Conservative Defence List

These are the hundred and fifty Conservative seats with the lowest percentage majorities. This does not necessarily mean they would be the most vulnerable Conservative seats in practice, nor that they are the seats the Conservative party will be putting the most effort into defending.

1. Derby North Majority 41 (0.1%)
2. Gower Majority 27 (0.1%)
3. Croydon Central Majority 165 (0.3%)
4. Vale of Clwyd Majority 237 (0.6%)
5. Bury North Majority 378 (0.8%)
6. Morley & Outwood Majority 422 (0.9%)
7. Plymouth Sutton & Devonport Majority 523 (1.1%)
8. Thurrock Majority 536 (1.1%)
9. Eastbourne Majority 733 (1.4%)
10. Brighton, Kemptown Majority 690 (1.5%)
11. Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale Majority 798 (1.5%)
12. Bolton West Majority 801 (1.6%)
13. Telford Majority 730 (1.8%)
14. Weaver Vale Majority 806 (1.8%)
15. Lewes Majority 1083 (2.1%)
16. Plymouth Moor View Majority 1026 (2.4%)
17. Bedford Majority 1097 (2.4%)
18. Lincoln Majority 1443 (3%)
19. Thornbury & Yate Majority 1495 (3.1%)
20. Twickenham Majority 2017 (3.3%)
21. Peterborough Majority 1925 (4.1%)
22. Cardiff North Majority 2137 (4.1%)
23. Corby Majority 2412 (4.3%)
24. Waveney Majority 2408 (4.6%)
25. Warrington South Majority 2750 (4.6%)
26. Kingston & Surbiton Majority 2834 (4.7%)
27. St Ives Majority 2469 (5.1%)
28. Southampton, Itchen Majority 2316 (5.2%)
29. South Thanet Majority 2812 (5.7%)
30. Keighley Majority 3053 (6.2%)
31. North Warwickshire Majority 2973 (6.3%)
32. Carlisle Majority 2774 (6.5%)
33. Torbay Majority 3286 (6.9%)
34. Halesowen & Rowley Regis Majority 3082 (7%)
35. Crewe & Nantwich Majority 3620 (7.3%)
36. Erewash Majority 3584 (7.4%)
37. Hendon Majority 3724 (7.5%)
38. Ipswich Majority 3733 (7.7%)
39. Sutton & Cheam Majority 3921 (7.8%)
40. Broxtowe Majority 4287 (8%)
41. Stroud Majority 4866 (8%)
42. Bath Majority 3833 (8.1%)
43. Calder Valley Majority 4427 (8.2%)
44. Northampton North Majority 3245 (8.3%)
45. Blackpool North & Cleveleys Majority 3340 (8.4%)
46. Pudsey Majority 4501 (8.8%)
47. Sherwood Majority 4647 (9.1%)
48. Amber Valley Majority 4205 (9.2%)
49. Yeovil Majority 5313 (9.4%)
50. Hastings & Rye Majority 4796 (9.4%)
51. Colne Valley Majority 5378 (9.4%)
52. Bristol North West Majority 4944 (9.5%)
53. Harrow East Majority 4757 (9.7%)
54. High Peak Majority 4894 (9.7%)
55. Stockton South Majority 5046 (9.8%)
56. Northampton South Majority 3793 (9.8%)
57. Boston & Skegness Majority 4336 (10%)
58. Norwich North Majority 4463 (10.2%)
59. Stevenage Majority 4955 (10.3%)
60. Enfield, Southgate Majority 4753 (10.4%)
61. Cannock Chase Majority 4923 (10.5%)
62. Nuneaton Majority 4882 (10.6%)
63. Morecambe & Lunesdale Majority 4590 (10.6%)
64. Dudley South Majority 4270 (11.2%)
65. Finchley & Golders Green Majority 5662 (11.2%)
66. South Ribble Majority 5945 (11.3%)
67. Worcester Majority 5646 (11.3%)
68. Colchester Majority 5575 (11.4%)
69. Rossendale & Darwen Majority 5654 (11.5%)
70. South Swindon Majority 5785 (11.7%)
71. Cheadle Majority 6453 (12.1%)
72. Cheltenham Majority 6516 (12.1%)
73. Berwick-upon-Tweed Majority 4914 (12.2%)
74. Preseli Pembrokeshire Majority 4969 (12.3%)
75. Pendle Majority 5453 (12.3%)
76. Portsmouth South Majority 5241 (12.5%)
77. Dover Majority 6294 (12.6%)
78. Brecon & Radnorshire Majority 5102 (12.8%)
79. Reading East Majority 6520 (12.9%)
80. Warwick & Leamington Majority 6606 (13%)
81. Scarborough & Whitby Majority 6200 (13%)
82. Aberconwy Majority 3999 (13.3%)
83. North Devon Majority 6936 (13.3%)
84. Wells Majority 7585 (13.3%)
85. Crawley Majority 6526 (13.4%)
86. Vale of Glamorgan Majority 6880 (13.4%)
87. Rochester & Strood Majority 7133 (13.6%)
88. Gloucester Majority 7251 (13.7%)
89. Great Yarmouth Majority 6154 (13.8%)
90. North Cornwall Majority 6621 (13.8%)
91. Reading West Majority 6650 (13.8%)
92. Stourbridge Majority 6694 (14.5%)
93. Chipping Barnet Majority 7656 (14.5%)
94. Milton Keynes South Majority 8672 (14.7%)
95. Elmet & Rothwell Majority 8490 (14.7%)
96. Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire Majority 6054 (15%)
97. Hazel Grove Majority 6552 (15.2%)
98. Camborne & Redruth Majority 7004 (15.2%)
99. Battersea Majority 7938 (15.6%)
100. Montgomeryshire Majority 5325 (15.7%)
101. Redditch Majority 7054 (16%)
102. St Austell & Newquay Majority 8173 (16.2%)
103. Eastleigh Majority 9147 (16.5%)
104. Gravesham Majority 8370 (16.7%)
105. Oxford West & Abingdon Majority 9582 (16.8%)
106. South Basildon & East Thurrock Majority 7691 (16.9%)
107. Milton Keynes North Majority 9753 (16.9%)
108. Cleethorpes Majority 7893 (17.5%)
109. Watford Majority 9794 (17.5%)
110. Loughborough Majority 9183 (17.6%)
111. Clwyd West Majority 6730 (17.7%)
112. Shrewsbury & Atcham Majority 9565 (17.7%)
113. Chippenham Majority 10076 (18.2%)
114. Canterbury Majority 9798 (18.4%)
115. Kingswood Majority 9006 (18.7%)
116. Stafford Majority 9177 (18.8%)
117. Harlow Majority 8350 (18.9%)
118. Shipley Majority 9624 (19%)
119. Chingford & Woodford Green Majority 8386 (19.1%)
120. Isle of Wight Majority 13703 (19.5%)
121. Castle Point Majority 8934 (19.7%)
122. Filton & Bradley Stoke Majority 9838 (20.1%)
123. Bosworth Majority 10988 (20.5%)
124. Basingstoke Majority 11063 (20.9%)
125. Bexleyheath & Crayford Majority 9192 (21.1%)
126. Kensington Majority 7361 (21.2%)
127. Rugby Majority 10345 (21.2%)
128. Maidstone & The Weald Majority 10709 (21.4%)
129. Rochford & Southend East Majority 9476 (21.7%)
130. North West Leicestershire Majority 11373 (22.1%)
131. Forest of Dean Majority 10987 (22.2%)
132. Gillingham & Rainham Majority 10530 (22.4%)
133. East Devon Majority 18531 (22.4%)
134. North Swindon Majority 11786 (22.5%)
135. South Derbyshire Majority 11471 (22.6%)
136. Mid Dorset and North Poole Majority 10530 (22.6%)
137. Burton Majority 11252 (22.8%)
138. Monmouth Majority 10982 (23.1%)
139. Beverley & Holderness Majority 12203 (23.1%)
140. Portsmouth North Majority 10537 (23.2%)
141. North Thanet Majority 10948 (23.3%)
142. St Albans Majority 12732 (23.3%)
143. Newton Abbot Majority 11288 (23.4%)
144. Solihull Majority 12902 (23.5%)
145. Dartford Majority 12345 (23.6%)
146. Hornchurch & Upminster Majority 13074 (23.7%)
147. The Wrekin Majority 10743 (23.7%)
148. Putney Majority 10180 (23.8%)
149. Uxbridge & Ruislip South Majority 10695 (23.8%)
150. Tamworth Majority 11302 (23.9%)
Comments - 474 Responses on “Conservative Defence”
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  1. I think Labour minority government is the most likely scenario, daring the other parties to vote them out and be seen to “let the Tories in”.

  2. The Tories might not be too unhappy to have a minority Labour government in power for 18 months, especially if they (the Tories) win the popular vote by a comfortable margin.

  3. And there’s no way the SNP and Labour will be in the same coalition

    they won’t be in a coalition…mili ruled that out and the idea of having snp ministers in a uk government is slightly ridiculous.

    they will support a labour govt. with votes in the house of commons, though.

  4. As far as I can tell from the budget there will be enterprise zones etc in Plymouth, Cardiff, Blackpool and Inverness. Is it just me or are there marginal seats in these areas?

  5. This idea that Labour supporters would prefer either the Tories in government or trying to run a deeply unstable minority government to forming an agreement with the SNP is a bit nuts. Especially because there isn’t that much between Labour and the SNP on most domestic issues, and another referendum isn’t currently being asked for.

  6. Never underestimate the hatred that can exist between two groups who almost (but don’t quite) agree.

  7. The objection(s) to a Labour government propped up by the SNP will stand whether the two party’s are in a coalition or a less formal supply and demand agreement

    It’s unfortunate for Labour that as things currently stand that’s the only way they can get back into number 10

    So we could get be a minority Labour government for about 18 months and then that government getting thumped at the polls by a more right-wing Tory party with a new more right wing leader

    I doubt I’d be the onky centrrist viter who would rather a continuation of what we have now than the above scenario

  8. I think Cameron is privately hoping the result will be Con 290, LD 35 so that the current coalition can continue. In public he has to say he intends to win a majority of course.

  9. I am intrigued by your assumption that the Tories in opposition would elect a more right wing leader. Surely the presence of UKIP in recent years as a home for disgruntled right wingers will have moderated the profile of the membership, who will ultimately have the final say in any leadership election.

  10. Above was in reply to Tim.

  11. I suspect that the SNP wouldn’t be too difficult for Labour to deal with. They absolutely would not want to be the ones who brought down a Labour Government (again) and let the Tories in. Then again, I think what they would ideally like is for the two main parties to refuse to work with them, especially if they are the clear winners in Scotland. It makes it very easy to present it as Scottish MPs being excluded from power/influence by Westminster.

  12. “I think Cameron is privately hoping the result will be Con 290, LD 35 so that the current coalition can continue. In public he has to say he intends to win a majority of course.”

    “needs must” as we used to say. there isn’t a cat’s chance in hell that he the tories will win a majority. Cameron of course wants this as it’s the bare minimum required for a majority…

    The ashcroft poll of marginal seats published yesterday seriously questioned my faith in the ability of the tories to win much more than 280 seats, while the lib dems will do well to get more than 30…everybody knows how the snp surge has put pressure on the labour party there. little is said about how much pressure the snp have piled onto the liberals north of the border…they’ll be lucky to keep 3 seats there.

    I suspect the liberal mps will hold up better against conservative challengers than they will against labour and the snp…this ironically makes it harder for the tories to reach 290.

  13. Simon – you’re right re most, but certainly not all Labour voters would want the SNP to have any say. They’re strong Unionists too in seats such as Airdrie, Barrow, Corby, Plymouth and parts of Liverpool and Glasgow.

  14. We must bear in mind that the likelihood of Labour + SNP >= 326 is not especially high. It is possible, but would involve Labour taking around 40 Conservative seats in E&W, and thumping the Lib Dems, winning seats like Bermondsey, which I think would be a stretch for them.

    Even if we do end up with a result something like Labour 290, SNP 36; a coalition (or Labour minority propped up by the SNP) would still be incredibly unstable, not to mention unpopular, and would be unlikely to last more than 2 years, if that.

    I think a plausible outcome of the GE in terms of the formation of the government is something along the lines of an “All Except Conservative” arrangement. Labour in power propped up by a mix of SNP, PC, SDLP, Green and LD. These would almost certainly be confidence arrangements, with the Lib Dems being the least reliable, and most likely to not be involved at all.

    A government of that nature would probably command around 345-350 seats. It would probably have discipline problems, but the majority would more or less be large enough for the show to go on. It could also become fairly vulnerable to by-elections towards the end of its term.

  15. Neil,

    You’re right, but a rainbow coalition of the left is possible, without the lib dems.

    Labour, SNP, Green, SDLP and Plaid could get 330 or so which in reality is a majority of about 20. I don’t think labour will need the lib dems to play ball…in the long run such a left alliance would benefit the conservatives.

  16. I have seen very little comment on the local elections to be held on 7th May. This is the largest cohort of English elections, as it includes the District Councils and also one third of all Metropolitan and most Unitary Authority seats.The last time these seats were fought in a General Election year was in 1987. In that case the elections were held on 7th May and the General Election was on 11th June. Mrs Thatcher liked to see how the electorate was voting before calling a Parliamentary poll.

    These seats have ever since been re-elected in mid-term conditions. This has seen big swings to Labour and the Lib Dems in 1991 and again in 1995. Then the Conservatives did better in 1999, 2003 and 2007. In 2011, Labour won back and the Lib Dems lost badly.

    It will be interesting to see if there will be big changes when all these District Council seats come up on a General Election day. I would expect Independents to suffer on a high turnout poll and the Lib Dems to be badly defeated except where they are defending Parliamentary seats.

    It could see some surprising gains for the Conservative and Labour where the turnout helps. This is the first time UKIP will fight many of these seats but they will not have the boost of a Euro election to help them as in the 2013 County Elections.

    This could matter more than usual, as if a hung Parliament results in a new election before the end of the Parliamentary term, then local strength given by councillors will be important in any re-run.

  17. I’m not sure that Lib Dem councillors will reduce vastly, simply because they did so poorly last time these were up for election. Expecting a bottoming out of their numbers.
    I do think the GE will help Labour in the locals because of voter turnout. Possibly the Conservatives too.

  18. Will there be separate Ballot Boxes for the Local Elections and Another box for the Parliamentary Election?

    When I have attended Counts with Two or more different ballot papers in one box, it does take a long time doing the reconciliation count initially.

  19. The five-year rail fare freeze announcement today seemed to be totally ad hoc and a real sign of desperation. In any case is it even legal? Aren’t the rail companies allowed to raise their fares under their agreements?

    This is a real baby-out-with-the-bathwater moment of political desperation… maybe he is concerned that he wins so few seats that he cannot even crawl a mile over broken glass to have the LibDems even speak to him again..

    His undermining of us might have a truly horrible price for him..

  20. On Radio 4 it was pointed out that the freeze is actually a commitment to only increase fares line with the RPI which usually runs ahead of the more commonly quoted CPI. Also it is unclear is the announcement covers unregulated fares. And last but not least rail users tend to be drawn from the more affluent sections of society.

  21. Disagree with Stephenpt. Arguably car commuters are drawn from the more affluent sections of society than rail users like myself. While fuel tax rises kept being shelved under the last government, there were no comparable concessions to people using public transport. One of my big disappointments with the Lib Dems in government was their failure to battle for public transport costs to be kept down.

    Can’t see this announcement will have much impact at all.

  22. Numbers of passengers on the UK railways are now FOUR TIMES higher than the early 80s, the highest level since before the first world war. Most trains within 50 miles of London are standing room only even between the peaks; at peak times they are like cattle trucks. Why the hell would the government want to attract even more overcrowding by “keeping the costs down”?

  23. LexBoz1310

    Heres the link to the report I was referring to:

    If you disagree, I’ll let you argue it out with the BBC pundit 🙂

  24. Thanks for the link Stephenpt.

    To be fair to the pundit, she’s just quoting some other organisation. However, I’m not in the top 20% of households by income and have to use the train to commute to work, so don’t accept their assertions.

  25. Is it true that Lynton Crosby is being paid 1 million pounds for his services to the Conservative Party?

  26. I am surprised the Conservatives have not seen the ominous omen and the Bad vibes from the name “Crosby” and the famous defeat in the Battle of Crosby won by Shirley Williams. Ho Ho Ho.

  27. Ah yes, but the Conservatives won the second battle of Crosby in 1983 after 1981.

    They might just win ‘Crosby’s second battle’ this time – 2015 after 2005.

    Ominous omens indeed.

  28. Is Lynton Crosby a Non Dom, by any chance?

  29. I’ve heard of worse names

  30. What does everyone think of this (very rough) prediction?

    Conservative – 280-300 seats (32-34%)
    Labour – 250-270 seats (30-32%)
    SNP – 35-45 seats (3%)
    Liberal Democrat – 27-33 seats (9-11%)
    UKIP – 1 seat (9-11%)
    Greens – 1 seat (4%)

  31. I think that is all probably true- except UKIP I think will have more than one – THANET S & THURROCK look good for them.Also. LD total I have as less than 27, just.

    UKIP – their national vote share will be substantial but very few seats – how many SECOND PLACES will they achieve. I believe 35-45.

  32. Labour are perfectly capable of winning more than 270 seats & l currently back them to do so. The Conservatives are also more than capable of losing enough seats to take them well under 280. l also expect the SNP, currently, to get very slightly more than 45. lt could be a lot more 🙁

  33. It’s really hard to predict as local swings will have such a huge impact.

    I can see the Tories on anywhere from 260 to 305, Labour from 270 to 300.

    Lib Dems I have them getting 28, but it could be as low as 20.

    SNP I am having to up my forecasts, but it all depends on the various local constituencies and tactical Unionist voting. Could be as low as 29 but as much as 56.

    UKIP I don’t think will get any seats, a chance of one maybe at a push. I’m still predicting a late UKIP slide on election day back to the mainstream parties, benefiting the Conservative vote more but also Labour to an extent.

  34. This mornings Guardian projection (never quite sure which page to post this on!):

    Conservative 271
    Labour 270
    SNP 55
    L/Dem 28
    UKIP 4
    Green 1
    Other 21

    I assume as usual that Plaid are included in Others.

    So still:

    a) Hopelessly tied
    b) A thrillingly close contest for largest party
    c) Even if you assume Lib Dems providing some form of support for the Conservatives – which I consider is far from a given – the Conservative supporting block remains well below 326 or 323.

  35. with that arithmetic, Labour would almost certainly be able to form a government & the Tories couldn’t.

  36. LESSERSPOTTEDSCOTTISHTORY whilst giving a massively cautious prediction, makes a timely reminder that a not inconsiderable number UKIP supporters (in the polls) will actually not vote UKIP – and instead will vote for the main parties – to the benefit significantly to CON.

    This was seen in ROCHESTER S by election.

    The last ASHCROFT poll gave UKIP a 12% lead but the result was a CON win by 7%.

    The last ASHCROFT poll gave UKIP a 12% lead but the result was a UKIP win by 7%.

  38. COMRES poll of CON seats facing UKIP challenge gives CON a big lead:

    22/4/15 : GE10 : +/- GE10

    Conservative 39% 46.3% -7.3
    Labour…………28% 26.3% +1.7
    UKIP……………..21% 5.6% +15.4
    Lib Dem………..5% 15.2% -10.2
    Green…………….4% 0.4% +3.6
    Other………….….3% 3.8% -0.8

    “The Lib Dem collapse has bolstered both the Conservative and Labour votes, and is one of the key reasons for UKIP’s failure to make first or second place. 25% of 2010 Lib Dem voters say they will now vote Labour, and 21% say they will now vote Conservative.”..COMRES 22 APRIL

    Survey of 1,007 adults living in ten key Conservative-held UKIP target seats – South Thanet, Boston and Skegness, Thurrock, Forest of Dean, Great Yarmouth, North Thanet, East Worthing and Shoreham, Sittingbourne and Sheppey, South 

  39. South Basildon I think…

    Given the breadth of the seats (is East Worthing really a target?) , this is difficult to interpret but seems to indicate that UKIP are heading for an awfully large number of 2nd and 3rd places.

  40. LADBROKES react, lengthening UKIP in THANET S & in THURROCK 8/13 to 4/5. now say CON will get 11% more share of the vote in THANET S – and 8% more in THURROCK.

  41. @Deepthroat – massively cautious I am, as anything could happen. It’s going to be a great nights viewing that’s for sure, Friday off work already sorted.

    Do you have an opinion on what percentage UKIP will actually finish with? I think they could end up with less popular vote than the LD’s

  42. It is very interesting given the widespread idea that Lib dems only squeeze Labour votes that the numbers going to Tory and Labour are so close…

    Shows why marginals like Pudsey with big Lib Dem votes last time are not just falling to Labour…It has been a real churn even where Lib Dem votes appear to have gone straight to Ukip, they probably have not…

    I think it really means that individual seats are going to behave very differently. In Tory-LD marginals the UKIP vote has come mainly from 2010 Tory voters and they may do very well if they can squeeze it back. But in LAB-CON marginals the UKIP vote has probably come from both Labour and Tory, and only careful targeting could benefit either party… Actually this should be easier for Labour because Labour votes tend to be more concentrated in council estates than Tory votes are… But squeezing the remaining Lib Dems may not make much difference…

  43. To answer a question above: There will be different ballot boxes, and the locals will be counted after if normal practice is followed.

    And where I come from turnout has made surprisingly little difference to local election results when locals have been held on GE day… up to 50% of people seem happy to split their ticket…Lib Dems were higher in the polls in 2011 however than now and will probably lose further ground, with a chance to start picking up council seats again next year, perhaps

    Would say UKIP 13-14%, appreciably higher than the LIB DEM% share.

  45. Andrew111 – I agree andwhy would it be a surprise that the Tories benefit as well as LAB from a decrease in the LD share? LD by their nature will pull from both sides. All parties are effectively coalitions, otherwise they wouldn’t need Whips! Voters are the same, some will go one way others the other.

  46. As to order of counting elections, the returning officer in Slough intends to do the verification for both the local and parliamentary ballot papers (in case some votes ended up in the wrong ballot box) and then start the parliamentary count by 2:00 am on Friday.

    The local election count is due to start at 12 noon on Friday.

    Electoral Commisssion guidance.

    When and where will the count take place?
    1.40 The (Acting) Returning Officer will notify you of the exact
    time and location. All (Acting) Returning Officers must take
    reasonable steps to have completed verification and begun
    counting the votes as soon as practicable within four hours of
    the close of poll.
    1.41 Where this doesn’t happen in practice – for example, as a
    result of higher-than-expected turnout levels, queues in polling
    stations at close of poll, the combination of the UK
    Parliamentary election with other polls, or the particular
    geography of a constituency, (Acting) Returning Officers must
    report this to the Commission.
    1.42 While it is important that a count is timely, it is also
    important that the count produces an accurate result that
    everyone can have confidence in.

  47. Gary, Do you know that there is going to be a separate Ballot box for the Local ballot papers?

  48. I thought usual practice was to use one ballot box for all ballot papers although I do seem to remember two ballot boxes being used somewhere sometime although I can’t recall when or where.

  49. Yes there will be separate parliamentary and local election ballot boxes. As another complication we have a couple of parish council elections in part of Slough, so there will be three different colours used for ballot papers in different levels of elections.

    It should all work smoothly but you never know if a confused voter may mix up which box to put a ballot paper into, with the polling station staff not reacting quickly enough to clear up the confusion.

  50. For Welsh Assembly elections there are two ballot papers to start with, one constituency and second for the regional list. they are usually colour coded, white for one and Salmon for the other. But then if Locals are held on the same day, you could easily get one ballot box filling up. And they would then start a second box.

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