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”
  1. Andy JS. I may be wrong, but my memory of past combined elections in Slough was that different ballot boxes are used. Perhaps it is a practical matter of how many ballot boxes are available.

  2. I have found the Electoral Commission guidance.

    Where the election
    has been combined
    with another electoral
    event, all ballot boxes
    will be verified before
    the UK Parliamentary
    count can start.
    There may be a
    single ballot box for
    all elections or
    separate boxes for
    each. In any case,
    ballot papers will be
    sorted into the
    separate contests.
    Any ballot paper
    found in the ‘wrong’
    ballot box is still valid
    and will be moved to
    the correct box during
    verificat

  3. In my area we usually have just one ballot box for all types of election but obviously the organisers are free to choose more than one box if they wish.

  4. What’s annoying is that there are some polling stations used for 2 neighbouring polling districts and I know of 8 just in Liverpool where this means 2 different wards and indeed 2 different constituencies are voting in the same polling station!

    Surely this is bonkers? No wonder the Liverpool Count always takes ’til 3am just in the Locals.

  5. Interesting Guardian article about Conservatives “war gaming” a route to stay in office.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/23/tory-election-war-games-under-way-to-reach-284-seats-for-minority-rule

  6. Gosh… what a stupid article… Nick is such a piece of burnt toast in the scenario that they outline that one really wonders where the journalist who wrote it has been for the last year…

  7. Anti,,

    It is not as if you are biased or prejudiced, Is it?

  8. No.never!.. there is already a lynch mob in the party for Nick.. that were only barely constrained last May… This May they will not be denied…

  9. Yes. A lot of long standing Liberals who have been councillors and Candidates and Agents and contributors.
    Have voted with their feet and either defected or retired.

    If the party had evolved a plan for mentoring and counselling those individuals, they may have been able to mitigate the damage.

  10. Yes I might consider rejoining if someone like Tim Farron who kept his promise on tuition fees is elected leader…

    I was a member for 23 years up to 2010, much longer than Clegg, and my father was a life-long liberal, so I felt a bit sore at the time!

    Andrew

  11. The latest Ashcroft National ,including changes from last week:

    Con 36 +2
    Lab 30 N/C
    UKIP 11 -2
    L/Dem 9 -1
    Grn 7 +3
    Oth 6 -3

    Ashcroft seems to be consistently showing a larger Conservative lead than the average of all polls.

  12. The simple answer is just to ignore Ashcroft. It is not as if he has a good track record over ten years is it?

  13. If you ignore all the polls you don’t like it certainly makes you feel better.

  14. Lancs Observer. Regarding polling districts and polling stations. I suspect they will have separate rooms, OR separate Presiding Officers. In big wards it is quite common to have more than one ballot box in the same polling station.

    When I was a candidate in Netherley Ward some years ago, The Presiding Officer went AWOL after his lunch.

    As Candidate, I reported it to the Deputy returning Officer, who sent someone else out.

  15. Not sure where to post this ….

    Of interest that today both the Economist and the Financial Times have endorsed the continuation of a Conservative/ Lib Dem coalition. Neither have endorsed a straight Conservative victory. In each case the major stumbling block is the prospect of an EU exit. Clearly both publications are mirroring the deep unease in large parts of the business community over this issue.

  16. DD – they don’t have separate rooms, sadly – but yes, they’re at opposite ends of the same room in one I know of.

    Ah interesting. There always seem to be some problems in Liverpool – polling stations not opening on time; not signposted and most infamously running out of ballot papers in 2010!

  17. Dinbych Dai “If the party had evolved a plan for mentoring and counselling those individuals, they may have been able to mitigate the damage”.

    Sounds like grief counselling… Nick will be needing some of that soon…

  18. ‘Of interest that today both the Economist and the Financial Times have endorsed the continuation of a Conservative/ Lib Dem coalition’

    The Financial Times has always been considerably less conservative in its political leanings than one might assume

    Bizarrely, it backed Kinnock’s Labour party in 1992 and their editor Lionel Barber comes across like an old-style Tory wet

    The Economist is also considerably less right wing than it once was

    I agree with both of them – a continuation of the current arrangenent, whilst far from perfect, is considerably better IMO than any of the horrifying alternatives

  19. “I agree with both of them – a continuation of the current arrangenent, whilst far from perfect, is considerably better IMO than any of the horrifying alternatives”

    Even the current arrangement will be considerably more horrifying if the coalition only has a majority of 5 or 10 rather than 80-odd as at present.

    Every important bill will be under threat of attack from a pincer movement, with Peter Bone and Nadine Dorries on one side and the likes of Andrew George and Tim Farron on the other.

  20. There is another week to go yet, and people are beginning to make there minds up. It is looking increasingly likely that Cons and Lib Dems will be winning more seats.

  21. If the Cons look like winning more seats the Lib Dems will be winning fewer not more.

  22. the current coalition is most unlikely to continue…none of the projections, Even the panglossian fisher has the tories and lib dems combined on more than 320 or so seats… a third party will have to support the existing coalition parties.

  23. Step forward the DUP, who in many respects are to the Right of UKIP, but who the lib dems have not ruled going into coalition with.

  24. WW – Clegg did hence his Blukip press conference. Cable also ruled out “the Paisleyites” on BBC Daily Politics. Browne didn’t but he’s stepping down. I think only Laws refused to rule them out.

    More importantly the DUP have ruled out a Coalition with any Party.

  25. Well, l’ve done my sums in detail. l’ve tried hard to err on the side of pessimism from my party’s point of view in the following ways a ) l’ve assumed, for the sake of argument, that both Clegg & Hughes hold on. b ) l’ve put some seats which l regard as knife-edge between Lab & Con, such as Rossendale & Pudsey, but which l’d previously had down as very narrow Lab gains, as Con Holds. c ) l’ve assumed that ALL of the too-close-to-call seats, e.g. Ilford N, Finchley, Swindon S, Milton Keynes S, will be Conservative holds. Not a Labour win amongst them. d ) l’ve assumed that the Tories retain one seat in Scotland, namely Berwickshire R & S, and that the LDs hold Orkney & Shetland, and Ceredigion as well. e ) l’ve put Belfast E down as a DUP gain from Alliance. f ) l’ve awarded Thurrock to UKIP instead of Labour. And STILL l cannot make Con + LD + UKIP + DUP = any more than 312 – not enough for a parliamentary majority. In practice, there are almost certainly going to be at least some of those seats which are not going to won by any of the coalition parties, or the other rightist parties listed above. Am l really wrong? Honestly, l have worked it out very carefully! l don’t think it’s Panglossian or whatever other adjective you might choose to use to say this. Some of the routes others have suggested towards a parliamentary majority for a Tory-led coalition surely assume that the Tories and/or allies are going to win seats which in reality they’ve all but lost barring an almighty swingback.

  26. By all means ask me here which party l have “awarded” which particular seat to, and l’ll gladly answer. In Scotland, l’m assuming that all but 2 seats are won either by the SNP or Labour (obviously, far more for the former than the latter).

  27. Barnaby,

    You might be interested / encouraged to know that the Guardian poll prediction today gives a Con/Lib Dem/ UKIP/ DUP total (assuming 9 DUP) total of 315.

  28. Barnaby- I know it might take you a while but could you possibly set out precisely which UK seats you think will change hands? I’d be very interested to know your views.

  29. l’d be happy to do so. l’ll do a general prediction shortly – l won’t bother commenting on cut-and-dried seats, but will attempt to predict all those seats l believe will change hands, and all those which are in any serious doubt which l think will say put. For the record, l still regard the prediction of Labour defeats in Clwyd at the hands of the Tories (except, obviously, in West Clwyd) as definitely not on the cards.

  30. Could you possibly set it out as a list on this thread? It might be easier to have a consolidated list of ones to change hands. I plan to do the same either tonight or tomorrow.

    Incidentally, I very much agreed with your 8:09 post.

  31. Antiochian,

    WHY would you think that there would be a lynch mob within the LIB DEM party out to get one of their leaders?

    That is far fetched fantasy on your part.

  32. Tried to do it for you Tory – but it got wiped! l’ll do it tomorrow or Saturday.

  33. OK let’s give it a shot. This includes knife-edge results.
    Respect by-election hold : Bradford W
    Lab by-election hold : Corby
    Conservative by-election regain from UKIP : Rochester
    UKIP by-election hold : Clacton
    UKIP gains from Conservative : Thurrock, S Thanet
    Conservative gains from LD : St Austell, N Devon, Taunton, Wells, Somerton, Portsmouth S, Chippenham, Solihull, Berwickshire, Berwick-on-Tweed, Mid Dorset
    DUP gain from Alliance : Belfast E
    SNP gains from Labour : Dumfries & G, Midlothian, Edinburgh E, Edinburgh N, Edinburgh SW, Livingston, Linlithgow, N Ayrshire, Ayr C & C, Kilmarnock, Lanark, E Kilbride, Airdrie, N Paisley, S Paisley, Glasgow C, Glasgow E, Glasgow N, Glasgow S, Glasgow SW, W Dunbartonshire, Cumbernauld, Stirling, Falkirk, Ochil, Glenrothes, Dundee W, Aberdeen N
    SNP gain from Conservative : Dumfriesshire C & T
    SNP gains from LD : Edinburgh W, E Dunbartonshire, Argyll, NE Fife, W Aberdeenshire & K, Gordon, Inverness, Ross S & L, Caithness
    Labour gains from Conservative : Plymouth S & D, Hove, Brighton Kemptown, Hastings, Hendon, Croydon C, Ealing C & A, Enfield N, Harrow E, Brentford, Stroud, Cardiff N, Stevenage, Bedford, Ipswich, Waveney, Norwich N, Northampton N, N Warks, Nuneaton, Halesowen, Wolverhampton SW, Cannock, Broxtowe, Sherwood, Amber Valley, Erewash, Crewe, Warrington S, Weaver Vale, Chester, Lincoln, W Wirral, Bury N, Keighley, Dewsbury, Morecambe, Lancaster, Rossendale, Stockton S, Carlisle
    Labour gains from LD : Brent C, Hornsey, Bristol W, Cardiff C, Norwich S, Manchester Withington, Sheffield Hallam, Burnley, Redcar
    As far as l can work out l’m predicting all other seats to be retained by the party which won them in 2010. Please let me know if there are any glaring omissions. This may not be final : l could change my mind on a few seats before or even on polling day.

  34. I think we can safely rule out a DUP gain in Fermanagh & South Tyrone as they’re not contesting that seat!

  35. I can see an argument for Con gain in RBS, if Yes voting LDs and tactical anti-Tory LD voters move to SNP. The Conservative vote will more or less hold up and it would be tight. This assumes the bulk of the new voters don’t go SNP.

    However there is a stronger argument for SNP gain, while an LD hold is not a total impossibility.

  36. surely Bradford East is a Lab gain as well?

  37. Barnaby I confidently predict all those seats Con-Lab you list won’t change, Amber Valley for example is very much on a TCTC footing according to local sources, Broxtowe too looks very tight. Just going on a uniform swing won’t give an accurate picture. Labour look certain to make big gains in London and the North West but in the Midlands they won’t make the gains they need, or what supporters like you expect.

  38. “I think we can rule out Berwickshire as a Con gain, SNP gain is more likely in my view…”

    I don’t see any reason for dismissing the chances of a Tory gain in that way. The only poll done in the seat had basically a dead heat between Con, LD and SNP. The Conservatives are favourites in the betting at 11-8 generally withe the Lib Dems on 2-1 with Coral and Hills and the SNP available at 11-4 with Stan James.

    Personally I expect the Tory vote to hold up well (as its doing in the Scotland wide polls) which should be enough to win. I suspect borders seats have a relatively low ceiling on SNP support, so although their vote will increase handsomely it won’t be enough.

  39. Barnaby I broadly agree with your prediction though the big problem I have is I think Labour will do worse than that in Scotland. The show no sign of shifting back towards Labour and if anything the SNP lead appears to be widening. For example at present I can’t see Labour holding Glasgow NW, Aberdeen S or Invercylde. At the moment is extremely likely that they will drop into the single digits, my prediction of Labour seats in Scotland (6): E Renfrewshire, Glasgow NE, E Lothian, Dunfermline, Rutherglen, Edinburgh S. While I think it is possible that they could save some others I think those in the greater Glasgow area such as Glasgow NE and Rutherglen are in more trouble than many think.

  40. 1 ) l agree that Labour might lose more seats in Scotland than l have guessed. Of course, they’d all go SNP.
    2 ) We can’t rule out Berwickshire as a Tory gain – the Tories were slightly ahead there in the last Ashcroft poll. l hope you’re right.
    3 ) l did forget Bradford E. Yes that will be a Labour gain.
    4 ) l also forgot Edinburgh SW which l see as an SNP gain from Labour.
    5 ) Everyone knows that as time goes on the Catholic proportion of the NI population grows at the expense of Protestants. That is particularly true of the Sinn Fein seats in the middle of the province. l am as certain as can be, given the 4-vote majority they’re defending, that Sinn Fein will hold Fermanagh against Unionist opposition.
    6 ) l haven’t seen any convincing evidence that Plaid will take Ynys Mon against the national trend. No incumbent has lost the seat since 1951! l don’t see that changing.
    7 ) Ian you have said that before, but there’s no polling evidence for what you say. Until a poll appears suggesting that Labour are in trouble in those seats, l don’t see any reason to change my forecast of Labour gains in them.

  41. Barnaby- thanks for posting your predictions. Here are mine. There is much common ground but I think that Labour will sustain more damage in Scotland than you do.

    Cons 273, Lab 272, SNP 52 LD 26,UKIP 3, PC 3, Green 1, Respect 1, Speaker 1, NI 18

    Respect by-election hold : Bradford W

    Lab by-election hold : Corby

    Conservative by-election regain from UKIP : Rochester

    UKIP by-election hold : Clacton

    UKIP gains from Conservative (2) : Thurrock, S Thanet

    Conservative gains from LD (12): St Austell, N Devon, Taunton, Wells, Somerton, Portsmouth S, Chippenham, Solihull, Berwickshire, Berwick-on-Tweed, Mid Dorset, Torbay

    DUP gain from Alliance : Belfast E

    SNP gain from Conservative : Dumfriesshire C & T

    SNP gains from LD (9) : Edinburgh W, E Dunbartonshire, Argyll, NE Fife, W Aberdeenshire & K, Gordon, Inverness, Ross S & L, Caithness

    SNP gains from Labour (36) : Edinburgh North & Leith, Ochil & South Perthshire, Aberdeen South, Glasgow North, Dundee West, Dumfries & Galloway, Falkirk, Stirling, Edinburgh South West, Dundee West, East Renfrewshire, Ayrshire North & Arran ,Ayr, Carrick & Cummock , Aberdeen North, Livingston , Edinburgh East ,Linlithgow & Falkirk East , Midlothian, Kilmarnock, Ayshire Central, East Kilbride, Lanark and Hamilton East, Glasgow South, Cumbernauld, Glasgow Central, Airdrie & Shotts, Paisley & Renfrewshire North, Glasgow East, Glasgow North West, Inverclyde, Glenrothes, West Dunbartonshire, Paisley & Renfrewshire South, Motherwell & Wishaw, Glasgow South West, Kirkaldy & Cowdenbeath

    Lab gain from Con (40) Plymouth S & D, Hove, Brighton Kemptown, Hastings, Hendon, Croydon C, Ilford North, Ealing C & A, Enfield N, Harrow E, Brentford, Stroud, Cardiff N, Stevenage, Bedford, Ipswich, Waveney, Norwich N, Northampton N, N Warks, Nuneaton, Halesowen, Wolverhampton SW, Cannock, Broxtowe, Sherwood, Amber Valley, Erewash, Warrington S, Weaver Vale, Chester, Lincoln, W Wirral, Bury N, Keighley, Dewsbury, Morecambe, Lancaster, Stockton S, Carlisle

    Labour gains from LD (10) : Brent C, Hornsey, Bristol W, Cardiff C, Norwich S, Manchester Withington, Sheffield Hallam, Bradford E Burnley, Redcar

  42. Ian Wright – if you seriously think battleaxe Anna Soubry can cling on, you could make a lot of money at current odds. I say almost 0% chance.

    I agree that Amber Valley and Bury N will be close out of Barnaby’s list due to the particular incumbents’ ind streak in both, but agree with almost all of the other Lab gains he predicts.

    I tend to think it’ll be 275 Con MPs, 25 LDs, 9 DUP, 4 UKIP.

    Very messy with Left v Right blocs on 310-320 apiece.

    A 2nd GE in 2015 may be needed.

  43. IF a second GE was needed, could we all expect cheques from HMRC from a party in power as some sort of incentive.

    Something similar happened in the Summer of 1974, when every local authority was told to refund a proportion of their rates bills.

  44. Ha I doubt that – tax revenues have been disappointing due to a 2m surge in low earning self-employed since 2012.

  45. Lancs Observer,

    “A 2nd GE in 2015 may be needed.”

    Indeed – but will that break the deadlock? The trends which are all too evident in this election – the continuing polarisation of marginals making it difficult for Labour to gain enough seats in the South and Conservatives to defend in the North, the SNP surge and a persistent Lib Dem rump – don’t look like they will reverse anytime soon. The 2 largest parties will moan and mutter and groan (despite the fact that they are still heavily overrepresented in relation to their national support) but they may have to get used to the situation where minority rule or coalition is the new normality.

  46. There is potentially interesting parallel here with 1910- the two main parties deadlocked on 270 odd seats with the balance of power predominantly held by Nationalists. And of course there was a second election that year too, which did nothing to break the deadlock and so Asquith continued with a centre-left minority government on the sufferance of Mr Redmond’s Home Rule party along with Labour.

  47. l couldn’t say l strongly disagree with anything you’ve forecasted, Tory. l haven’t made my Scottish predictions with any sort of confidence, and you could well be right. l guess that Inverclyde would surprise me the most of your predicted SNP gains, but it’s perfectly understandable. The only other differences between us are in super-competitive seats, and your predictions are just as likely to be accurate as mine. l have to say l’d be surprised to see Torbay go Tory, since the LDs were level several months ago, but l certainly wouldn’t rule it out. Ilford N proves that you’re not necessarily more Tory-leaning in your forecasts than l am.

  48. Interesting comparison Tory – though IIRC the results in the two 1910 elections were near identical, but there was a lot of churn with a goodly number of seats changing hands in the latter contest. The gains / losses just happened to cancel each other out.

    The main difference though was that Redmond knew that the only way to get Home Rule was to support the Liberals and that meant supporting the Parliament Act so the Lords could no longer veto the measure. The SNP know that neither of the 2 largest parties will agree to the measure they want – Independence – so, apart from the desire to ensure they remain dominant in forthcoming elections – they have less incentive to support one party come what may.

  49. My thinking is very much on the lines of Tory and Barnaby Marder…those were very good and exhaustive predictions.

    I happen to think Labour could gain 45 seats off the tories, slightly more than both Barnaby and Tory are suggesting….

    We have evidence that Peterborough, South Ribble, Finchley and Golders Green, Colne Valley, Milton Keynes South, Stourbridge are all tight. Currently both Tory and Barnaby’s predictions don’t mention any of these seats as labour gains. It would be interesting and impressive for the tories to win all of these seats.

    Both Barnaby and Tory’s Conservative losses are neatly bunced in the top 60 of labour’s targets…in reality, there will be some surprise holds- Ipswich, say- or Stockton South, who knows. There will also be relatively surprising labour gains- Stourbridge, say, or Dudley South, or perhaps even Ilford North, or a shock result in Enfield Southgate. There will be labour landmines in places under the radar.

    I have little idea of what’s going on in Scotland, but I can’t believe that labour will be wiped out completely. I still think you could have 10 or so Labour seats in Scotland…

    The 1910 analogy is a very good one. the nationalists had also propped up the liberals in 1892 even though the tories won 38 odd more seats than the liberals. Salisbury refused to resign and only did so after he lost a confidence vote in the house the following month. Gladstone was then installed in his 4th premiership.

    They understood parliament a lot better then than we seem to now. the rules of parliamentary arithmetic determined everything…as someone else wrote somewhere, the situation we’re in wouldn’t have seemed strange to anyone who remembered British politics in the generation before 1914, but of course they’re all dead now.

  50. Why is Nicola Sturgeon being so disruptive?

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