Dominic Raab ‘not really’ worried about losing his seat despite opinion poll

By Elizabeth Arnold, PA Political Staff

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is “not really” worried about losing his seat in the General Election.

The First Secretary of State, who is MP for Esher and Walton in Surrey, acknowledged that “with a seat like mine you never take anything for granted”.

His comments came as a poll reported by The Observer suggests Mr Raab is at risk of losing his seat in a tactical voting switch.

Mr Raab enjoys a healthy majority of 23,298, but a Deltapoll survey of the constituency indicates he now only holds a five-point lead over Lib Dem opponent Monica Harding.

The Tories have held the seat since 1910 but it voted 58% Remain in the 2016 referendum – and the former Brexit secretary is vocally anti-Brussels.

Tactical switching by Labour supporters or a higher turnout among the under-40s could hand the seat to the Liberal Democrats.

The Observer said that when Deltapoll asked how people would vote if they saw it as a contest between the Tories and Lib Dems, the two parties were tied at 48%.

Asked if he was worried about being “the next Portillo at this election”, losing his seat in Surrey to the Lib Dems, Mr Raab told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Not really, but look … no well, the truth is with a seat like mine you never take anything for granted.”

He added: “The polls are all fluid and all over the place, but one thing it does show you, my constituency and up and down the country, is the risk of a hung parliament and that is a very real risk if you vote any other way than Conservative.

“But we’ve got a really positive plan to get Brexit done, to get the country moving forward and I’m confident taking that to the voters.”

Former Tory defence secretary Michael Portillo lost his seat in the 1997 general election, while shadow chancellor Ed Balls was unseated in 2015.

Ahead of this week’s Nato summit, Mr Raab said: “People can have criticisms of Nato, it does need to adapt, but the answer is to reform it and to strengthen it….We certainly shouldn’t be saying it should shut up shop which is what Jeremy Corbyn’s position is.”

Asked if there was “nervousness” over US President Donald Trump’s visit during the election campaign, he said: “I don’t think so. We’re proud that we’re hosting the leaders’ summit here.”

He added: “No, I’m not going to give succour to some of the anti-Americanism we’ve heard from some of the other parties. The US is our closest and oldest ally, we work very closely with them.”

Asked if the US was the UK’s most important ally, he went on: “I think historically it has been, but of course what we really want to do is bring our European, our American friends together because we think we’re stronger when we stand shoulder to shoulder.”