Conservatives and Labour are targeting seats in Birmingham, Dudley and Walsall, as both parties set out their plans for winning a majority at the next General Election.
Black Country MP Tom Watson (Lab, West Bromwich East), Labour’s deputy chairman and campaign co-ordinator, has revealed that he is “confident” Labour will return to power at the 2015 election with an overall majority of 60 seats, sending party leader Ed Miliband into Downing Street as Prime Minister.
And he has published a list of seats Labour is targeting in order to win.
They include Birmingham Yardley, currently held by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, Dudley South, held by Conservative MP Chris Kelly, Redditch, held by Conservative Karen Lumley, and Stourbridge, held by Conservative Margot James.
But Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has published more details of the his plans to win a Conservative majority, which would allow the Tories to govern the country without requiring a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
He said the party would target seats including Birmingham Northfield, currently held by Labour MP Richard Burden, Dudley North, held by Labour’s Ian Austin, Walsall North, held by Labour MP David Winnick, and Telford, held by Labour MP David Wright.
The selection process to choose candidates in Birmingham Northfield and Telford began this week, he said.
Conservatives have called their election strategy “40/40”, because it involves pouring resources into 40 marginal seats they currently hold and need to keep, and another 40 seats they need to win from Labour or the Liberal Democrats.
Lib Dems have not published a list of target seats but they will be defending two marginal seats in the West Midlands, Birmingham Yardley and Solihull, where they are likely to campaign vigorously.
Mr Watson, in a statement to Labour activists, said: “Ed Miliband is determined we are going to be a one term opposition returned with a working majority at the next General Election.
“This is a challenge, but one we are all going to work hard to achieve.”
He added: “Our aim is to have a 60-seat majority at the next General Election.”