An Uphill Battle for Quince?

By George Ware

With the sudden snap election announcement from Theresa May, many Labour seats have been thrown in to question. However, one aspect not considered by most is the potential of Conservative MP’s losing their seats. While the probability of a total Conservative landslide in the election is high and seemingly increasing every second Jeremy Corbyn is in charge, there are bound to be some casualties of this Conservative confidence. However, is Will Quince, the conservative MP for Colchester, one of those MP’s that could potentially lose their seat.

According to some anonymous contacts, there will be some local concentration on Will Quince’s constituency this election. While the MP’s surrounding the 34 year old MP’s Colchester constituency seemingly safe, Bernard Jenkin’s 15,174 (31.3%) vote majority springs to mind, Quince only acquired his seat in the 2015 election. Securing the seat from the Liberal Democrat stalwart Sir Bob Russell, Will Quince only holds a 5,575 (11.5%) majority. Given the fact that Russell, 71, has announced his intentions to stand in Colchester and that the EU Referendum has left the nation polarized with a potential Lib Dem resurgence, there are some that are concerned for the safety of Quince’s position in parliament.

One of the key talking points of this election is the EU Referendum. Already labeled as the “Brexit Election” by some, it’s clear to see that the result of the referendum is going to have an effect on the result of the election. Quince supported leave in the referendum as did his constituency by 53.6% and if the allegiances to remain and leave are as simple and tribal as some would have you believe then Quince is going to get 53.6% of the vote but that’s probably not going to be the case. While in the last election Quince received 38.9% of the vote, it’s hard to predict whether his vote share will increase or fall. While Quince has done some solid work like guaranteeing a further £1Million worth of NHS A&E funding in Colchester, there are likely to be some who would feel prepared to return to Sir Bob Russell who held the seat since is creation in May 1997.

However, despite Sir Bob Russell’s previous popularity, I do think that it will be Will Quince that comes out on top. Quince holds a seat in what is considered to be a Conservative stronghold in the UK. It is unlikely that the Conservative party would be willing to see a newly acquired seat in their territory fall to the Liberal Democrats. That would be make the Conservatives look week in the face of an election that was partly called to demonstrate Conservative dominance. It’s likely that the Conservatives would pool resources from the surrounding safe seats to ensure that Quince retains. Combine the resources, Brexit support, and general support for the Conservative party and I see Will Quince retaining his seat in parliament.

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