Decision time: Hornsey and Wood Green is on a knife edge
PUBLISHED: 06:45 07 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:17 07 May 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
All eyes will be on Hornsey and Wood Green today as almost 80,000 voters have their say in one of the most talked about battleground seats in the country.
Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone is fighting to win again, after retaining the seat in 2010 with a 6,875
But Labour’s Catherine West has fought a strong campaign with a host of celebrity backers, including comedians Eddie Izzard and Steve Coogan – who attracted crowds of hundreds in Wood Green on Monday – and polls show that it is neck-and-neck between the two, with Election Forecast showing a 53 per cent chance of Labour gaining the seat.
Ms West has consistently led the polls, but as the election approaches her lead has narrowed from the 13-point cushion Lord Ashcroft’s poll gave her in September, with 43 per cent of votes.
Some pollsters have suggested it is now too close to call, and a poll carried out in March by Survation for the Liberal Democrats showed Ms West just one point ahead.
The seat is crucial to Labour, who will need to take seats like Hornsey and Wood Green in order to form a government.
The last few days of the campaign have seen high drama, with Ms West accused of smearing her rival in election literature, and police being called to a hustings event when a candidate from a minor party stormed the stage.
The high-energy campaign from all sides is predicted to boost turnout in Hornsey and Wood Green.
Changes to the voter registration system – with a switch to individual electoral registration – left many voters needing to re-register and led to fears of a slump in voter numbers.
But a late surge in registration in Haringey – with around 15,000 extra voters registering in early 2015 – brought the total number of voters in Hornsey and Wood Green to more than 79,000.
Acting returning officer Nick Walkley said: “We’re proud that Haringey is a place where people want to play their part in democracy and have their say on the decisions that affect both themselves and the country.”
■ Polling stations are open 7am to 10pm today. Votes will be counted at Alexandra Palace tonight, with results expected in the early hours of tomorrow.