General election 2010: Watford Tory three-way marginal gain

By Sasjkia Otto

Tory Richard Harrington has moved up from third place in Watford, a three-way marginal, winning the seat with a six per cent swing and knocking Labour down seven percentage points from 2005.

Mr Harrington gained 35% of the vote with a 1,425 majority over Liberal Democrat Sal Brinton, who also increased her share of the vote by two percentage points.

Labour’s Claire Ward fell from 34% in 2005 to 27% in 2010.

This socially diverse target seat for both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats has been changing hands between the Conservatives and Labour since the Second World War.

The previous change saw Labour’s Claire Ward take it from 18-year incumbent Tristan Garel-Jones in 1997. Labour has seen its share of the vote drop by more than ten per cent since then. Those votes have gone to both the Tories and increasingly the Lib Dems.

The Lib Dems’ rise of almost 14 per cent in 2005 saw this become one of the few genuinely three-way marginals in the country.