Which seats will be most fiercely fought at the 2019 General Election?

Bury St Edmunds Green Party candidate Dr Helen Geake launched her campaign with supporters. Picture:

Bury St Edmunds Green Party candidate Dr Helen Geake launched her campaign with supporters. Picture: BURY ST EDMUNDS GREEN PARTY - Credit: Archant

While Labour and the Conservatives are focusing their attentions on the marginal Ipswich seat ahead of the 2019 General Election, the Green Party is looking to the west of the county and the Liberal Democrats are eyeing up Suffolk Coastal.

Jules Ewart is contesting Suffolk Coastal for the Liberal Democrats. Picture; SUFFOLK COASTAL LIBERA

Jules Ewart is contesting Suffolk Coastal for the Liberal Democrats. Picture; SUFFOLK COASTAL LIBERAL DEMOCRATS - Credit: Archant

The Green Party is putting much of its effort into the Bury St Edmunds seat where the Lib Dems have stood aside in return for getting a free run in Chelmsford in Essex.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are pushing much of their effort into the Suffolk Coastal seat where candidate Jules Ewart has been campaigning for some time and has been included in their list of targets.

On Saturday The Green Party is having an action day in Stowmarket in the Bury St Edmunds constituency with volunteers heading to the town from all over the county to support candidate Dr Helen Geake.

They will be joined by East of England MEP Catherine Rowett who won her seat in Strasbourg earlier this year.

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The campaign was launched in Bury St Edmunds with Baroness Jenny Jones - and the Stowmarket campaign comes as bookmakers say the party is now in second place in the constituency.

Dr Geake said: "There's just 10 years left to tackle the climate emergency, and the next government could be in power for half of that time until 2025.

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"We urgently need to invest in public transport, retrofitted housing, cutting waste, improving our soil. That's why the Green Party will invest £100bn per year to tackle the climate chaos and reach net zero carbon by 2030."

However she has a battle on her hands. In 2017 the Bury St Edmunds constituency was held by Conservative Jo Churchill with a majority of nearly 18,000 with Labour in second place. Dr Geake came fourth in that election with 2,596 votes.

The Greens did well in May's local elections in the area - particularly in the Mid Suffolk council wards that are in the Bury St Edmunds constituency. That has given them hope of a breakthrough although Mrs Churchill remains clear favourite to hold the seat.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat supporters are being encouraged to put their efforts into the Suffolk Coastal seat.

They had been hoping for a pact with the Green Party here as well - giving the Greens a free run at the Waveney seat in return - but that was not agreed in the end.

Ms Ewart launched her campaign with supporters coming into the area - and has been discussing a range of politics across the area.

She is particularly concerned about flood defence and said: "There's been a lot of talk from the previous Tory government about the need to invest in flood defences but we are still waiting for real action to protect our towns and villages - such as Snape, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Iken - from rising sea levels and tidal surges.

"It's time to stop letting these coastal and estuary communities down. That's why we, the Liberal Democrats, are committed to investing in our flood defences and protecting communities from the devastation seen time and again in the Suffolk coastal area."

Like the Greens in Bury St Edmunds, Ms Ewart does have a tough contest. In 2017 Dr Therese Coffey had a majority of 16,000 over Labour and the Liberal Democrats came a distant third with just 4,000 votes.

But in the 2010 General Election they did come second with a strong vote and Ms Ewart is hoping to build on that result and the party's increasing national popularity.

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