Conservative Party campaigners will reportedly target the constituencies of high-profile Labour MPs in the hope of unseating them at the general election.

Household names such as deputy leader Tom Watson, former leadership candidate Liz Kendall and Vernon Coaker are all said to be in the Tories' sights amid speculation that traditionally red seats could turn blue.

In response, Labour is said to be sending extra support to shore up formerly safe seats as current polls suggest it could lose dozens of seats come 8 June.

"It's going to be a bloodbath and Labour know it," one Conservative MP told the Guardian.

"We're going after people like Liz Kendall, and I think we'll give her a good run.

"Lilian Greenwood, Vernon Coaker will be gone as well. Tom Watson is in a bit of trouble as well because he's got a big Ukip vote [which may go Conservative]."

Another Conservative Midlands MP told the newspaper: "We are going to do very well in the east Midlands and the question is how well.

"Vernon Coaker is going to have to work very hard to keep that seat, even though he's been there 20 years. In the West Midlands, we're going to do even better."

The comments come as it was confirmed that Zac Goldsmith will reattempt to become a Conservative MP for Richmond Park, six months after he was defeated in a by-election by Sarah Olney of the Liberal Democrats.

It was also confirmed that Esther McVey, the former employment minister, will be the Conservative candidate for Tatton, after George Osborne resigned the seat to focus on his duties at the London Evening Standard.

Labour also confirmed its candidates for two seats vacated by the retirement of MPs.

Emma Hardy, a former teacher and local Unite activist, will stand for Alan Johnson's old seat in Hull West. Ellie Reeves, a former member of Labour's NEC, will stand in Lewisham West and Penge.

At risk: Vernon Coaker (L), Liz Kendall (C) and Tom Watson (R) of the Labour Party Reuters/Getty