Battleground seats as Tories target Labour in Wales

By Vaughan Roderick
BBC Welsh Affairs Editor

Image source, Erfyl Lloyd Davies Photography
Image caption,
Theresa May's decision to call a general election was taken during a walking holiday in Snowdonia with husband Philip

After Prime Minister Theresa May called a June general election, where could potential shocks come when the country goes to the polls?

The list of Westminster battleground seats in Wales has not changed much over the years.

There is a set of usual suspects where Labour and the Conservatives slug it out and a smaller set of seats where Plaid Cymru or the Liberal Democrats are in contention.

2017 is different though if current polling is anywhere near accurate and unless things change dramatically.

Traditional marginals such as Cardiff North, the Vale of Glamorgan and Aberconwy seem to be off the table.

And Labour bankers such as Bridgend, Newport West and Delyn are in play.

Those last three are seats the Conservatives have won before but that was back in Margaret Thatcher's annus mirabilis of 1983 when the Tories won a record 14 seats.

Image source, Madeleine Moon
Image caption,
Madeleine Moon's Bridgend seat is one the Conservatives could target

That number might not be the limit though if seats like the Wrexhams and Clwyd Souths of this world come in to play as some optimistic Tories expect.

And the Conservatives are not the only people eyeing up Labour seats.

Plaid Cymru are bullish about their chances in Ynys Mon - a seat where they narrowly missed out two years ago.

The Liberal Democrats will also throw everything they have got at their former stronghold of Cardiff Central.

All in all it's an election that could not have come at a worse time for Labour, although at least the UKIP threat in the party's ex-mining bastions seems to be fading

But, and it is a big but, elections are fickle, unpredictable things and these are very unpredictable times.

We may or we may not arrive at the destination Theresa May hopes for.

What is certain is that there will be plenty of twists on the way.

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