General election 2017: The seats to watch

We run through the UK's hottest bellwether seats that could swing the polls

Theresa May general election
Britain's Prime Minister, and leader of the Conservative party, Theresa May, delivers a general election campaign speech in Wolverhampton on May 30, 2017
(Image credit: Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images)

With just a week to go until the general election, a Conservative landslide is looking decidedly unlikely.

On Wednesday YouGov put the Conservatives on 42 percent and Labour on 39: the three-point gap is the narrowest between the two main parties so far during the campaign, the BBC reports.

This makes the UK's battleground seats all the more important, as the Brexit results force the parties to replan their forecasts.

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The Daily Telegraph points out that there are 58 Labour seats that voted to leave the European Union and therefore could be in play for the Conservatives, who are tilting towards a "hard" Brexit. The Tories currently hold 330 seats to Labour's 229.

But that could swing the other way. Conservative constituencies such as Twickenham, which voted by two-thirds to Remain, could be open to challenges by Labour or the Lib Dems. And then there are the blue seats that could fall if the progressive parties band together.

With that in mind, here are 10 of the most hotly-contested seats, with details of their current MPs' majorities and the estimated time they will declare results after polling stations close on June 8.


Sitting MP: Byron Davies

Party: Conservative

Majority: 27 (0.1%)

Declaration time: 03:00

Gower, in Wales, is the tightest seat in the UK, with a majority of 27 – yes, 27 – votes for the Conservatives, who won it in 2015 in a knife wound to Labour's industrial heartlands. Until then Jeremy Corbyn's party had held it for over 100 years. Labour will be fervently hoping it was a blip. If they do take it back, the Conservatives will want to see Bridgend fall to them by way of compensation, according to Sky News.


Sitting MP: Holly Lynch

Party: Labour

Majority: 428 (1%)

Declaration time: 05:30

Halifax is sure to make Labour nervous. While it currently holds the constituency, it's the party's smallest majority in a Leave-voting seat, with just 428 votes. Halifax voted to leave the EU by 60 per cent to 40 per cent, while Ukip picked up a 12.8 percent share of ballots in 2015. If the Conservatives can swipe those voters then they will ride to victory. It's just one of several northern Labour constituencies that the Tories are eyeing: pro-Brexit Newcastle-under-Lyme, Derbyshire North East and Walsall North all have small Labour majorities.


Sitting MP: Mary Creagh

Party: Labour

Majority: 2,613 (6.1%)

Declaration time: 05:00

Another Leave-voting Labour constituency with a slim majority. The former coal mining and textile region has historically been a very safe Labour seat – the party has held it since 1932. Yet in 2015 Labour only just kept hold of its seat, with a majority of 6.1%, following concerted targeting by the Tories. Theresa May will be hoping to paint it blue this time round. The Telegraph points out that its MP, Mary Creagh, abstained in the parliamentary vote to trigger Article 50 – which could leave her open to Brexiteers.


Sitting MP: Tania Mathias

Party: Conservative

Majority: 2,017 (3.3%)

Declaration time: 04:00

The Tories swiped this constituency from Vince Cable in 2015, taking their revenge for his capture of the traditionally safe Tory seat in 1997. The Lib Dems held it until 2015 when they suffered a loss of 16.4 percent in their voting share, one of their highest-profile defeats in an election and crushing for the party. Still, some two-thirds of Twickenham voted Remain and, given the Conservatives' slim majority of 3.3 percent, as such the Lib Dems are hoping to get it back.


Sitting MP: Gareth Johnson

Party: Conservative

Majority: 12,345 (23.6%)

Declaration time: 04:00

It's the oldest bellwether in the country, having predicted the last 14 general elections in a row. "No constituency which has survived under the same name comes close to Dartford's record in predicting the overall outcome of general elections," the Daily Mirror says. Given the seat is currently classified as safely Conservative by, that may well be a bad sign for Labour's hopes of victory, particularly as it's in true blue Kent.

"Only when Tony Blair positioned himself only marginally left of centre has the county ever remotely looked at jumping into bed with someone not wearing a blue rosette as night attire," Kent News says. Still, within the seat are strong Labour areas like the Tree and Temple Hill housing estates.

Croydon Central

Sitting MP: Gavin Barwell

Party: Conservative

Majority: 165 (0.3%)

Declaration time: 03:00

Croydon Central is currently held by housing minister Gavin Barwell, who narrowly retained it for the Conservatives in the party's smallest majority in London ( has labelled it as an "ultra marginal" Tory seat). According to The Independent, the campaign group Progressive Alliance has calculated the seat could fall if left-wing parties cooperate.

That said, an alliance is not looking too likely. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said in April he would do "no deal with anybody", while Corbyn has already ruled out any agreement with the SNP.


Sitting MP: Madeleine Moon

Party: Labour

Majority: 1,927 (4.9%)

Declaration time: 04:00

With most of England painted blue, the Tories are turning their eyes to Wales, which voted to leave the EU. The Conservatives are hoping to make advances here to boost their Brexit mandate, and Bridgend "tops the target list", according to Sky News. It's long been a Labour stronghold, with the party accustomed to winning over half the vote. But now a swing of just 1,000 voters from Labour to Conservative would tip the balance.

Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East

Sitting MP: Tracy Harvey (replacing Tom Blenkinsop)

Party: Labour

Majority: 2,268 (5%)

Declaration time: 03:00

Another Tory target: Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East backed Brexit and almost 7,000 voters plumped for Ukip in the last election. The Conservatives are hoping people will trust them to deliver the EU departure they voted for. Labour have a majority of just 5 per cent, which will leave them feeling far from comfortable.

Derby North

Sitting MP: Amanda Solloway

Party: Conservative

Majority: 41 (0.1%)

Declaration time: 03:00

A seat with a super-slim majority for the Conservatives, Derby North has a habit of producing nail-biting results. In 2010 boundary changes were made to the constituency that turned out to be favourable to Labour. Still, the Tories took it in 2015 and, given it also voted Leave, the party will be hoping to convince this manufacturing city's wealthier suburbs to vote blue.


Sitting MP: Chris Matheson

Party: Labour

Majority: 93 (0.2%)

Declaration time: 02:30

The City of Chester was regained by Labour from the Conservatives in 2015 by just 93 votes, one of 22 seats the party won. One of the country's most marginal constituencies, it has flip-flopped between the two parties over the years. Who will win the historic market town this time round is anyone's guess. Ukip did well in the 2013 local elections but were virtually wiped out earlier this year.

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