The Conservatives would just about hold onto their Watford seat if proposed boundary changes to the constituency are approved.

That’s based on a set of predicted results from the Electoral Calculus for the next General Election.

Yesterday, the independent Boundary Commission published its proposals to realign the United Kingdom's constituencies.

The biggest changes locally would see Watford lose around 13,000 voters to the newly created constituency of Three Rivers.

The changes could be implemented in 2023, subject to public consultation and final approval.

See more: Boundary proposals reveal brand new constituency - so is your MP changing?

So how could the boundary changes affect who becomes Watford’s next MP?

Watford is currently represented by Conservative representative Dean Russell, who was elected in 2019.

He replaced Richard Harrington, the Tory MP for Watford since 2010. Before then, Labour had held the seat since 1997.

Nowadays, the race to become Watford’s MP is very much a two-horse race between the Conservatives and Labour – even though Watford Borough Council is run by the Liberal Democrats.

The Tories saw their majority over Labour between the 2015 and 2017 General Elections halved, but increased their majority again at the 2019 election.

Watford MP Dean Russell

Watford MP Dean Russell

However, based purely on the predicted votes from the political consultancy Electoral Calculus, the next race to become Watford’s MP could become a lot closer.

Under the current boundaries, the Electoral Calculus predicts the Conservatives to win 25,752 votes in Watford at the next General Election, while Labour would win 22,610.

But under the proposed boundary changes, the seat becomes even more marginal.

By taking away the number of predicted Tory votes in Abbots Langley, Carpenders Park, Leavesden, Hunton Bridge, and Oxhey Hall – which would all join the new Three Rivers constituency – the Tories would be left with 18,645 votes.

Labour meanwhile would sit on 18,496 – trailing by just 149 votes.

However under the proposals, Watford would gain the Bushey North ward from Hertsmere.

If we were to add the predicted results in Bushey North to Watford’s tally, the Watford Conservatives would poll 20,683 votes altogether at the next General Election, while Labour would poll 19,300.

So does this mean the Tories will retain their grip on Watford in the next General Election?

What we do know, based on current predictions, is it looks like these proposals are going to make the race in Watford tighter.

That’s because the Conservatives are losing five areas where they are predicted to receive the majority of votes, while Labour won’t lose any of theirs.

Bushey North is no guarantee of a Tory victory either. The Tories have recently lost control of Bushey North to the Liberal Democrats at both Hertsmere Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council.

But Watford’s parliamentary results show that voters behave very differently when it comes to local and General elections.

At the recent local elections in Watford, we saw signs of a possible Tory resurgence in the town, including at the expense of Labour, even though the party once again failed to pick up any seats.

Based solely on the Electoral Calculus predictions, the Tories would just about hold on at any forthcoming General Election, but it’s not possible that every predicted vote count can be 100 per cent accurate – while plenty could happen between now and the next election, which could alter which way someone votes.

In 1970, Labour’s Raphael Tuck beat the Tories David Clarke by just 76 votes, while the Brexit vote divided Watford more than any other constituency in England.

Could these boundary proposals provide the tightest-fought race yet in Watford?