HEREFORDSHIRE Greens claim the party is “neck and neck” with North Conservative MP Sir Bill Wiggin, in a seat the party is targeting in the general election expected later this year.

The party’s only MP Caroline Lucas welcomed the results of its doorstep polling while meeting local supporters and the party’s candidate Dr Ellie Chowns at the weekend.

Sir Bill's constutuency includes the village of Upton Bishop, where he lives, three miles from Ross-on-Wye.

Brighton Pavilion MP Ms Lucas discussed what it takes to be a good member of Parliament at an evening event with supporters at Hereford’s Left Bank on Friday (February 23), then joined Dr Chowns in knocking on doors in the Holmer area of the city on Saturday.

Latest figures from the party’s polling of over 5,200 North Herefordshire voters puts the Conservatives on 38 per cent and Greens on 37 per cent.

This marks a slight improvement on the figure the party gave last autumn of 40 per cent backing Sir Bill with Dr Chowns four per cent behind – though this was disputed by other opposition parties.

A recent party political broadcast by the Greens shows North Herefordshire as one of its four target seats in England, alongside Bristol Central, Waveney Valley on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, and Brighton Pavilion where Siân Berry is attempting to hold the retiring Ms Lucas’ seat for the party.

The most recent aggregate national polls show Labour on 43 per cent, the Conservatives on 25 per cent and the Greens on 6 per cent.

Last month Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he had expected to call the election “in the second half” of this year.

Labour has yet to announce a candidate for North Herefordshire, which a recent internal party document described as a “non-battleground constituency”.

Sir Bill, who was confirmed a year ago as the Conservatives’ candidate for the seat, will be defending a majority of nearly 25,000.