A leaflet delivered on behalf of the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the Central Devon constituency says “only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives here”.

The accompanying bar chart shows the “best vote share in any General Election” for the Lib Dems, at 34.4%, and Labour, at 27%.


The bar chart is accurate in the numbers it displays, but does not make clear that these results were achieved in different years.

The Lib Dems’ record vote share in the Central Devon constituency was attained in the 2010 general election, when they finished second to the Conservatives. Since then, the party has not finished in the top two in the constituency in any general election.

And YouGov polling, mapped to a constituency level, shows Labour and the Conservatives clearly ahead of the Liberal Democrats in Central Devon.

The facts

The parliamentary constituency of Central Devon was created ahead of the 2010 general election. The boundaries have changed slightly for this year’s vote.

The Conservatives have won the seat in every general election to date. In 2010, they won the majority of the vote share in the constituency, at 51.5%, while the Liberal Democrats came second with 34.4% – a higher share than they have received there in any general election since.

In the next general election, in 2015, the Lib Dems finished fourth, behind the Conservatives, Ukip and Labour; in the two following general elections, in 2017 and 2019, they finished third behind the Conservatives and Labour.

Labour won its highest vote share in Central Devon in 2017 when it recorded 27%.

YouGov’s recent MRP poll, which uses modelling to provide a constituency-level breakdown prediction for voting, shows a prediction of Labour winning 34.4% of the vote in Central Devon and the Conservatives 33.4% – figures which are too close to predict a clear likely winner – with the Liberal Democrats in third on 15.4%.

Liberal Democrat candidate Mark Wooding has been contacted for comment.


Image on X of the Liberal Democrat’s Central Devon leaflet (archived, image 1 and image 2)

UK Parliament – Central Devon constituency, 2010 General Election result (archived)

UK Parliament – Central Devon constituency, 2015 General Election result (archived)

UK Parliament – Central Devon constituency, 2017 General Election result (archived)

UK Parliament – Central Devon constituency, 2019 General Election result (archived)

YouGov – MRP poll, Central Devon constituency (archived)

Electoral Calculus – South West: New Constituency Boundaries 2023 (archived)

Election Check 24