Brent Central is close. Just 1,345 votes separated Labour and the Lib Dems, around 3% or about 1.5 voters in every 50.
Would Brent Central Lib Dem voters punish Sarah Teather for a Lib/Con pact? In a briefing paper published today by the Fabian society, Brent Central is listed as a constituency likely to swing back to Labour at a second general election in 2010.
“As this table shows, there are 15 Lib Dem seats that would fall to Labour if just one-in-five of their voters switched to Labour. These would include all five gains that the Lib Dems made from Labour on Thursday night – Norwich South, Bradford East, Brent Central, Burnley and Redcar. Several Lib Dem MPs, including frontbenchers Sarah Teather and Jo Swinson, are even more vulnerable, falling if just one-in-ten Lib Dem voters defects to Labour in protest.”
I think the assessment is right. On the doorstep and in the cafe, liberal voters I’ve spoken to are both left/centre-left and tactical. A deal with Tories would most likely unseat Sarah Teather and return Brent to Labour. Perhaps Dawn Butler will rise after all.