THE Labour Party is on track to claim the Central Devon seat and win the second-largest majority in British political history at the general election, according to YouGov. 

In its latest MRP projection, the pollster said Keir Starmer could be heading to Downing Street with as many as 422 seats. 

This would be a historic majority of 194, second only to Conservative Stanley Baldwin’s figure of 210 in 1924, and greater than Tony Blair’s 179-seat majority in 1997. 

Hanging on to just 140 seats, it would be the Tories’ worst performance at a British general election since 1906. 

A Labour victory in Central Devon, which covers Crediton, Okehampton and Ashburton, would see Conservative Mel Stride ousted.  

He was first elected as the constituency’s MP in 2010 and has been Work and Pensions Secretary in Rishi Sunak’s government for just over a year and a half. 

Mr Stride is standing for re-election, defending a majority of 17,721. Labour’s candidate is Ollie Pearson, a former Exeter city councillor. 

The other candidates in the seat to date are Gill Westcott for the Green Party, Mark Wooding for the Liberal Democrats and Jeffrey Leeks for Reform UK. 

YouGov asked almost 60,000 people in England, Wales and Scotland which party they intended to vote for at the general election on Thursday, July 4. 

Its model shows Central Devon would be on a knife-edge, with Labour taking home 34 per cent of the vote, the Conservatives 33 per cent, the Lib Dems 15 per cent, Reform UK 10 per cent, the Green Party six per cent and other possible candidates one per cent.

Central Devon MRP breakdown
Central Devon voting intention breakdown (YouGov)

In the 2019 and 2017 general elections, Labour came second in Central Devon – albeit far behind the Tories. 

Labour candidate Lisa Webb secured just under 25 per cent of the vote in 2019, but this was dwarfed by Tory Mel Stride’s 55 per cent. 

Similarly, Ms Webb took home 27 per cent of the vote in 2017, compared with Mr Stride’s 54 per cent. 

Labour did poorly in the 2015 and 2010 elections, with just under 13 per cent and seven per cent, respectively.