Conservative Target Seats

These are the seventy-five seats with the lowest percentage majorities over the Conservative party. This does not necessarily mean they would be the most winnable seats for the Conservatives in practice, or that they are the seats the Conservative party will actually be targetting at the next general election.

1. City of Chester Majority 93 (0.1%)
2. Ealing Central & Acton Majority 274 (0.5%)
3. Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk Majority 328 (0.6%)
4. Brentford & Isleworth Majority 465 (0.9%)
5. Wirral West Majority 417 (0.9%)
6. Halifax Majority 428 (1%)
7. Ilford North Majority 589 (1.2%)
8. Newcastle-under-Lyme Majority 650 (1.5%)
9. Barrow & Furness Majority 795 (1.8%)
10. Wolverhampton South West Majority 801 (2%)
11. Hampstead & Kilburn Majority 1138 (2.1%)
12. Enfield North Majority 1086 (2.3%)
13. Hove Majority 1236 (2.4%)
14. Dewsbury Majority 1451 (2.7%)
15. Southport Majority 1322 (3%)
16. Lancaster & Fleetwood Majority 1265 (3.1%)
17. Carshalton & Wallington Majority 1510 (3.2%)
18. North East Derbyshire Majority 1883 (3.9%)
19. Harrow West Majority 2208 (4.8%)
20. Bridgend Majority 1927 (4.9%)
21. Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland Majority 2268 (4.9%)
22. Westminster North Majority 1977 (5%)
23. Walsall North Majority 1937 (5.2%)
24. Tooting Majority 2842 (5.3%)
25. Wrexham Majority 1831 (5.6%)
26. Birmingham, Northfield Majority 2509 (5.9%)
27. Wakefield Majority 2613 (6.1%)
28. Gedling Majority 2986 (6.2%)
29. Eltham Majority 2693 (6.2%)
30. Birmingham, Edgbaston Majority 2706 (6.5%)
31. Copeland Majority 2564 (6.5%)
32. Stoke-on-Trent South Majority 2539 (6.5%)
33. Clwyd South Majority 2402 (6.8%)
34. Coventry South Majority 3188 (7.3%)
35. Clacton Majority 3437 (7.7%)
36. Darlington Majority 3158 (7.7%)
37. Delyn Majority 2930 (7.8%)
38. Blackpool South Majority 2585 (8%)
39. Alyn & Deeside Majority 3343 (8.1%)
40. North Norfolk Majority 4043 (8.2%)
41. Scunthorpe Majority 3134 (8.5%)
42. Bristol East Majority 3980 (8.6%)
43. Newport West Majority 3510 (8.7%)
44. Southampton, Test Majority 3810 (8.8%)
45. Chorley Majority 4530 (8.8%)
46. Bishop Auckland Majority 3508 (8.9%)
47. Ynys Mon Majority 229 (0.6%)*
48. Coventry North West Majority 4509 (10%)
49. Bolton North East Majority 4377 (10.2%)
50. Hyndburn Majority 4400 (10.2%)
51. Bury South Majority 4922 (10.5%)
52. Dudley North Majority 4181 (11%)
53. Wirral South Majority 4599 (11%)
54. Mansfield Majority 5315 (11.2%)
55. Dumfries & Galloway Majority 6514 (11.5%)
56. Batley & Spen Majority 6057 (12%)
57. Workington Majority 4686 (12.2%)
58. Stoke-on-Trent North Majority 4836 (12.5%)
59. Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine Majority 7033 (12.8%)
60. Exeter Majority 7183 (13.3%)
61. Newport East Majority 4705 (13.4%)
62. Great Grimsby Majority 4540 (13.5%)
63. Ellesmere Port & Neston Majority 6275 (13.5%)
64. Oldham East & Saddleworth Majority 6002 (13.5%)
65. Luton South Majority 5711 (13.5%)
66. Hammersmith Majority 6518 (13.6%)
67. Bristol South Majority 7128 (14.1%)
68. York Central Majority 6716 (14.1%)
69. Worsley & Eccles South Majority 5946 (14.1%)
70. Penistone & Stocksbridge Majority 6723 (14.3%)
71. Walsall South Majority 6007 (14.4%)
72. Hartlepool Majority 3024 (7.6%)*
73. Birmingham, Erdington Majority 5129 (14.8%)
74. Leeds North East Majority 7250 (15%)
75. Slough Majority 7336 (15.2%)
Comments - 616 Responses on “Conservative Targets”
  1. Ironically if Labour was in during this Parliament gay Marriage would probably have been introduced( through maybe not if Brown was the PM as I don’t think he was completely committed to it) and the vast majority of the PLP voted for it.

  2. @Peter Crawford

    I don’t disagree with you at all that both Cannock and Dudley South are a challenge for the Conservatives based on local results since 2010. They are however – especially Dudley South – exactly the type of seats the Conservatives have to stay competitive in to remain the largest party, let alone get a majority. If they lack the confidence to contest these , they appear to be throwing in the towel already, not least give the dearth of seats currently held by Labour that they can hope to gain.

    And remember Halesowen / Rowley Regis and Stourbridge are similar seats to Dudley South.

  3. I don’t disagree with you at all that both Cannock and Dudley South are a challenge for the Conservatives based on local results since 2010. They are however – especially Dudley South – exactly the type of seats the Conservatives have to stay competitive in to remain the largest party, let alone get a majority. If they lack the confidence to contest these , they appear to be throwing in the towel already, not least give the dearth of seats currently held by Labour that they can hope to gain.
    And remember Halesowen / Rowley Regis and Stourbridge are similar seats to Dudley South.

    couldn’t agree more…it’s pretty crazy for the tories to give up on those seats, but then again I am still, even after the scottish meltdown, sceptical about the tories’ ability to get the most seats, still less to form a government.

    I am sceptical about the list for the reason you describe.

  4. Stourbridge is in fact somewhat different from the other seats mentioned. In Stourbridge, the middle of the road suburban areas outweigh the traditional working-class ones whereas in the others seats they are finely balanced, hence why Stourbridge is more Conservative-leaning.

  5. In my view the Conservatives will lose Cannock Chase, Halesowen & RR, and Dudley South but retain Stourbridge. Remember that Black Country seats can be volatile so if Dudley South goes it does not mean that other in the lower reaches of Labour’s target list are in danger.

  6. I don’t think Stourbridge is that much different from Dudley West. In both cases Labour clearly are ahead in the 3 eastern wards, whilst 2 of the western wards (the Kingswinford wards in Dudley West , and the Norton and Pedmore/Stourbridge East in Stourbridge) are Conservative. The remaining one ward in Dudley West (Wordsley) and two in Stourbridge (Woolaston/Town and Amblecote) are essentially 3 way marginals with UKIP competitive. The overall majority is near identical. I could see both tracking in the same way – though Margot James may get an incumbency bonus.

  7. I don’t know why anyone would predict the Tories losing Stourbridge. Labour need a 5.5% swing which implies a national lead of 4%. The current UKPR polling average puts them 1% ahead.

  8. Firstly it is Dudley South not Dudley West (forgive my pedantry).

    Secondly, of Dudley South’s six wards three were quite clearly Labour-leaning in 2010 (though Netherton will have been tight) and three clearly Tory-leaning (including Wordsley actually). Of Stourbridge’s seven wards three will have leaned Labour with four leaning Conservative (even in Stoubridge Town, the Conservatives will have led handily enough). And if you are going to look at what has happened post-2010, then I think I can point out that in 2014, the Conservatives carried Stourbridge over Labour (albeit by only 600 or so) whereas the Conservatives finished third in Dudley South behind UKIP and Labour.

  9. Pedantry accepted 🙂 (Drat these boundary reviews!)

    My comments about the wards were based on the 2014 local election results. In those UKIP won Wordsley with the Conservatives just one vote ahead of Labour and UKIP also won Amblecote , with the Conservatives in 2nd place and Labour only about 100 votes behind that : so fairly close 3 way contests.

    And I do agree that the Conservatives should hold Stourbridge – but if, to come back to my original posting, they have doubts about their position in Dudley South, that does suggest a tight contest in Stourbridge too.

  10. Just had a leaflet from our Conservative candidate for Morley which says –

    “Ed Miliband would need to be propped up by the SNP in government, with Alex Salmond the likely Deputy Prime Minister”

    (Has anybody told Alex Salmond this?)

    Is this now national “scaremongering” or is it just my local Tory candidate?

  11. Alex Salmond is not even an MP yet. The leader of the SNP at Westminster is Morayshire MP Angus Robertson. I understand that Salmond is not intending to replace Robertson as the leader of the SNP group though I would imagine that the current group of 6 will be heavily outnumbered by new members.

  12. it is a strange tactic in a way & l wonder how many voters are likely to be influenced by it.

  13. I definitely think that the Labour being propped up by the SNP argument will have some traction and will help the Tories in England and Wales to some extent. Although Alex Salmond will not become deputy prime minister and the SNP will not go into full coalition with them, in order to pass legislation in the next parliament Labour will be reliant on SNP votes the likely seat numbers will dictate this. The SNP holding any power or influence in the UK parliament is I imagine a very unpopular idea with the British electorate.

  14. The SNP has only one thing in mind and that’s independence. If Labour can’t form a good majority (which they aren’t projected to by any stretch) they are better off in opposition again so that they can regroup and try to win back support with a better leader. It has been said that government is going to be hell for which ever party has the largest number of seats, but with no majority on the horizon, it’s almost as if being the main opposition is easier.

    The Conservatives would have UKIP, DUP and maybe the Lib Dems to negotiate with, but even that would be easier than Labour trying to budge the SNP on certain issues.

  15. Yes the SNP’s goal is independence so they will use this chance in a lifetime opportunity to bring it closer. They almost certainly will vote down a Tory government, anything else would be portrayed by Labour as the SNP propping up a Tory government which would be detrimental to their new found support in traditionally solidly Labour areas.

    What they will probably do is agree to prop up a Labour government on a confidence and supply basis. Initially they will probably start with a façade of compromise and ‘working together’ but as time goes on they will keep upping the stakes making increasingly outrageous demands in return for their support. Labour, who will be desperate to hold power, will keep giving them exactly what they want up until a point that the demands are so ridiculous that Labour will be forced to say no.

    The SNP will then flounce off in a mock strop and will tell the Scottish people that Labour is anti-Scottish. It is also likely the English public opinion and the media will have become very hostile towards the government by this point and Labour will be portrayed south of the border as favouring Scotland causing a rise in anti-Scottish sentiment in England which will in turn fuel nationalistic resentment in Scotland.

    It is a win, win for the SNP they can bully Labour in to giving them many, many more powers for Scotland and they can drive a wedge between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

  16. The main British parties have once again shown their idiocy by not getting an assurance from the SNP before the referendum that there wouldn’t be another plebiscite for at least ten years. In their usual arrogant and complacent way they probably just assumed this would be the case so didn’t press the SNP on it. They should have done so. Now the SNP can once again threaten a vote if they don’t get their way after May 7th.

  17. And of course the Tories will probably be back in power by 2020 on the back on the minority SNP backed Labour government’s unpopularity. The Tories will of course be vocal critics of Labour ‘favouring Scotland’ and will make a lot of populist capital out of promising to put England first. When they get back in to power the Tories will do a lot of things that could be perceived as anti-Scottish, budget cuts etc. which will be widely supported in England. Scots will then feel bullied and isolated and hence nationalistic resentment goes up further. Plus it is worth noting that a chunk of the heavily pro-union over 65’s will have died by then.

  18. I have just posted on Labour Targets suggesting that Labour may be doing comparatively badly in seats in the Englsh provinces outside the inner cities, in other words in what might be described as “semi-detached land”. Many of these seats are currently held by the Tories as marginals; but a significan number of them -places like Chorley and Telford, for example- are on the list of Tory targets. Even without a national swing from Labour to the Tories (which I personally as expecting), this could give the Tories the twenty seats they need for a majority.. I believe there is a simple reason why this differential swing is likely to occur, but I feel intimidated from saying it.

  19. Frederic: I agree with your first assertion that Labour are probably not doing well in England outside metropolitan areas, but disagree that the Tories might be able to win seats like Chorley and Telford. I don’t think Labour will do sufficiently badly relative to the Tories.

  20. “I believe there is a simple reason why this differential swing is likely to occur, but I feel intimidated from saying it.”

    you bang on and on about immigration and ghettoisation. I am glad you’re intimidated, because your posts are full of coded, somewhat racist, innuendo…not very pleasant frankly.

  21. Miliband has now ruled out a coalition and any SNP Ministers. I was amused to see the First Minister rushing on tv to say the SNP could still do a deal with Labour to keep the Tories out!

  22. Who would have thought the SNP would be so desperate to get their hands on power in Westminster. You would have thought running Scotland would have been enough for them.

  23. None of this anti-SNP campaigning that’s going on is doing the long-term health of the Union much good.

  24. “I was amused to see the First Minister rushing on tv to say the SNP could still do a deal with Labour to keep the Tories out!”

    labour and snp are playing an amusing game. labour need to convince scottish voters in scotland that a vote for the snp is a vote for the tories, while the snp have to convince those same voters you can vote for us and still keep out the tories….

    so labour have to distance themselves from the snp, while secretly relying up on them, while the snp have to do the opposite; outwardly they have to pretend to be labour’s best friend in the context of westminster politics, but privately I don’t think they care who gets in.

  25. And English voters are not amused by the whole spectacle.

  26. The Sun is reporting that Baroness Warsi may defect to Labour! Wonder if this is true?

  27. Surely she’d find it easier as a crossbencher. Her days as the Conservatives’ most prominent minority face are over, but she was hardly warm to Labour in a number of instances while chair of the Tories.

  28. that’s part of the job description though.

  29. ‘labour and snp are playing an amusing game.’

    A dangerous game too

    Over the past week I’ve meet a couple of middle-of-the-road voters – who backed New Labour in 97 and 2001 – who have said they will be voting Tory precisely because of the possibility of the SNP holding any Labour government to ransom

  30. I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard for her to make the necessary readjustments.

  31. ” I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard for her to make the necessary readjustments.”

    Are peers allows to defect to another party?

  32. Yes of course they are. Plenty of examples to choose from including quite high profile ones like George Brown.

    Warsi is very damaging for other Asian Tories because she reinforces the stereotypes that muslim politicians have no party loyalty. I’m not really sure that Labour will want her.

  33. ‘Warsi is very damaging for other Asian Tories because she reinforces the stereotypes that muslim politicians have no party loyalty.’

    That’s true but I’d argue that it damages the Tories, as it reinforces the stereotype that British Muslims have no place in today’s Tory Party

  34. “Over the past week I’ve meet a couple of middle-of-the-road voters – who backed New Labour in 97 and 2001 – who have said they will be voting Tory precisely because of the possibility of the SNP holding any Labour government to ransom.”

    There is no benefit to the Conservatives of Labour seats being won by the SNP because the new members will either back Miliband (albeit hold him to ransom) or vote down a minority Conservative government.

  35. ‘There is no benefit to the Conservatives of Labour seats being won by the SNP because the new members will either back Miliband (albeit hold him to ransom) or vote down a minority Conservative government’

    These are English voters I’m talking about

    Fear of the SNP calling the shots in any future Labour-led administration is certainly a vote winner for the Tories South of the border

  36. My observation of the campaign in Vale of Clwyd suggests that both Lab and Con are taking this fight very seriously.

    The posters being displayed for the Cons emphasise the title “DOCTOR” for James Davies.

    From my local knowledge, I predict the result could be very close here this time.

  37. Assuming the usual wide spread of results between individual constituencies, I have been contemplating what the most likely Conservative gain is. Most discussion has been around Itchen, but I think Telford is the best bet for a surprise gain against the trend.

  38. It could turn out that the Swing between Lab and Con on Thursday could be approaching zero. But the swing could be Lib Dem to Conservative. In some seats in which UKIP have only put up a paper candidate. UKIP may only get 6%.

    As far as I can see, the Conservatives have had a well financed and well targeted target plan, and can hope and expect to win 25 of those target seats.

  39. They BBC based on the exit poll seem to think the Tories are going to win Derby North, Nottingham South and Derbyshire North East. This surely cannot be anywhere near correct?

  40. I guess these projections are where this exit poll is still causing many to scratch their heads.

    E.g. Pudsey is a seat which is on a knife edge, perhaps favouring the Tories. That’s what makes projected gains like Gedling look unfathomable.

  41. Its 3.22 in the morning and having seen the results for Brecon, North Warwickshire and Vale of Clwyd I think a Conservative overall majority is now a possibility.

  42. BBC are now predicting 325 Conservative seats.

  43. SF have lost a seat, effective majority now needed 324, 325 not exactly a stable majority but would be good enough!

  44. BBC are now saying that they estimate a7% Conservative lead in the popular vote – far beyond anything the polls were suggesting (save the odd supposed rogue).

    This would be a similar lead to the last election but the Conservatives are clearly performing better than that in the Lab / Con marginals.

  45. These are the seats which the Conservatives have gained from Labour.

    Derby North
    Morley and Outwood
    Southampton Itchen
    Corby
    Plymouth Moor View
    Bolton West
    Gower
    Telford.

    Without these the Conservatives would not have achieved an overall majority.

  46. Stephenpt and they gained the Vale of Clwyd. Corby is technically a hold but even so pretty remarkable that the Tories won it back. Unless I’ve missed somewhere 10 Tory seats flipped to Labour and 8 Labour seats (excluding Corby) flipped to the Tories. An utterly appalling performance for Labour.

    I wonder how the polls got it so horribly wrong not just the public ones but I presume the parties private ones too. I don’t even think the most optimistic Tory MPs saw this coming.

  47. The only person who publicly said it (unapologetically and boldly) was Eric Pickles on BBCR5 Pienaars Politics said ” I’m going to give you a tip, go down to Ladbrokes and have a bet on the Tory majority; you’ll win a lot of money… ”

    This was on 19 or 26 April – I reported this at the time on LABOUR TARGETS thread.

    The polls – they really didn’t learn the lesson of 1992.

    I said since November the polls were underestimating “shy Tories” .

    I thought ‘shy Tories ‘ would be even higher this time
    …why??

    1. Tories were more horrible this time
    a.to students
    b. to benefit claimants
    c. to council tenants

    2. Tories bribed an awful lot – e.g, lots of huge local enterprise deals (Plymouth, Rochester. .etc) Pension annuities…etc

    3. Soft Tories (& Labour’s own supporters of course) secretly admired the Tories right to buy for Housing Association tenants…(Bedford ).

    All those things would want waverers to vote with the Govt but people wouldn’t want to admit that, so most of them said to the pollsters. ..”I’ll vote Labour, or “I don’t know “.

    It was this last category (the don’t knows) who decided the overall result.

    The pollsters lazily reallocated their vote to how they voted last time in 2010 – with catastrophic results.

  48. The opinion polls themselves influenced the final real vote.

    The newspapers also played a big part in the last few days before Polling Day. The Express and the Mail in particular.

  49. Yes, DD.

    e.g: The Mail printed a comprehensive list of 50 seats where ukip and lib dem supporters could help to defeat labour (by voting tactical for Con ).

  50. The Mail was by far the most influential newspaper during the campaign. The Sun must be spitting hairs.

    I don’t see The Express as a factor frankly.

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