

A profile of York Outer constituency
A profile of York Outer constituency (PA Graphics)

York Outer has been in existence as a constituency since 2010 and has been won by the Conservatives at every general election up to and including 2019, with the party defending a notional majority at this election of 10,782.

It would take swing of 9.9 percentage points for the seat to change hands, ranking it at number 106 on Labour’s target list.

Sir Keir has now visited 35 seats in the course of the campaign, 26 of which are being defended by the Tories.

He has also held events in six Labour seats, two SNP seats in Scotland, and Brighton Pavilion in East Sussex which is being defended by the Greens.

A map showing Conservative-held seats visited by Sir Keir Starmer during the election campaign
Conservative-held seats visited by Sir Keir Starmer during the election campaign (PA Graphics)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has visited 38 constituencies since the campaign began, of which 34 are Conservative defences.

He has visited only two Labour seat so far: Blyth & Ashington, a new constituency at this election, but one which would have had a notional Labour majority in 2019 of 6,118; and Cambridge.

The other two seats in which he has held campaign events are Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross (won by the SNP in 2019) and Belfast East (won by the DUP).