So if even Iain says Lib Dems have a chance in Maidstone, this fills me with great optimism..
But he doesn't say that!
The comment made by ian Dale about Maidstone and the Weald was "it would be unbelievable if she [Helen Grant] contrived to lose this seat". Ian Dale in fact predicts a Conservative hold here, with an increased majority if this seat behaves like the others in Kent.
I confidently expect UKIP to bite deep into the Conservative vote here and a bit into the LD vote. I do not expect a win, but a win is far from impossible, especially if Helen performs up to standard and we have a well-known local candidate.
I do not doubt that UKIP will bite deep into everyone's vote. They only got 3.3% last time. But they are more likely to take away Conservative votes.
If UKIP take 6,000 votes from the Conservatives and 2,000 from the Lib Dems, then that would reduce the Conservative lead to 2,000. Perhaps with a bit of tactical voting from Labour, and a busy and effective Lib Dem campaign, then who knows?
Liberal Democrats are now down to 4-1 to take this seat (UKIP 33-1, Greens, National Health 100-1, Labour 150-1). There is a real 'Eastleigh-style' effort going on and Lib Dems from all over the region are pounding the streets - I'm going there myself this weekend.
Meanwhile the Conservative MP has not been seen - missing two hustings events so far. Apparently she did not even reply to the invitations. Of course she is a Minister, so perhaps is busy, and one assumes she will turn up sooner or later.
The Conservatives are still odds-on favourite to hold the seat (1/4) and there is still a long way to go, but is there a sense of over-confidence here? Every election has a few surprises so could this be one of them?
I voted Conservative Hold though I hope she loses it. the odds only reflect the money and I would guess not much wagered yet and a few enthusiastic Greens and National Health supporters have caused a distortion thus far? The UKIP odds odds are worth a punt and the LD odds really are not.
Why have you not added a Labour gain option? If they're gaining Camborne surely this is vulnerable too.
This is heartland Kent with a high average income, high house prices, some old money and lots of commuters to well paid jobs in London. West Cornwall is a remote area with low wage rates and a significant amount of depressed areas and even borderland poverty.