Election 2015

Hereford and Worcester: True blue or will health be an issue?

Image caption Whichever party wins in Worcester has generally gone on to general election success

In 2010 Herefordshire and Worcestershire went blue, with all eight constituencies going to the Conservatives.

If the area is still all-blue after 7 May, David Cameron will be well on the way to another five years in No 10.

Worcester may see the closest battle, with Conservative Robin Walker trying to hang on to a slender majority of 2,982 votes.

Image caption Richard Taylor is going for electoral success again at Wyre Forest

The seat was Labour-held from 1997 until 2010 and has gone the same way as the rest of the country since the 1970s. So the party that wins in Worcester may well be the party that wins at Westminster yet again.

The tightest marginal is Hereford and South Herefordshire where a rich vein of independence runs through the county.

Most of Herefordshire's councillors are drawn from outside of the big three parties. If Conservative Jesse Norman is to win a second term, he'll have to convince those independent-minded voters to stick with him.

The golden rule for the Wyre Forest is "expect the unexpected".

It's swung three ways since 1997, including back to back election wins for health campaigner Richard Taylor. He's taking another tilt at electoral success this time around, at the ripe old age of 80. He'll be hoping the health issue continues to hold enough relevance to help him unseat Conservative Mark Garnier.

Image caption Will issues at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, where four consultants recently left, have any affect on voters?

Health certainly is a major issue in Redditch where arguments over the future of the town's Alexandra Hospital could decide the seat. Conservative Karen Lumley took it off Jacqui Smith last time - she'll need to convince voters on the issue of health if she's to retain it.

Elsewhere, Sajid Javid will be looking to hold the safe seat of Bromsgrove and secure a second term. In Mid Worcestershire, the veteran MP Peter Luff is standing down.

Bill Wiggin will be expecting to hold on to one of the area's safest seats in North Herefordshire and Harriett Baldwin will be defending West Worcestershire. She faced a tough challenge from the Liberal Democrats in 2010, but her junior coalition partners will have to buck the national trend if they're to put in a similar challenge this time around.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites