Cover 9781785900471

During the 2015 general election, the contest in Gavin Barwell’s constituency of Croydon Central was by any measure – the amount of money spent, the frequency of visits by ministers, the volume of literature delivered or the number of political activists pounding the streets – one of the most intensive constituency campaigns this country has ever seen. At the end of it, after an experience both physically and psychologically gruelling, Gavin had clung on by the skin of his teeth, and had a story well worth telling.

Journalists produce a great deal of commentary on the leaders of our political parties, their campaign strategies and key messages. Elections, however, are won and lost on the pavements of only about 100 so-called marginal constituencies – places like Croydon Central.

This book gives an unparalleled insight into what it’s like to be an MP defending an ultra-marginal seat. It answers questions such as:

• Why do activists knock on your door – do they really think a quick conversation is going to change your mind?

• What is it like to find yourself splashed across the front page of a national newspaper?

• How do you cope with the very real possibility that you might be out of a job tomorrow?

How to Win a Marginal Seat is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how campaigning is conducted at the coalface of British politics.


“To win Croydon is to win Britain today – and Gavin Barwell shows how it can be done.”

Boris Johnson

“All politicos can learn from what went down in the Cronx.”

The Croydon Citizen

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  • Paperback, 288 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785900471
  • 17 March 2016
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