Labour's Nottinghamshire election battle may come down to a few hundred votes

The leader of The Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, pictured during his visit to Hucknall Town Football Club. East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward is stood behind him
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/Nottingham Post)

The battle for Labour in Nottinghamshire might come down to a few hundred votes on election night, its leader has said. Despite most polls showing strong Labour leads across the county, Sir Keir said the race here would be much tighter.

Labour made a last push in Nottinghamshire on Tuesday (July 2) by having Sir Keir visit Hucknall Town FC alongside local party figures including East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward. In a speech to his activists and supporters, Sir Keir said: "Forget the polls, you all know in constituencies like this, every vote counts."

Some polls currently predict that Labour could win every one of Nottinghamshire's 11 constituencies following the general election on Thursday (July 4). Yet speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, Sir Keir said: "I think it's really important that we in Nottinghamshire and across the country are absolutely focused in reminding people that, if they want change, you have to vote for it.

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"I do think people want change, I genuinely haven't met many people who are saying 'I want things to stay as they are'." The 2019 general election saw Labour under Jeremy Corbyn lose previous Nottinghamshire strongholds like Gedling and Bassetlaw to Boris Johnson's Conservatives.

Sir Keir said that winning back such seats would be more challenging than the polls suggest, adding: "We will be campaigning until 10 o'clock on Thursday in constituencies like this, because the polls don't predict the future. In a number of constituencies, including constituencies like [Sherwood Forest], it will come down to possibly a few hundred votes either way."

Speaking to local reporters during his visit, Sir Keir also repeated his backing for a public inquiry into the Nottingham attacks, saying: "We will back a judge-led inquiry, which is what [the families of the victims] want, because it is important that we get to the bottom of this for their sakes and they want to ensure that it happens to nobody else. I simply pay tribute to their courage and determination in circumstances where, I have to say, I'm not sure I would have the wherewithal to campaign in the way that they are campaigning."