TACTICAL voting could play a huge part in the 2019 election with one poll yesterday suggesting that LibDem voters could help Labour cling on to the marginal seat of Stockton South while another claimed that a large undecided vote in North West Durham could swing an apparently safe Labour seat to the Tories.

In Stockton, the Conservative candidate, Matt Vickers, is on 46 per cent of the vote, according to a poll by Survation, ahead of Labour’s Dr Paul Williams on 43 per cent.

Dr Williams is defending the 888 majority he surprisingly won in 2017 when he wrestled the seat from the Conservatives’ James Wharton.

The poll, of 425 people in the ultra-marginal seat, has the Brexit Party on seven per cent and the LibDems on 3.4 per cent, echoing the feeling that as polling day approaches, the election is narrowing into a two horse race.

The poll was carried out for the Vote for a Final Say group, which is campaigning for a second referendum. The poll shows that if the LibDem candidate, Brendan Devlin, were to withdraw, his remainer votes would transfer to Dr Williams who would hold the seat by 48 per cent to the Conservatives’ 43.

Dr Williams said: “If he asked people to vote for me instead of the LibDems then it would not only be a kind and typically principled act, but it would also stop us going back to having a Tory MP. I’ve always been sensible and pragmatic and have worked closely with other parties.

“If I were re-elected I would fight for a fairer voting system that makes every vote count, so that this type of compromise would never have to happen again.”

A North-East LibDem spokesman said: “In 2017, the Labour candidate narrowly won in Stockton South with tactical votes borrowed from the LibDems. We acknowledge that he has a better record on remain than his party leadership, but we are not in the business of endorsing Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. The only poll that matters is the one on Thursday.”

In North-West Durham, where Laura Pidcock is defending her 8,792 vote Labour majority, a poll by businessman John Elliott, who lives in the constituency, showed that Labour was down from 53 per cent in 2017 to 30 per cent today and the Conservatives were down from 35 per cent to 27 per cent.

However, 30 per cent of voters had yet to make up their minds between Mr Johnson and Mr Corbyn.

The poll was conducted in Crook and Consett at the start of December, with 112 people being interviewed by a Billingham market research company.

Mr Elliott, who runs Ebac in Newton Aycliffe which makes dehumidifiers and washing machines, commissioned the poll because, as a committed leaver, he wanted to see if tactical voting could elect a leave-supporting MP in this staunch Labour seat – since it was created in 1950, it has always returned a Labour member.

But it voted 55 per cent to leave in the 2016 referendum.

Mr Elliott, who formed Business for Sterling 20 years ago to prevent Britain joining the euro and then led the successful campaign against a North-East regional assembly, said: “I have never known times like this.

“I think people are so frustrated with politics that I wanted to find a methodology by which they could get what they wanted.

“Voters want to exercise their right to pick their MP and to deal with those MPs who have disrespected them.”

Mr Elliott concluded: “Based on the poll, the Conservatives can win if they take more from undecided than Labour. I think this seems very probable because of the underlying disappointment with Labour.”

Elsewhere, Sir Vince Cable, the former LibDem leader, has suggested that his party’s supporters should “hold your nose” and vote tactically for Labour in seats like Sedgefield, where he considered Labour’s candidate, Phil Wilson, had strong remain credentials.

And in Redcar, the Brexit Party candidate Jacqui Cummins has stopped “actively contesting” the seat in the hope that her withdrawal gives voters a “clearer choice”. The Conservatives’ Jacob Young said he was grateful, and added: “I know this won't have been an easy decision for her, but it has always been the case that this is a two horse race between me and (Labour’s) Anna Turley.”