Liberal Democrats have claimed they are best placed to defeat the Conservatives in Windsor and Maidenhead at a general election after Labour appeared to designate the seats as a lower priority.

The Labour Party has opened candidate selections for more than 200 seats across the country that it deems “non battleground” – suggesting they are not seen as key targets for the party.

The Conservative held seats of Windsor and Maidenhead are on the list, both of which saw Labour come third at the latest general election in 2019.

Windsor’s Liberal Democrat candidate Julian Tisi said: "The Conservatives have turned in on themselves and are navel gazing over Rishi Sunak’s future, rather than providing the country with leadership or direction.

“We need a general election soon. Locally, the Liberal Democrats are best placed to beat the Conservatives.”

Both Windsor and Maidenhead have historically been seen as Conservative safe seats, with Adam Afriyie and Theresa May with each winning more than 50 per cent of the vote respectively at the last election.

However, both are expected to be targeted by the Liberal Democrats at the upcoming general election following the party’s success in the local elections this year.

The Liberal Democrats were the runners-up in both seats at the 2019 general election, albeit in a distant second place behind the Conservatives.

Liberal Democrat Windsor branch chair Mark Wilson said: “Locally, in Windsor and Maidenhead, the Liberal Democrats are getting on with the job and fixing the mess left behind by the previous administration.

“A general election is almost certain to take place in 2024 and even Labour concedes that it’s a two-way race here, between the Conservative incumbents and the Liberal Democrats.

“Labour is not targeting Windsor or Maidenhead in the general election. We’ve had a change locally and it’s about time we had a change nationally.”

However, Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) member Luke Akehurst posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his party would be fighting every seat.

He added that “the term "battleground" denotes the ones that decide the outcome of the election, winning extra ones off this list is desirable but not essential.”

The next general election is widely expected to take place in 2024, but the latest it could be held is January 2025.