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. The other big difference to 1910, or indeed the 1920’s, or 2010, is that on those occasions two political parties could together command a clear parliamentary majority.

    As things stand, it is probable that this will not be the position on 8th May.

  2. Peter makes some perfectly fair points. Stockton South is the likeliest Con hold within Lab’s top 10 and I agree Ben Gummer has a fighting chance in Ipswich. I also agree that Enfield Southgate is going to be very uncomfortable for the Conservatives though I lean towards a narrow hold.

  3. Interesting you mention Ipswich Peter – in the past you have been pretty certain Labour would take it. Dudley S despite the Ashcroft poll is a very plausible Labour gain & l nearly put it in that column. l’ll stick with a Con hold for the time being but could change my mind. The trouble with Scotland is that the seats likelier to be held by Labour are a mixture of those which contain some very wealthy areas (e.g. Edinburgh S, E Renfrewshire) and the ones which are very, very working-class, and have large traditional Labour majorities (e.g. Coatbridge, Glasgow NE) and for whatever reason a negligible SNP tradition. In some seats in the latter category the SNP have come close or even won in the past (e.g. E Kilbride, Cumbernauld) but it’s clear that Labour will lose some seats of this type with little or no SNP tradition (Airdrie & Shotts is a good example – perhaps the defending Labour candidate’s rather constituency-neglectful record is contributing to the SNP’s large lead there). But it’s pretty hard to tell which one is which. Logic has gone rather out of the window in the current Scottish constituency polls when you compare one seat with another.

  4. l mean an SNP tradition dating from before the party’s last Scottish Parliamentary election victory, to clarify.

  5. “Interesting you mention Ipswich Peter – in the past you have been pretty certain Labour would take it. Dudley S despite the Ashcroft poll is a very plausible Labour gain & l nearly put it in that column.”

    I still think labour are odds on favourites in ipswich. On the ground, however, I think Gummer is much better funded and resourced than many tory mps in similarly marginal seats. he was the parliamentary aide to lord feldman, the party co-chairman, and i understand a lot of support is being provided.

    Dudley South whose local dynamics I know a bit about. the former Tory MP there Chris Kelly is the son of a multimillionaire owner of Keltruck. [the clue’s in the name]. He put a lot of his own resources in the years after he was selected, and the tory association is q. weak there. I don’t think they have any campaigning fire power and I know that there have been two defections of councillors to labour.

    That’s why I think Dudley S may go labour, despite the ashcrocft poll, and Ipswich could be a surprising hold. both speculative… I think labour are favourites in ipswich, so i was being contrarian. similarly, dudley s is seen as a tory hold, and i am going against the grain there…

    Other seats which have shown labour leads in ashcroft’s polling, but are seen as likely tory holds are: Norwich North, Milton Keynes South, Peterborough, Finchley and Golders Green, and I have listed seats the other way, with slim tory leads…

    It’s a brave thing to believe the tories will hold all the seats in which they a 1-2 point lead, all the seats in which they are tied, AND all the seats in which labour have a 1-2 point lead in Ashcroft, but that’s what you have to believe if you think the tories will hold ALL of South Ribble, Rossendale & Darwen, Finchley & Golders Green, Peterborough, Stourbridge, Colne Valley, Norwich North, High Peak, Pudsey, Crewe & Nantwich, South Swindon, Milton Keynes South, and Rochester & Strood.

    Sure the tories may well win the majority of these sweeps, but ashcroft’s own data suggests they are all toss-ups. The betting market currently thinks the tories will win all these seats. this seems distinctly panglossian to me.

    I expect people may well be surprised at the number of con losses on thursday, but only time will tell, as they say.

  6. Barnaby and TORY – – thanks for posting your I

    It is my belief that there is (for me) a glaring fallacy – LAB will not gain the 40/41seats from CON that you both say they will.

    Of the ones you both give, I am sorry to say that the following will remain CON.

    Croydon C, Ealing C & A, Enfield N, Harrow E, Stroud, Stevenage, Bedford, Ipswich, Norwich N, Northampton N, N Warks, Nuneaton, Halesowen, Cannock, Broxtowe, Sherwood, Amber Vlley, Erewash, Crewe, Warrington S, Chester, Lincoln, W Wirral, Bury N, Keighley, Dewsbury, Morecambe, Lancaster, Rossendale, Stockton S, Hove, Brighton Kemptown, Dudley S. (33).

    Increase in WC people voting CON + increase in CON BaME voters will be two small shifts that will defeat LAB.

  7. Tories holding Stroud!? Ashcroft gave Labour an 11-point lead last summer and their candidate is the former MP. Can’t see that happening myself

  8. It was 10 months ago! And the others?

  9. Best case scenario for the Tories would be salvaging half of those seats.

  10. Hove for instance Labour had a six-point lead a couple of weeks ago and there’s no incumbent

  11. Mike, I fear Deepthroat has mixed up his medication again 🙂

    I’ll say this for him : he is both dogged and consistent in his attempt to create a viable coalition opportunity for the Conservatives. But so many of his punts strain credulity, that’s its probably best to let matters lie till Friday.

  12. admittedly I’d probably put Rossendale as a narrow Tory hold – assuming Ashcroft’s poll is about right Con/Lab are tied but Con has incumbency and the UKIP vote is slightly higher than the LD/Green vote – bit more to squeeze? Not exactly confident with that prediction though

  13. MIKEs- You – & others – are, understandably, solely looking at & going by existing polls, whereas I think VI will change on 7 May.

    Enough people will make up their mind and vote with the existing government to get CON close to (or over) 300.

    REMEMBER there is roughly 12-16% don’t knows in each constituency. (SVI)

    EG: DUDLEY S 14% , HARROW E 14%

    Amongst the GE 2010 voters who say they don’t know: I believe a significant majority of these will stay with status quo rather than take a gamble with Miliband & Sturgeon/Salmond.

    This will tip the balance to the Tories in a significant amount of seats.

  14. I think that it is unlikely that Con will lose many seats to Lab where their 2010 majority exceeds 6%, and may retain a significant number where their 2010 majority was in the range 4-6%, as I expect the average Con-to-Lab swing in English marginals to be only about 2% on 7/5/15. However, Norwich North and Crewe & Nantwich may be outliers, because Con benefitted from a recent by-election effect in 2010 and IMO are too close to call.

    I anticipate Con will lose about 35 seats to Lab (and 2 to UKIP), but gain about 15 LD seats and end up with about 285 (and importantly more than Lab).

  15. Polling should be regulated better. Or Nationalised.

  16. personally I think 10-11 gains from the Lib Dems is more likely. Although 15+ would certainly be possible depending on how badly the LDs end up doing

  17. Deepthroat – with the very greatest of respect, l almost certainly have a better idea of what is happening in Ealing Central & Acton than you do. l have also campaigned in Hove & Bedford of the seats you have listed. Believe me – the Tories haven’t an earthly of holding Bedford!
    Yes, it’s possible that some of the seats l listed could just about stay Tory. Halesowen, Crewe, Norwich N & Rossendale are within the realms of possibility, particularly Crewe & Rossendale. But Peter is surely right. Labour is almost bound to win some of the toss-ups or the ones where it appears the Tories have a very narrow lead. The wildest prediction of all is the Tories holding Dewsbury, followed closely by Sherwood & Enfield N. l honestly think you’re just guessing – l don’t think you have any real knowledge of many of those seats or have taken the time to analyse them properly. Some of them have very limited numbers of white working-class voters (Ealing Central & Acton and Enfield N are particularly good example of this). In fact Enfield N has been a nailed-on Labour gain virtually the whole of the last 4 years, and l think you’re going to look particularly silly when you see the result there.

  18. Labour will take Enfield North by 10 points +

  19. There’s nothing wrong with wishful thinking, and that’s basically all that Deepthroat bases his comments on. Of course, wishes do sometimes come true, and there could yet be a late national swing to the Tories, but without it, I suspect that most of the Tory marginals listed above will be lost, including my own – Wirral W. They’ll be hard put to hold Chester too.

    Also the Tory target of 15 LD seats looks optimistic if the Ashcroft polls are accurate – and the Lib Dems could easily gain Watford and possible Montgomery too.

  20. Well well well, the day is finally upon us! As my old dad used to say, you can’t enjoy yourself without an election.

    It’s now just a few more hours until the polls close and Election Night begins!

    Watching the results trickle in is a long tradition in our house, and so my partner Derek and I will certainly be up all night, chained to the settee no doubt, such will be the excitement..

  21. If any thread that summed up how so many got it wrong and we’re rude to me for maintaining my theory, it is this one…see above from 2 May:

    “It is my belief that there is (for me) a glaring fallacy – LAB will not gain the 40/41seats from CON that you both say they will.

    Of the ones you both give, I am sorry to say that the following will remain CON.

    Croydon C, Ealing C & A, Enfield N, Harrow E, Stroud, Stevenage, Bedford, Ipswich, Norwich N, Northampton N, N Warks, Nuneaton, Halesowen, Cannock, Broxtowe, Sherwood, Amber Vlley, Erewash, Crewe, Warrington S, Chester, Lincoln, W Wirral, Bury N, Keighley, Dewsbury, Morecambe, Lancaster, Rossendale, Stockton S, Hove, Brighton Kemptown, Dudley S. (33).

    Increase in WC people voting CON + increase in CON BaME voters will be two small shifts that will defeat LAB.”
    May 3rd, 2015 at 1:31 pm

  22. Deepthroat. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    If a teacher says that to a reception class, then actually they WILL raise their arms and give themselves an actual pat on the back.

  23. I wonder if the venerable PETER CRAWFORD will at least acknowledge my thinking was correct. The Tories will do very well and would hold seats like:

    Plymouth SD, Croydon C, Harrow E, Stroud, Stevenage, Bedford, Ipswich, Norwich N, Northampton N, Nuneaton, Halesowen, Cannock, Broxtowe, Amber Vlley, Erewash, Warrington S, Lincoln, W Wirral, Bury N, Keighley, Dewsbury, Morecambe, Lancaster, Rossendale, Stockton S, Brighton Kemptown…..

    BARNABY MARDER and HHEMELIG and JAMES PEEL have all been good enough to return and admit they got it wrong and were gracious. I wonder if PETER CRAWFORD can enlighten us as to how he called it similarly inaccurately.

  24. Peter might have been extremely wrong but he made many worthwhile contributions, especially in terms of interesting historical parallels, I hope he does return.

    Nothing much to talk about for a few months now it’s all over so hopefully that’s why some people haven’t been back.

  25. The ‘Conservative Defence’ was meaner and stingier than that of Chelsea football this season – !!

  26. I’m afraid deepthroat does have a point though. It wasn’t just that people got it wrong, but that some of them were utterly dismissive of other people’s opinions. Of course there was some silly stuff posted on here, but quite serious alternative outlooks were routinely rubbished as well.

  27. I do recall you yourself rubbishing quite a few alternative outlooks Runnymede, especially those predicting a better than expected Lib Dem performance. Yes you were right but what if you hadn’t been? I agree Deepthroat’s point is valid. I like most of us trusted the polls too much and assumed a 1992 style polling error was impossible. I shall not make the same mistake again.

  28. I know I got it badly wrong, but I’ve continued to post anyway because I’ve just embraced the fact I messed up all my predictions LOL- I’ve taken it in my stride TBH.

  29. Hopefully the demands for apologies and railing at posters whose predictions turned out to be wrong will stop soon. It really doesn’t add to the site.

  30. Hear hear.

  31. I think I would have make a better job at predicting the results if I hadn’t seen any opinion polls during the campaign. Maybe the same is true for a lot of other people.

  32. For example, using long-term trends I was going to predict no Labour gains in the Eastern region. In the end I stuck with the Tories holding Ipswich and Waveney but due to the polls I conceded Labour might win Bedford and Norwich North. My original thoughts were correct. The same is true for Nuneaton and Warwickshire North which are in an area which is moving away from Labour long-term.

  33. Well it’s easy to look at the polls and project something for a given seat, isn’t it? But don’t we want a bit more than that from a site like this? I certainly think so.

    And there were some fascinating titbits if you looked closely enough.

  34. @ Simon and The Results…..perhaps there was too much ganging up on people who dared say that the Tories would win…for example, any posts which predicted the Tories winning in Plymouth Moor View, Southampton Itchen, Bolton West were immediately jumped on..’where is your evidence, the polls suggest otherwise etc’.

    I think that we all need to analyse comments and predictions more carefully in future

  35. I certainly think repeatedly starting that ‘such and such a poster will look stupid on the day after the election’ is unwise.

  36. True. Itchen makes sense given the Tory candidate/MP elect overpowered the submariner with the gun.

    But in the final week he was hindered rather than helped by Tory HQ & DC misspelling the constituency name.

  37. If the polls suggest that someone’s prediction is wrong, it’s entirely reasonable to say so. If you make an unusual prediction, why wouldn’t people ask you whether you have any evidence to support it?

    I think people don’t like that sort of questioning/discussion as too many predictions on this site are still “Party X that I agree with is going to do well”.

  38. The point is Simon, that the polls are not the only source of evidence, and relying on them as the fount of all information is not wise.

  39. True, but that’s an argument to have about any particular prediction, rather than shutting down discussion which seems to be what some around here want.

  40. Plenty of us read the election wrong to some degree or other. Some of us have come back here to continue posting (and settle up wagers) but many have not, and it’s strange that very little has been said about that. All the opprobrium is focused on those who have had the balls to show their faces again yet the likes of Antiochian, Peter Crawford and even to a lesser extent Barnaby are exempt from it due to having disappeared.

  41. Khunanup, Teddy, Gloy Plopwell, Miriam Purdum

  42. ‘yet the likes of Antiochian, Peter Crawford and even to a lesser extent Barnaby are exempt from it due to having disappeared’

    I really don’t understand how people can take themselves so seriously – people are waay too precious nowadays

    Barnaby’s a bit different if he’s a pollster – but I’m very surprised he’s left as he balanced things out a bit, made interesting points and always had the courtessy to reply to posts made by others – unlike many others (typically from the other end of the lolitical soectrum) who see it as beneath them

  43. Agree with you on Barnaby. The Lib Dem rampers piss me off though. They never come back when they have lost. Forgot Mark Senior and Chris Hornet.

  44. Whilst I agree, I think it takes some on the Left a long time to get over the election.

    I know Labour Cllrs in the NW who are only just replying to emails/texts after a week of silence. Ironic though, as a couple of them were pestering us right up to Polling Day.

  45. l have continued to read posts here. l did come back to apologize to everyone whom l wrongly insulted or belittled, and to admit l cocked up big time; basically, whether by luck or judgement, many of those got it right, and l got it totally wrong. l have vowed to stop predicting election results since l clearly have lost the ability to do so well, and have (despite the fact that l work for a company which carries out polls) also vowed not to believe political opinion polls in future. l’m not a pollster, though l did help with opinion polls in 2010: l work on matters unrelated to party politics. l’m happy to take my share of the opprobrium, but l won’t comment here since my contributions have been shown not to be worthwhile. Just to set the record straight. My best wishes to UKPR contributors & to Anthony.

  46. 2015 Councillors’ Scoreboard has at last been finalised:

    Conservative 5,521 +541
    Labour 2,278 -203
    LibDem 658 -411
    Inds 517 -125
    UKIP 202 +176
    Green 87 +10
    Residents’ 55 +2
    Liberal 6 -3

    A few few longstanding incumbents lost due to the GE turnout, including Steve Radford’s Liberals in Tuebrook in Liverpool (although not Radford himself who wasn’t up and just held his deposit standing in the GE). Residents’ were more resilient in Epsom & Ewell where they defeated Cons in almost every ward, to hold the Council.

    I’ve no idea why it took Guildford until Tuesday morning to declare all of the results!

  47. Barnaby – your contributions were certainly worthwhile and you have lots of local knowledge.

    I think we were all – except perhaps Deepthroat – surprised by the overall outcome and the results in several seats.

    HH was totally wrong about Corby as many others were re seats from East Belfast to Cornwall.

  48. Barnaby

    I sent you a message on Facebook. If you’re not coming back here we can perhaps keep in touch there. I needed to get in touch about Robin’s bet anyhow.

  49. “I know Labour Cllrs in the NW who are only just replying to emails/texts after a week of silence.”

    I think we are all still waiting to hear something from Derby North former MP. He disappeared during the second recount and then nothing public…

  50. Seems like he’s a Labour version of Stewart Jackson

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