The “powerful vote” for people who want to replace Wokingham’s Conservative MP is Clive Jones, said Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey as he joined campaigners in the borough.

MP Ed Davey joined Wokingham Borough councillor Clive Jones in Wokingham on Friday, October 20 – after the Conservatives lost two MPs in by-elections elsewhere.

Mr Davey said: “People will want to know who’s the candidate to vote for to remove the Conservative. Here in Wokingham, everyone knows it’s the Liberal Democrats and Clive.”

Councillor Jones is the Liberal Democrats’ candidate to stand against Conservative MP John Redwood at the general election likely to take place sometime next year.

Mr Redwood has been Wokingham’s MP for some 36 years – having been elected since 1987. But councillor Jones believes the next general election will be “the best chance ever of getting a Lib Dem MP elected in Wokingham.”

The Liberal Democrats came second to the Conservatives in Wokingham in the 2019 general election.

Yet the Electoral Calculus website predicts that if a general election happened tomorrow Mr Redwood could hang on to his seat with 32 per cent of the votes, whereas the Lib Dems would come third with 26 per cent.

Labour would come second with 28 per cent according to the website, which makes its predictions based on an aggregate of opinion polls.

READ MORE: Former council leader confirmed as challenger to MP John Redwood

Mr Davey denied that Lib Dem supporters in Wokingham would see voting Labour as the best way to get rid of the Conservative government.

He said: “When we ask people about the next general election they know that voting Liberal Democrat and voting Clive Jones here is the powerful vote for getting rid of the Conservatives.

“In so many of the seats where we are in good second places like here, people voting Labour Party – including Labour Party members – are going to vote Liberal Democrat.”

He said the Liberal Democrats had made “progress” in two by-elections in Tamworth and West Bedfordshire this week. He added: “It shows that we can win in places like Wokingham.”

Mr Davey said the Liberal Democrats would make the NHS the focus of their campaign at the next election. He and councillor Jones visited the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and accused the Conservative government of underfunding the NHS.

They say they want to increase the number of GPs and NHS dentists available in places such as Wokingham. Councillor Jones said: “It’s a real problem in Wokingham. If you come to live here, you cannot get registered with an NHS dentist and that is just not acceptable in 2023 or 2024.”

Labour has yet to choose its candidate for the next general election in Wokingham, which has to take place by December 2024 at the latest.