Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Walker: I’ve a mountain to climb to stay city MP
ROBIN Walker has admitted he has “a mountain to climb” to remain Worcester’s MP – after a hard-hitting poll suggested he is heading for defeat.
According to a survey by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, the Faithful City is one of 93 seats which will change hands to Labour in 2015.
More than 19,000 adults, in 213 of the most marginal constituencies, were asked how they would vote by telephone researchers, with Worcester voters among those polled.
The findings follow November’s police and crime commissioner election, when despite independent Bill Longmore winning the contest, Labour polled the most votes in the city.
And Mr Walker admitted he was facing a fight to hold on to his seat at Westminster.
He said: “If you look at the betting you could say we are the underdogs, we’re certainly not the favourites.
“We’ve got a mountain to climb and it’s up to us to rise to the challenge, but I believe it is there to be won. “I’ll be out there stating my case.” If people voted according to the poll results in 2015, Labour would return to Government with a majority of 84 seats, largely as a result of regaining old stomping grounds like Worcester and other key constituencies in the Midlands.
Councillor Joy Squires, Labour’s Worcester parliamentary candidate, said: “We know the Government is unpopular but Labour still has a long way to go to persuade people to vote for us.
“I want to win in Worcester because people want to vote for us, not because they want to vote against the Conservatives.
“It’s obviously very encouraging, but we’ve got to earn people’s trust.”
Mr Walker, who became an MP for the first time after defeating former Labour politician Mike Foster in 2010, has a slim 2,982 majority. But he refused to accept defeat in the wake of the survey. “The findings are relevant but in many ways it doesn’t tell us things we didn’t already know anyway.
“Inevitably, there will always be challenges for a party in Government mid-term, I just hope long term people will look at what we are trying to do in terms of tackling the deficit and the economy.
“We’ve got to state our case and I’ll be doing that in Worcester.”