SUSSEX DECIDES: Labour targets 10,000 Chichester votes

Mark Farwell

Mark Farwell

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AS VOTES are rapidly counted in the Chichester constituency, Labour candidate Mark Farwell is hoping for a second-place finish.

Many would see finishing second as a defeat but in this Tory stronghold, a win for Labour would mark its best finish since 1970 – the last time it did not finish third behind the Liberal Democrats.

“We set a target for ourselves of 10,000 votes or more,” he said.

He said standing as the MP candidate had been ‘a thrill’.

“I think everybody should at least do it once in their life and it’s even more of a thrill when you’re running in a constituency where it’s an uphill struggle and you’re not within touching distance of the Conservatives,” he said this morning (May 8).

He said the thrill came from visiting places that were Tory strongholds and winning a few votes there and changing people’s perceptions.

He compared the 2015 general election with the 1992 election, which saw the Tories retain power despite predictions of a possible Labour win.

“All of the opinion polls leading up to the election had Labour and Tories almost in a dead heat,” he said.

“It subsequently turned out that 20 per cent of the electorate made their mind up on the day or when they were just about to walk into the polling booth.”

He felt with the added factors of UKIP and people turning to Labour and the Greens from the Liberal Democrats this could also have a bearing on the outcome this year.

Go to a live blog to see how the election raise is unfolding across Sussex.