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Prime Minister reveals Tory hopes for North Devon seat

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: August 15, 2013

  • FARMERS: The Prime Minister talks to local farmers. Picture: Mike Southon Ref: BNMS20130807B-003

  • CHAT: David Cameron chats to the Grigg family. Picture: Mike Southon Ref: BNMS20130807B-005

  • PRIME MINISTER: David Cameron talked with Kirsty Howieson, 14, (left) from Wheddon Cross about Texal Sheep. Picture: Mike Southon Ref: BNMS20130807B-019

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DAVID Cameron has revealed his hopes of the Conservatives winning the North Devon seat in the next general election.

The Prime Minister, who was at the North Devon Show at Umberleigh for nearly three hours, said one of the reasons he had visited the area was because of plans for the North Devon seat in the next General Election in 2015.

Mr Cameron said: "I am confident we will put a lot into this seat and it is one of the reasons I am here today.

"I am delighted to be here and to support my colleagues."

The Conservative Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for North Devon Peter Heaton-Jones said last week he represented the Tories' best chance of winning the North Devon seat since 1992 – but the current MP Sir Nick Harvey has rubbished his claims.

Lib Dem Mr Harvey has also exclusively revealed to the Journal that he would be standing for election again in 2015 and would not be taking a seat in the House of Lords as had been rumoured.

This means North Devon could be a key battleground in the next general election after Tory HQ identified it as one of 40 winnable constituencies.

As a result the Conservative Party has already been making a push in the area, with Mr Heaton-Jones, an ex-journalist originally from Surrey, announced as the party's candidate in February.

Since then there have been visits to North Devon by some high profile Tory figures, including the Prime Minister at the North Devon Show.

Mr Heaton-Jones said that was a sign of how seriously the Tories were taking the battle for a seat in parliament.

"At the next election we have a straight choice between David Cameron or Ed Miliband as our next Prime Minister," he said. Ed Miliband and Ed Balls running the economy again would be a disaster, but it could happen unless North Devon elects a Conservative MP.

"That's why I'll be fighting a strong campaign, the strongest the Conservatives have fought in North Devon for many years."

But Mr Harvey was surprised to hear of Mr Heaton-Jones' optimism.

He said: "It is just wishful thinking on the part of the Tories, imagining that I'm off to the House of Lords.

"There hasn't been an opinion poll since 2010 which translates on the political forecasting models into a Tory win in North Devon.

"And ditto the political betting websites have consistently had North Devon down as a Lib Dem hold, even when our poll ratings were disappearing through the floor a couple of years back."

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  • JohnF2011  |  August 15 2013, 10:23AM

    What does Conservative candidate Peter Heaton-Jones know about North Devon? Then again, he is a Councillor for North Swindon and they both have 'North' in the title I suppose.

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