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Eddisbury seat is Stephen O’Brien’s to lose

THE battle lines have been drawn across Eddisbury with just four candidates calling for your vote.

THE battle lines have been drawn across Eddisbury with just four candidates calling for your vote.

But nobody seems able to mount a serious challenge to Conservative candidate Stephen O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien, who lives in Haughton, near Nantwich, has held the Eddisbury seat for more than a decade and if the Tories are elected, he is in line to take charge of the NHS as Secretary of State for Health.

At the last General Election, Mr O’Brien claimed about 6,000 votes more than his nearest rival.

Labour candidate Pat Merrick will need to make inroads into the large developing town of Winsford in order to make up any ground.

The Liberal Democrats have always commanded reasonable levels of support in Eddisbury but never enough to trouble the two front runners.

Former Chester city councillor Bob Thompson will hope to pick up extra votes from those who have lost confidence in the two major parties.

UKIP’s Charles Dodman, who defected from the Tories after becoming dissatisfied with the party’s leadership, is the rank outsider in the race for Parliament.

Eddisbury includes: Acton, Audlem, Barrow, Bradfield Green, Bunbury, Cuddington, Davenham, Farndon, Kelsall, Malpas, Mara, Minshull, Moulton, Oakmere, Oulton, Peckforton, Reaseheath, Tarporley, Tarvin, Tattenhall, Tilston, Waverton, Worleston, Winsford and Wrenbury.

Since it was re-established in 1983, the rural sprawl of Eddisbury has had just two MPs – Alastair Goodlad and the incumbent, shadow health minister Stephen O’Brien.

For there to be a third name on that list on May 6 would require an unrealistic swing of 7.5% to Labour (which would give them an overall majority of 162, close to the result of the 1997 landslide) or 14.5% to the Lib Dems (which would reduce the Conservatives to 64 seats at Westminster).

This may be the closest General Election in recent memory, but anything other than a comfortable Tory win in Eddisbury would be a huge upset.

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