Labour has MP in crosshairs as it targets seat
LABOUR activists are primed for a fight to wrest Stroud back from the Tories after the constituency was named as a battleground seat.
After selecting defeated David Drew for the 2015 campaign last year, Labour has been bolstered by electoral success at district council level.
In the Labour Party's list of 106 seats key to winning power, Stroud is ranked 16th – above Gloucester, which is 38th, for the first time.
Conservative MP Neil Carmichael, who beat Mr Drew at the third attempt in 2010 by 1,299 votes, said he intends to be re-elected on the strength of his record.
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"The national Labour Party has published its list of battleground seats for the 2015 General Election and we are delighted Stroud is high on the list," said local Labour Party chairman Steve Lydon.
Mr Drew said: "The frustrating thing is it will be another two years of watching the coalition gradually destroying our NHS, our education system and our planning system and watching the devastating effect of the welfare cuts on families and individuals."
Mr Carmichael was bullish about his chances. He said: "My only question is by how many votes I will be re-elected because I have done things which are making a difference in Stroud."