A Liberal Democrat councillor is hoping it will be fourth time lucky in running to be the first Liberal elected to represent Windsor in Westminster since the 1860s.

While the town has been represented by Conservatives for a century and a half, councillor Julian Tisi believes a combination of local and national issues will make the seat a plausible target going into the next general election.

His previous runs at the seat all came amid the backdrop of Tory victories on a national level, but with the polls drifting away from the incumbent party, the Royal Borough councillor is standing once again to be its next MP.

“This time, there is so much dissatisfaction with the Conservatives - both national and local,” he said.

“We’ve seen this at the ballot box at the most recent elections in the borough. This time there is a real appetite for change.”

Councillor Tisi cited issues such as sewage and the cost-of-living crisis as reasons why, in his view, residents were turning against the Tories and were open to a change.

The Conservatives lost control of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council earlier this year to a Liberal Democrat-led administration alongside local independents.

However, councillor Tisi acknowledged that Windsor has long been a Conservative safe seat and there would still be a challenge in the battle for the parliamentary seat.

He said: “People in Windsor just want a competent government. There are people who are less fortunate even within Windsor. We’ll be campaigning on some real bread and butter issues that people really care about.”

Councillor Tisi has contested the Windsor seat at three previous elections in 2010, 2017 and 2019.

He scored his highest percentage of the vote in 2010 at 22.4 per cent, although still finishing a distant second against incumbent Adam Afriyie.

“This time feels different,” he said, however. “People are saying that they want a change.”

He added: “Whatever happens at the next election, we need a strong, sensible voice that will stand up for being pragmatic and responsible. Caring about the environment, caring about the cost of living and wanting to make a difference for people’s lives.

“When I look at the Conservatives, they seem to have given up. When I look at the Labour Party, I’m impressed by some things, but I’m still not sure about them.”

Councillor Tisi defended the Liberal Democrats’ record in the 2010-2015 coalition government with the Conservatives, citing the passage of marriage equality for LGBTQ+ couples as a key milestone.

Nevertheless, he also acknowledged that the Liberal Democrats were “naïve” on the issue of tuition fees – which trebled under the Coalition and were widely seen as a turning point in public opinion against the party.

He added that, if he were to become Windsor’s next MP, his first priorities would be to establish his local connection through constituency surgeries and lobby on the issues of sewage and planning.

The next general election is widely expected to be held in 2024, although it could be held as late as January 2025.