Opposition parties in North Herefordshire have exchanged sharp words over who will put up the most effective challenge to Sir Bill Wiggin MP at the next General Election, due in less than 18 months.

In a flyer distributed to constituency households this week, Green candidate Ellie Chowns claims that her party has 36 per cent support locally, just 4 per cent shy of the 40 per cent backing Sir Bill, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats each languishing on 12 per cent.

But on the Herefordshire Politics Facebook group, North Herefordshire Labour’s youth officer Liam Holman called this “a crime against statistics”, claiming that, “based on current polling, Labour is projected to be second place in both North Herefordshire and Hereford & South Herefordshire”.


The Greens’ election officer Helen Heathfield has now hit back, saying the 36 per cent claim was based on the party’s own doorstep polling of over 2,000 residents over the past year.

“We've knocked on hundreds more doors since and the results are consistent,” she said. “Voters are ready for a new MP, and they trust Ellie enough to put her in a close second place to the Conservative.”

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She added that by contrast, the polls Mr Holman cited “are at a national level… using algorithms to project that to North Herefordshire”.

“If anything, that’s the crime against statistics,” she said.

Coun Terry James, LibDem group leader on Herefordshire Council, also called the Greens’ figures “a complete fabrication”.


Ms Chowns “came bottom at the last General Election, while the LibDems came second”, he said. “Now they are just making things up. A vote for the Greens will be a wasted vote.”

The county’s LibDems conduct regular polling of their own, and this “shows we will again be the main challenger in the next election”, Coun James maintained.

The party is likely to announce its candidates for both Herefordshire constituencies “within the next month”, he added.

Meanwhile Ellie Chowns is undertaking a 30-date “village hall tour” to discuss issues with North Herefordshire voters, starting tomorrow (Thursday September 14) in Bishop’s Frome. See elliechowns.org.uk/villagehalltour for details.