East Devon is set for one of the biggest upsets in General Election history.
Claire Wright, an independent candidate, is predicted to win the seat from the Conservative incumbent Sir Hugo Swire who has been the constituency’s MP since 2001. East Devon is a Conservative stronghold having never had an MP from any other party since its inception in 1997.
Victory for Wright this year would be even more remarkable considering she lost the 2015 election to Swire by 12,261 votes.
Wright, who was born in Devon and has lived there ever since, said to Devonlive.com: “I would love to have the chance to be MP for East Devon… I want to take the voices of the people straight to Westminster. As an independent MP I won’t have to follow a ‘whip’ but I’ll be free to follow my conscience and that of my fellow Devonians.”
A spokesman for Wright explained her success by saying she was able to connect with local people on a level the other politicians couldn’t.
“Claire has captured the mood of the moment – as the polls narrow nationally and the debate centres on health, education and elderly care Claire is here with a track record of working for people in local government, rather than relying on sound bites and hiding from the people as Prime Minister Theresa May has done.”
Despite Wright’s clear advantage in the polls, bookmakers betfair.com still make Swire the 1/14 favourite to retain his seat. However, Wright’s odds have shortened to 5/1 after winning the endorsement of the Green Party and the tactical voting site tactical2017.com.