MAKE IT SO! Remember a vote for anyone other than Claire Wright is a vote for the parachuted-in Tory.
“East Devon is tipped to change hands, with Conservatives nervous about losing it and the Love Actually actor is urging voters to back independent candidate Claire Wright.
The Tories could be ousted from a seat they’ve held for more than 150 years next week – with an independent candidate hoping to pulling off a historic win.
Claire Wright is tipped by some to win in East Devon, a seat that has traditionally been a safe Conservative constituency.
Love Actually star Hugh Grant has urged Labour, Lib Dem and Green voters to back Ms Wright.
It comes after the MRP YouGov poll, released last week, said East Devon is likely to elect an Independent.
It would be a major blow to the Conservatives if they lose the seat.
Ms Wright, who has stood twice before, has seen her share of the vote rise from 24% in 2015 to 35% in 2017, and is eyeing up a place in Parliament.
It will be an interesting battleground, Devon Live reports, as the Tories lost their district council majority in May after 45 years.
It is now run as a minority administration by Independents.
Their poll had Claire Wright on 41% of the vote, and ranging between 31% and 51% – just six points behind Tory candidate Simon Jupp.
Ms Wright, 44, said: “The past few years have demonstrated that the party system is broken.
“It is time for change. As an Independent, I would have exactly the same rights as other MPs and would work cross-party to achieve my manifesto pledges.
“I am different. I have no party whip to tell me how to vote. I am free to speak and free to act. And free to fight for the issues that the people of East Devon care about the most.
“This election is very unpredictable and presents a rare opportunity for residents to elect an MP who truly cares and puts them first.”
Former broadcaster Mr Jupp, 34, thinks differently.
He said: “I was expecting it to be a bit more difficult and to face a lot of opposition but people just saying to me that they want to get on with it.
“I know it is what you would expect me to say, but people are telling me that they want to get Brexit done.
“I voted to remain, but I back Boris’s Brexit deal, it’s a fantastic deal for this country to move forward.”
Clearly anxious about losing the seat, both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have visited the constituency in recent weeks.
“All the results and polling point to this seat being a straight fight between myself and the Conservatives.”
The seat has been held by Sir Hugo Swire since 1997. After he announced that he was stepping down earlier this year, he made bullish claims that not only would the Conservatives once again win the seat, but that they would win more than half of the votes.
Former Independent MP Martin Bell thinks that Ms Wright can emulate his own historic win in 1997 in Tatton.
And Hugh Grant has urged East Devon voters to back her. He said: “Dear Lib Dem, Green and Labour voters of East Devon. Do this for your country. We beg you.”