Every new dire opinion poll for the Conservatives brings suggestions of big names who might be vulnerable to a large Labour swing – from Boris Johnson (majority 7,210 in Uxbridge and South Ruislip) to Dominic Raab (majority 2,743 in Esher and Walton) and even Jacob Rees-Mogg (majority 14,729 in North East Somerset). But these Brexit-supporting Tories will be among the most nervous when the next election finally rolls around…
1) JAMES DALY (BURY NORTH) – MAJORITY 105
Holder of the most marginal seat in Britain (Fermanagh and South Tyrone in Northern Ireland is lower, at 57), Daly is a fervent Brexiteer who described it as “a historic day for our great nation”. Tweeted earlier this month that culture warrior and new Tory deputy chair Lee Anderson was “a great appointment, a great man and a great friend”.
2 FELICITY BUCHAN (KENSINGTON) – MAJORITY 150
Fought South Shields on an anti-metropolitan elite ticket in 2017, saying “the majority view outside London can prevail over the capital’s view”. Then switched to Kensington in 2019 where she won a wafer-thin victory over Labour’s Emma Dent Coad. The former vice-president of JPMorgan Chase’s European syndicate and managing director of Bank of America’s debt capital markets division was appointed a junior minister for housing and homelessness by Rishi Sunak last year.
3) MARK LOGAN (BOLTON NORTH EAST) – MAJORITY 378
A former Foreign Office civil servant (where he “brought huge investment from Asia into all parts of the UK”, according to his website), he said while campaigning in 2019 that voters “wanted us to Get Brexit Done so we can focus on investment into Bolton across the board”. Last month two separate levelling-up bids worth £40m for Bolton were turned down by Sunak’s government.
4) ROBERT LARGAN (HIGH PEAK) – MAJORITY 590
One of the few Conservative MPs of the 2019 intake who now admit voting Remain, Largan long since switched to backing Brexit, telling constituents that “parliament needed to get this resolved so that it can properly focus on the things that really matter and start reuniting the country”. Appointed a junior whip by Sunak last year.
5) ELLIOT COLBURN (CARSHALTON AND WALLINGTON) – MAJORITY 629
Holder of a key ‘Blue Wall’ seat targeted by the Liberal Democrats, Colburn publicly backed a no-deal Brexit going into the 2019 election. A supporter of Johnson in 2019, having presumably sniffed the wind he called for him to go last year and threw his weight behind Penny Mordaunt in the ensuing two Conservative leadership contests.
6) TOM RANDALL (GEDLING) – MAJORITY 679
Solicitor who has made little impact on the Tory backbenches since being elected in 2019. Another Brexit backer whose highly marginal constituency failed in its bid for levelling up funding in January.
7) CHRIS CLARKSON (HEYWOOD & MIDDLETON) – MAJORITY 663
German-born backbencher whose first pledge to constituents on his website is to “continue to make sure that Brexit works for the British people”. Has also failed to set the green benches alight since arriving at Westminster.
8) ANDREW BOWIE (WEST ABERDEENSHIRE AND KINCARDINE) – MAJORITY 843
Scottish Tory and junior exports minister whose seat the SNP will be hopeful of taking at the next election. Roundly mocked for saying in a BBC interview in December that the government could negotiate with EU member states individually over trade barriers, despite the fact that trade is an exclusive responsibility of the bloc. Asked again how the UK government could increase exports to the EU, he explained: “Various ways.”
9) IAN LEVY (BLYTH VALLEY) – MAJORITY 712
Former healthcare assistant and enthusiastic Johnson supporter who cheered in 2020: “Boris has injected this country with a healthy dose of much-needed optimism. He has shifted the government’s attention to communities like ours. I will work to ensure that Blyth Valley benefits from this big Boris boost!” Last month electric car battery start-up Britishvolt, a so-called gigafactory touted as creating 3,000 jobs in the constituency, entered administration, with the majority of the firm’s 300 staff made redundant.
10) ROB ROBERTS (DELYN) – MAJORITY 865
Roberts was elected as the Conservative MP for the North Wales seat, but currently sits as an independent after an independent panel recommended he should be suspended from Parliament for six weeks after breaching its sexual misconduct policy in 2021. Remains a Conservative member, sits on the government side of the Commons and backed Johnson in the face of calls for his resignation last year, saying: “Delivery is key. The prime minister delivers. He delivered on Brexit.” A key Labour target seat.