A poll released this week by Electoral Calculus, which specialises in election data and predictions, suggests that the Conservatives will narrowly hold Woking in the next general election.

The Liberal Democrats will again take second, but in a closely fought contest, with a notably stronger showing from Labour.

“This reflects the demographics of the seat, and also the fact that the Lib Dems were the challenger to the Conservatives in 2019,” said Martin Baxter, the founder and chief executive of Electoral Calculus.

The returns from the 2019 election show Jonathan Lord (Conservative) holding the seat with 26,396 votes, a majority of 9,767 over Will Forster (Lib Dem, 16,629), Gerry Mitchell (Labour, 8,827), Ella Walding (Green Party, 1,485) and Troy de Leon (UKIP, 600). The electorate was 75,424 with a turnout of 71.5 per cent.

Electoral Calculus predicts Mr Lord polling 15.275 votes this time, with Mr Forster on 14,020, both candidates standing again, with Labour, who the News & Mail understands will name their candidate shortly, up to 11,513. The Reform Party, which effectively replaces UKIP, are on 3,704 with the Green Party at 2,340. “Others” account for 111 votes. 

However, it is worth noting that the total vote from the 2019 election is some 7,000 votes higher than that applied in the poll, so the poll will in parts return lower comparative figures.

The relative percentages do, though, show a sharp drop in the Conservative vote (48.9 per cent of the vote in 2019 to 32.5 per cent in the poll) and a surge in the Labour vote (16.4 per cent in 2019 to 24.5 per cent in the poll). The Lib Dem vote is stable at 30.8 per cent in 2019 and 29.9 per cent in the poll.

Even the poll itself has shifted: a previous poll had Labour taking Woking with 30.2 per cent of the vote, edging out the Conservatives (28.4 per cent) with the Lib Dems on 24.1 per cent.

Reflecting on the poll, Sean O’Malley, secretary of Woking Labour Party, said: “As we know, polls give an indication of how voters wish to vote now, not on how they may vote on election day. What they do tell us is that families, residents and businesses are crying out for meaningful change.

“The poll showing Labour ahead in Woking is important because it counters the negative and misleading campaigning put out by the local Liberal Democrats.

“Our leaflets and campaign material will always say who we are and why we are standing. We will not hide behind pretend newspapers or fake gazettes. We believe doing so devalues genuine journalism and disrespects Woking’s voters.

“The changes in this week’s poll from Electoral Calculus shows how volatile they can be, often local issues are not picked up. Residents’ increasing anger over the debt crisis and cuts to public services may give very different figures if a poll were carried out here today.

“Woking’s citizens have been let down badly by the disastrous investments that have landed the council and Woking’s residents with the monstrous debt. These investments were passed and run by the Conservative administration with support from Liberal Democrat councillors. 

“Labour came second in Woking in the 2015 and 2017 elections, but poor results in 2019 taught us that we had to change, and we have. 

“Should voters choose Labour, we know we have a mission to serve; to roll our sleeves up, bring back civic pride and work to get Britain’s future back.”