Parties gear up for Gainsborough constituency General Election battle

General Election set for December 12
General Election set for December 12

Candidates from rival parties are ready to challenge Conservative dominance in the Gainsborough constituency next month - but they will have to topple one of the safest Tory seats in the country.

All the main parties are expected to field candidates against sitting MP Sir Edward Leigh, who will be defending a majority of more than 
17,000 from the last general election in 2017.

Many reports are suggesting Sir Edward’s seat - which he has held since 
1983 - will be among the dozen or so Tory ‘certainties’ when the county goes to the polls on December 12.

It is almost certain Brexit will be a major focus in the election.

Sir Edward has been a staunch Eurosceptic for many years, and he has been a consistent backbench 
voice in favour of Brexit.

The constituency voted by more than 60 % to leave the European Union in the June 2016 referendum.

However, with the threat of a possible Brexit Party challenge in his constituency - 
which could potentially attract attention from Brexit supporters - Sir Edward will be taking nothing for granted.

The Brexit Party candidate will be Pat O’Connor, from Gainsborough - a well known former county councillor who stood for the Lib Dems in the general election back in 2010, where he came second with 28 per cent of the vote.

The Liberal Democrat candidate this time around will be Lesley Rollings, from Gainsborough, who represented the party in our constituency at the last two general elections in 2015 and 2017, rising from fourth place to third place respectively.

With a Liberal Democrat resurgence in the national polls recently - having established themselves as the mainstream anti-Brexit party, it remains to be seen whether they will see their vote share rise in our area.

Another pro-EU party, Renew - which supports a second referendum - has selected Steven Maxson as their prospective candidate.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party saw their vote share increase by more than 4,000 in the last general election - and, in these volatile times, it is uncertain whether Labour can capitalise on this at next month’s election and pose any meaningful threat 
to Sir Edward’s majority.

Labour are expected to announce their candidate later this week.

• The Gainsborough 
constituency includes Market Rasen, Caistor and Wragby, and various 
rural communities around 
West Lindsey. It also includes a number of villages and rural communities of the Wragby ward of East Lindsey District.

Share of the vote last time round:

Conservative MP Sir Edward Leigh held the Gainsborough constituency in the last general election, held in June 2017.

SIR EDWARD LEIGH (CONS)

31,790 votes (61.8%)
Catherine Tite (Labour)

14,767 votes (28.7%)

Lesley Rollings (Lib Dems)

3,630 votes (7.1%)

Victoria Pearson (Greens)

1,238 votes (2.4%)

Total turnout:
51,575 votes (67.96%).