Labour is to step up its attack on the Conservative Party's climate change divisions by targeting 31 "green seats" that David Cameron needs to win the election.
A list drawn up in Downing Street and seen by The Independent on Sunday shows crucial constituencies with strong support for the Green Party among the 112 target seats the Tories need for a majority. Senior Labour strategists believe that they can target the 31 seats – mainly in central London, Brighton and university areas – with environmental messages and attempt to deny Mr Cameron victory.
Most of the constituencies are Labour's most vulnerable, but a handful are Lib Dem seats.
One option is to target voters with leaflets quoting some prominent Conservative climate change sceptics. It follows Gordon Brown's denouncement of "flat-Earth" environmental sceptics, including the former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson and ex-shadow home secretary David Davis.
In the 31 seats, the Green Party or Scottish Green Party had a 2 per cent or higher share of the vote – which could make the difference between the Tories winning or losing on a marginal swing. The Tories need to win Tooting – target seat number 112 - with a notional Labour majority of 5,190, to win an outright majority. In this south London seat, the Greens won a 4.1 per cent share of the vote in 2005.
One problem with the strategy is that the Green Party could benefit by the extra focus on environmental issues – making no difference to the battleground. Greg Clark, the shadow climate change secretary, has insisted that Mr Cameron and the party remain committed to policies tackling climate change.
The 31 'Green' Tory targets
Finchley & Golders Green (L); Croydon Central (L); Battersea (L); Milton Keynes South (L); Hove (L); Cheltenham (LD); Stroud (L); Carshalton & Wallington (LD); Hastings & Rye (L); Calder Valley (L); Hereford & North Herefordshire (LD); Colne Valley (L); Brighton Kemptown (L); Swindon South (L); Milton Keynes North (C, notional L due to boundary changes); Watford (L); Birmingham Edgbaston (L); Worcester (L); Bradford West (L); Richmond Park (LD); Brentford & Isleworth (L); Edinburgh South (L); Leeds North West (LD); Ochil & South Perthshire (L); Stirling (L); Devon North (LD); Oxford West & Abingdon (LD); Poplar & Limehouse (L); Reading West (L); Waveney (L); Tooting (L)
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