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The most anti-government constituency in Britain

Michael Crick | 14:39 UK time, Wednesday, 5 May 2010

This afternoon David Cameron was in Newtown in Montgomeryshire, the seat held by the Lib Dem maverick Lembit Opik.

It means David Cameron can say he's visited all four parts of the UK in the last 36 hours. Has any party leader ever done that before in a campaign?

But Montgomeryshire is a pretty ambitious target. If the Conservatives took this seat they would be home dry, but this historic seat must be the most anti-government constituency in the whole of Britain.

Montgomeryshire has only once voted for the government party in the last 130 years - in 1979 when it went Conservative for one parliament. For most of the last century it has been Liberal or Lib Dem.

David Cameron coud have faced a rather embarrassing opponent in Montgomeryshire. In 1996 when its previous Lib Dem MP, Alex Carlile, announced he was stepping down, the local Liberal Democrats approached a young woman called Ffion Jenkins whose family were staunch and well-known Welsh Liberals. Was she interested in being their candidate?

Ffion Jenkins thought about it for a few days, I'm told, and then said 'no'.

Montgomeryshire Lib Dems picked Lembit Opik instead, and Ffion Jenkins shortly afterwards married William Hague.



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