Labour predict 'tight' result in South West Norfolk

Rebecca GoughSouth West Norfolk was a flurry of activity today as the battle to become top of the polls got under way.Rebecca Gough

South West Norfolk was a flurry of activity today as the battle to become top of the polls got under way.

By midday in Thetford, a town which became part of the constituency for the first time this year due to boundary changes, hundreds of people had turned out to put their mark in the box and throughout the constituency village halls, schools and community centres remained busy.

At one polling station, the Meet Up Cafe on the Redcasle Furze Estate in Thetford, one returning officer commented how by midday almost more votes than the total number in the last election had been cast there.

A total of 250, of an eligible 1,600 people, had made the effort to vote at the caf�, while round the corner at the Abbey Estate Community Centre 300 had voted of a possible 1,500 and at the Pine Close Community Centre 360 of 1,500 had turned out.

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Candidates were also spotted throughout the area with the Tories' Elizabeth Truss taking a tour of various polling stations and Labour's Peter Smith spotted in Thetford.

He said: 'The Conservatives may or may not win but we think it's going to be very tight. In the past we've said we're not going to win this but the key issue playing for us is people thinking about whether to vote nationally or locally.'

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Miss Truss said she was feeling positive however.

'We're not taking anything for granted but we've got a lot of support and we've spent a lot of time canvassing,' she said.

'I don't want to count my chickens until they're hatched though.'

The Liberal Democrat's Stephen Gordon said he was philosophical about the result. 'It's very difficult to tell how it's going to go,' he said.

'I can't see us overturning a very large Tory majority but I hope we'll eat into it and at least diminish it.

'I think people voting Liberal Democrat is a distinct possibility and I think votes for the party have picked up across the land. We'll see how that translates into seats.'

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