Labour Defence List

These are the hundred current Labour seats with the lowest majority in order of their percentage majority. This does not necessarily mean that the top of the list will would be the most vulnerable Labour seats in practice, nor that they are the seats the Labour party will be putting the most effort into defending.

1. City of Chester Majority 93 (0.1%)
2. Ealing Central & Acton Majority 274 (0.5%)
3. Ynys Mon Majority 229 (0.6%)
4. Brentford & Isleworth Majority 465 (0.9%)
5. Wirral West Majority 417 (0.9%)
6. Halifax Majority 428 (1%)
7. Cambridge Majority 599 (1.1%)
8. Ilford North Majority 589 (1.2%)
9. Newcastle-under-Lyme Majority 650 (1.5%)
10. Barrow & Furness Majority 795 (1.8%)
11. Wolverhampton South West Majority 801 (2%)
12. Hampstead & Kilburn Majority 1138 (2.1%)
13. Enfield North Majority 1086 (2.3%)
14. Hove Majority 1236 (2.4%)
15. Dewsbury Majority 1451 (2.7%)
16. Lancaster & Fleetwood Majority 1265 (3.1%)
17. North East Derbyshire Majority 1883 (3.9%)
18. Harrow West Majority 2208 (4.8%)
19. Bridgend Majority 1927 (4.9%)
20. Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland Majority 2268 (4.9%)
21. Westminster North Majority 1977 (5%)
22. Walsall North Majority 1937 (5.2%)
23. Edinburgh South Majority 2637 (5.3%)
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. Stoke-on-Trent South Majority 2539 (6.5%)
31. Copeland Majority 2564 (6.5%)
32. Birmingham, Edgbaston Majority 2706 (6.5%)
33. Clwyd South Majority 2402 (6.8%)
34. Coventry South Majority 3188 (7.3%)
35. Hartlepool Majority 3024 (7.6%)
36. Darlington Majority 3158 (7.7%)
37. Delyn Majority 2930 (7.8%)
38. Blackpool South Majority 2585 (8%)
39. Burnley Majority 3244 (8.1%)
40. Alyn & Deeside Majority 3343 (8.1%)
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. Bermondsey & Old Southwark Majority 4489 (8.8%)
47. Bishop Auckland Majority 3508 (8.9%)
48. Bristol West Majority 5673 (8.9%)
49. Coventry North West Majority 4509 (10%)
50. Hyndburn Majority 4400 (10.2%)
51. Bolton North East Majority 4377 (10.2%)
52. Bury South Majority 4922 (10.5%)
53. Heywood & Middleton Majority 5299 (10.9%)
54. Dudley North Majority 4181 (11%)
55. Wirral South Majority 4599 (11%)
56. Mansfield Majority 5315 (11.2%)
57. Dagenham & Rainham Majority 4980 (11.6%)
58. Batley & Spen Majority 6057 (12%)
59. Workington Majority 4686 (12.2%)
60. Stoke-on-Trent North Majority 4836 (12.5%)
61. Cardiff Central Majority 4981 (12.9%)
62. Exeter Majority 7183 (13.3%)
63. Newport East Majority 4705 (13.4%)
64. Great Grimsby Majority 4540 (13.5%)
65. Oldham East & Saddleworth Majority 6002 (13.5%)
66. Ellesmere Port & Neston Majority 6275 (13.5%)
67. Luton South Majority 5711 (13.5%)
68. Hammersmith Majority 6518 (13.6%)
69. Bristol South Majority 7128 (14.1%)
70. York Central Majority 6716 (14.1%)
71. Worsley & Eccles South Majority 5946 (14.1%)
72. Penistone & Stocksbridge Majority 6723 (14.3%)
73. Walsall South Majority 6007 (14.4%)
74. Birmingham, Erdington Majority 5129 (14.8%)
75. Leeds North East Majority 7250 (15%)
76. Slough Majority 7336 (15.2%)
77. Tynemouth Majority 8240 (15.4%)
78. Rother Valley Majority 7297 (15.5%)
79. Cardiff West Majority 6789 (15.5%)
80. Norwich South Majority 7654 (15.8%)
81. Nottingham South Majority 6936 (15.9%)
82. Cardiff South & Penarth Majority 7453 (16%)
83. Birmingham, Yardley Majority 6595 (16%)
84. Wolverhampton North East Majority 5495 (16.2%)
85. Stalybridge & Hyde Majority 6686 (16.3%)
86. Stoke-on-Trent Central Majority 5179 (16.6%)
87. Lancashire West Majority 8360 (16.9%)
88. Bradford South Majority 6450 (17.1%)
89. Bradford East Majority 7084 (17.1%)
90. Sedgefield Majority 6843 (17.7%)
91. Bassetlaw Majority 8843 (17.9%)
92. Huddersfield Majority 7345 (18.1%)
93. Llanelli Majority 7095 (18.3%)
94. Ashfield Majority 8820 (18.6%)
95. Birmingham, Selly Oak Majority 8447 (18.7%)
96. Hornsey & Wood Green Majority 11058 (19.1%)
97. Warrington North Majority 8923 (19.6%)
98. Swansea West Majority 7036 (20%)
99. Brent North Majority 10834 (20.8%)
100. Leicester West Majority 7203 (20.9%)
Comments - 334 Responses on “Labour Defence”
  1. I’m interesting to know who here thinks that Copeland will be a three-way marginal like Southport or Ynys Mon in the by-election – with the winning candidate receiving c30% of the vote?

  2. It may be that one candidate will win just over 30% but that doesn’t mean it will be a three way marginal.

  3. Fine; I was just curious to see if anyone thought it’d be similar to the results in those seats in 2015.

  4. UKIP will fall back. I think the LDs have a good shot at getting third. No way it’s a three-way marginal. C’mon, people.

  5. Funnily enough in my own early prediction here I’ve got Lib Dems down to come third and UKIP fourth with a vote share down on 2015, rightly or wrongly.

  6. Well if the result was akin to Southport or Ynys Mon apparently it would be technically (if UKIP were only 10% behind the winner in 3rd say, with c20% of the poll – doable as they got this in Workington) but I agree it’s unlikely to be a 3-way marginal in the event.

  7. How many do you think Labour will lose of these seats?

  8. 60-80

  9. I’m reckoning on about forty at the moment. Or maybe a few more – 40 seats the Conservatives plus a few odds and ends (Cambridge, Bermondsey, Ynys Mon)

    Safest seat to go – might be Great Grimsby. The margin in 2010 was actually very narrow, but they fell a lot further back in 2015, and I’m guessing that’s largely because Conservatives tactically lent their support to Labour to smother a UKIP threat that turned out to be a bit overhyped. There’ll be a decent unwind there.

    Similar situation in Penistone & Stockbridge. There’s an outside chance there too.

  10. There are quite a few of those seats with big UKIP votes where Labour could get a nasty surprise

    Great Grimsby
    Mansfield
    Penistone & Stocksbridge
    Sedgefield
    Stoke-on-Trent Central
    Stoke-on-Trent North
    Workington

    I think Don Valley and Rother Valley are probably too safe to fall but if Labour lose Sedgefield who knows what could happen in those seats.

  11. Penistone & Stocksbridge depends on whether Spencer Pitfield stands for the Conservatives – strong candidate who got very close in 2010.

  12. Of all the predictions on this website UKIP to gain 6 or 7 seats. has to be the most outlandish.

    They’re polling around 10% – & falling – and there’s lots of evidence that many UKIPPERS are switching (mostly to the Tories ).

    My thinking is zero seats and around just 7% vote share

  13. Alex

    Maybe – but now UKIP know where their vote surged in 2015 they will target much more effectively. It’s quite conceivable that they could fall to the vote share levels of Lib Dems’ 2015 vote, i.e. lose 1/3 or so of their votes overall, and still walk away with a couple of gains.

    The likelihood of this happening, however, depends on having strong candidates in the right places – and at least 1/2 a decent ground game in the small no of seats they target.

    This election is in many ways at the worst time for them (Brexit has been voted for, and negotiations with EU not really begun, so no compromises to scream betrayal about) – although at least 2015 Lab supporters can vote for them safe in the knowledge that Labour aren’t likely to go into government with or without their vote.

  14. I just want to pick up on a point which Alex F has made on the Lib Dem target page today but is probably best discussed here:

    “In fact the data suggests there be many more LAB GE2015 abstaining than CON GE2015.”

    Our old favourite differential turnout. After the Copeland by-election I made some observations on that page about Labour voters going AWOL. It got mixed reviews (but it would be a dull site if we all thought the same!). But I intend to raise the issue again. Many traditional Labour voters will still baulk at voting Conservative – or UKIP. Many however, if the campaign goes poorly, may just decide not to bother voting at all and that could be really damaging to Labour’s hopes of defending its current seats.

  15. Alex F: “Of all the predictions on this website UKIP to gain 6 or 7 seats. has to be the most outlandish.”

    This from a man who suggested that John McDonnell’s seat (majority 15,700) is in danger.

  16. I wonder what Labour’s strategy for this election is going to be. The classic marginals like Nuneaton are not in play this time around so Labour would be rather foolish to squander too many resources on them (except to remain at least a token presence for future campaigns). I read a comment somewhere that Labour strategists basically think that most seats with majorities below ~5,000 are lost and are instead going to throw everything at saving the 5,000-10,000 majority seats while sending Corbyn off to seats like Nuneaton (which Labour won’t win anyway) where he will do the least damage. Don’t know how accurate it is but a minimise your losses strategy is probably the smartest road to go down…

    I note also that Theresa May launched the Tory campaign in Bolton North East (majority 4,377) which implies that the Tories at least think they’ve got a decent shot at winning it (perhaps a very good shot). Cameron launched his campaign in Chippenham which (as we later found out) was part of the Tories extremely successful, scorched earth strategy against the Lib Dems in the West Country.

  17. Alex F – whilst I tend to agree with you, both can be true of course.

    The LDs won 8 seats with just 7% of the vote in 2015.

    Though without Farage and Carswell standing I can’t see UKIP winning any in June 2017.

  18. “I wonder what Labour’s strategy for this election is going to be.”

    IMO their best approach would be to defend every seat they hold as vigorously as possible and allow their 2015 vote in Con/LD marginals to collapse to the Lib Dems.

    If they can minimise net losses to the Tories to 20 seats and the Lib Dems manage to get back up to 30 odd seats, allowing for a few Con gains in Scotland that would leave May with an almost unchanged majority of 20 or so.

    Not a likely scenario at all given the polls right now but IMO that’s probably Labour’s best case. One advantage they have is the surge in membership post 2015 enabling them to harden up their ground game, whilst the Tories will hardly be able to send in battle buses or engage in wilful overspending to cover up their shivelled up local organisations this time.

    The widespread expectation of a Tory landslide could also lead to many Tory voters not bothering to vote, assuming victory is in the bag, and removes the potent scare tactic of Labour potentially winning which was so effective in 2015.

    By calling a “who governs Britain” early election as she has, May has set the bar very high for her own performance, unless she increases her majority markedly it will be seen very much as a failure and/or a humiliation. If her majority was only 20 or 30 I wonder if it would be survivable for her.

  19. You are correct Hemmelig. Labour could retain some 200 seats. If they managed this it would be an ideal situation- Corbyn would have to go and the furniture would still there be. I am not looking forward to a third lab leadership election in two years btw.

  20. H Hemmelig- 20 or 30 wouldn’t be ideal but I’d be reasonably sanguine as the era of crushing majorities may well be over. As it happens, I think she’ll manage 70- Labour will get an absolute pummeling in small town England but may well cling on to enough urban seats to avoid a landslide.

  21. That kind of majority would be my most likely forecast as well, at this point in time, something roughly equivalent to Labour’s 2005 victory.

    I don’t think we’ll see a three figure majority.

  22. H Hemmelig- agreed- the country is arguably too fragmented now for landslide results.

  23. I also wonder whether fundraising might emerge as a wider constraint on the Tory campaign. In general, big business is upset about Brexit and very anxious to avoid hard Brexit. Thus the usual large Tory donations from big blue chip corporations may well conspicuously dry up this time, and may even start to flow in the Lib Dem direction. The Tories will become more reliant on individual rich Eurosceptic donors and hedge funds.

  24. I think people are underestimating the chances of Corbyn not resigning following the defeat, to be honest.

    I think the narrative could work like this:

    Corbyn loses, and him and his supporters in Momentum immediately begin to argue that the loss wasn’t the result of Corbyn, but rather of the Blairite cabal, so it’s not his fault, and in fact that it would have been worse without him.

    It’s utter bogus, of course, and the PLP won’t buy it, but even if they force another leadership election, can they beat him if his supporters stay loyal? No.

  25. “I think people are underestimating the chances of Corbyn not resigning following the defeat, to be honest.”

    It’s an irrelevance in terms of who wins the election, hence not something occupying the minds of election geeks at the moment.

    Nevertheless I think you’re wrong. The Labour party isn’t some kind of Zanu-PF where an ageing dictator can remain in place no matter what. If Corbyn gets pummelled in the general election he’ll be gone. Even in the unlikely event that enough of his “supporters stay loyal”, the unions have openly said they’ll pull the plug sooner or later if he doesn’t deliver the goods and that will sink him.

  26. That’s a fair point. It depends on the narratives around the election. But, given the discussion of situations where “the furniture would still there be,” it seemed relevant.

  27. I’m not sure I agree much furniture would still be there even if they keep 200 seats, Labour would still be in a very grim place with little obvious talent to replace the current leader.

  28. Also a fair point. I was quoting from above, not saying I myself supported that view. I think they’d find a leader better than Corbyn, though.

  29. HH is right. Labour’s future is looking pretty dire whatever happens.

  30. The amount of money spent on leaflets, and the amount of activists flooded into constituencies, is only relevant if the messages that money pays for / those activists gives, are what voters feel is relevant to them otherwise it doesn’t necessarily influence their vote.

    I observed this play out in 2015 where ultra-marginals looked dead cert Lab gains, and people were being nice on the doorstep – but the message proved later that it wasn’t cutting any ice – esp not against the risk of a SNP-Lab government.

  31. Looking at the list above it is conceivable that Labour could lose any one of these seats. I think that there needs to be another 20 or 30 on this list

  32. I could see Labour losing up to eighty seats if the Conservatives stay this popular in the long term.

  33. Agreed – but it’s that big ‘if’ isn’t it?

  34. It seems less likely that Labour will lose as many seats as the TV media now legally has to let Corbyn speak,

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