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 - 461 Responses on “Labour Defence”
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  1. Gove would say that wouldn’t he at 10.30pm on election night. In fact after the Nuneaton result Andy Burnham was saying that ‘we’ve only had one marginal result, and we did well in Sunderland’.

    I think that there are some ‘Stealth Trolls’ on this site pretending to support parties, which they don’t. I think after this result that the 1997 song ‘Things can only get better’ will certainly ring true – !!!!

  2. Neil – but that’s all they were to be fair to them: Labour canvass returns. Some clearly didn’t turn out to vote at all or for Labour.

    Runnymede – yes, the electionleaflets’ site has a copy of a letter the Defence Sec sent to Barrow residents.

  3. Not surprisingly CHUKA UMUNNA has withdrawn from LAB leader race.

    BURNHAM now 11/10 favourite.

    It’ll be one man, one vote.

    As mentioned upthread by me, Keir Starmer might be a possibility and I notice all bookies except BETFAIR and WILLIAM HILLS , both of whom now have him at around 25/1.

  4. As mentioned upthread by me, Keir Starmer might be a possibility and I notice all bookies except BETFAIR and WILLIAM HILLS, have removed STARMER from their lists. He is around 25/1.

  5. What about David Milliband – ??

  6. BURNHAM now 10/11 favourite.

    Cooper & Kendall 7/2
    12 bar

    If BURNHAM gets 199 LAB MP’s support does that mean there will be no ‘election’. ?

  7. It would but he won’t.

  8. Starmer is still listed in the odds and didn’t rule himself out.

    The odds aren’t a great guide at the moment. I spotted Simon Danczuk was 8/1 to be Deputy Leader – that should amuse Merseymike!

    Didn’t Burnham come last, last time he stood?

  9. Second last, ahead of Diane Abbott.

  10. Ladbrokes have removed STARMER although PADDY power offer 20-1 on the former DPP.

  11. @Andy JS

    Do you have a similar document for CON vote share change? No worries if you don’t but would be interesting.

  12. Why don’t the SONS of Kinnock, Benn and Prescott put their names forward to be the leader of the party?

  13. Prescott’s son isn’t an MP.

    Stephen Kinnock has only just entered Parliament.

    Hilary Benn is probably more content being in the shadow cabinet.

  14. Besides, does Labour really need leadership candidates from political dynasties? It would go down poorly.

  15. Just as it did with the Miliband clan.

    Yes, I see what you mean.

  16. At this early stage, I would say the Top 10 seats on Labour’s Defence List most likely to go to the Tories in 2020 in order of vulnerability are-
    1. Newcastle-under-Lyme
    2. Halifax
    3. Barrow and Furness
    4. Hampstead and Kilburn
    5. North East Derbyshire
    6. Harrow West
    7. Bridgend
    8. Tooting
    9. Wrexham
    10. Clwyd South

    I think all of these could be extremely close either way, but I would tend towards Tory gains in Newcastle-under-Lyme, North East Derbyshire and Bridgend at the moment- all of them have clearly moved towards the Tories demographically and are all trending away from Labour in the long-term. Of the others, I think the majority may just be held by Labour, but not by very much- there will be first-time incumbents in Halifax and Hampstead and Kilburn who might be able to prevent Tory gains but I’m not 100%. I’ve stuck Wrexham and Clwyd South on that list as outside possibilities given the trend in the Tories’ favour across Wales which might see them move even further forward in 2020, but the earliest indications of how they’ll fare will be the Assembly election next year I think.

  17. Regarding Clwyd South, I have just checked on the Assembly results from 8 years ago. On a low turnout, the Labour incumbent won with about 35% of the vote and a majority of just over 1000 votes.

    Depending on whether UKIP have a candidate in the constituency, and whether that candidate takes votes from Labour. Also depending on whether the Lib Dems can recover by then, Also. Plaid Cymru may surge forward next year.

  18. I think they could potentially lose it though. I think it’s going to be very difficult for Labour in Wales next year, they’re really going to struggle big time against the Tories…

  19. And there has been another serious deficiency with the hospital in the Vale of Clwyd reported this week with the treatment of patients in the EMI ward which has been closed for more than a year.

  20. Or. to put it another way. The motivation to vote FOR Labour has decreased since 1999 ( when the Welsh Assembly began).

  21. Deepthroat has kindy posted some figures on the Oldham West thread about the effects of IER, which I take it means Individaul Electoral registration.

    It appears that on average 2,000 voters may be removed from the register in each constituency because of IER. Looking at the list of seats Labour are defencing, this could easily cost them 20 seats. On top of this. Labour will of course need to win seats to offset the effects of boundary changes. So they could easily be needing to win 40 seats just to keep the Conservative majority at Westminster down to 12.

    As things stand, this looks like a tall order.

    Of course, the number of people to be removed from the register will vary from cnstituency to constituency. For instance, Coventry and Stoke appear to be heavily affected. Tower Hamlets is, many people will be unsurprised to learn, off the chart with the large number of voters who cannot be checked out with DWP.

  22. Given that many, if not most of these 2000 will not vote (or they would have been organised enough to remain registered) and a further chunk are not Labour supporters, I think IER will have less of an impact than you think.

  23. Even if that is true, it will lead to fewer Labour seats being created in the boundary review. Inner London will suffer particularly badly.

  24. HH yes – as I have posted on another thread. There may be a few places where fraud involving ghost voters will become harder as well – also Labour.

  25. Labour’s performances in local by-elections since September’s leadership election (taken from LabourList)

    Eastern (average Labour vote share -4.1%)
    Bourn (S Cambridgeshire) +2.9%
    Chedgrave & Thurton (S Norfolk) -0.8%
    Dedham & Langham (Colchester) -4.3%
    Hertford Heath (E Herts) -1.7%
    Huntingdon East (Huntingdonshire) -2.9%
    Loddon (Norfolk) -8.4%
    Rochford (Rochford) -16.0%
    Shenfield (Brentwood) -0.7%
    S Smallborough (Norfolk) -5.3%
    Watton (Norfolk) -5.4%
    West (Peterborough) -2.1%

    East Midlands (average -5.6%)
    Belvoir (S Kesteven) -15.1%
    Coal Ashton (NE Derbyshire) -6.7%
    Derwent Valley (Derbyshire) -1.7%
    Holmewood & Heath (NE Derbyshire) +7.4%
    Market Logan (Harborough) -5.9%
    Selston (Ashfield) -4.3%
    Selston (Nottinghamshire) -13.2%

    London (average +3.3%)
    Boleyn (Newham) +7.9%
    Bryanston & Dorset Square (Westminster) -5.7%
    Kensal Green (Brent) -1.0%
    Noel Park (Haringey) +7.5%
    S Camberwell (Southwark) +9.0%
    Woodside (Haringey) +1.9%

    Howgate (Cumbria) -12.9%

    North West (average -5.5%)
    Carnforth & Millhead (Lancaster) -2.8%
    Clifton (Fylde) -9.6%
    Congleton E (E Cheshire) +1.4%
    Euxton N (Chorley) +12.7%
    Risedale (Barrow in Furness) -24.1%
    Tottington (Bury) -10.5%

    Scotland (average -8.8%)
    Ayr E (S Ayrshire) -7.3%
    Blantyre (S Lanarkshire) -7.0%
    Dunfermline N (Fife) -18.7%
    George Street/Harbour (Aberdeen) -5.4%
    Glenrothes W & Kinglassie -9.3%
    Irvine Valley (E Ayrshire) -6.3%
    Linlithgow (W Lothian) +2.6%
    Midstocket/Rosemount (Aberdeen) -11.2%
    Rosyth (Fife) -13.2%
    Stirling E (Stirling) -11.9%

    South East (average -2.6%)
    Ash South & Tongham (Guildford) -5.1%
    Aylesford Green (Ashford) -32.4%
    Chandler’s Ford (Hampshire) +1.9%
    Epsom W (Surrey) +2.1%
    Goldsworth E (Woking) -1.0%
    Goldsworth W (Woking) +1.3%
    Grimsbury & Castle (Cherwell) +5.9%
    Northfield Brook (Oxford) +2.1%
    Sandford & the Wittenhams (S Oxfordshire) -3.7%
    Shepperton Town (Spelthorne) -4.8%
    Sonning Common (S Oxfordshire) +4.7%

    South West (average no change in Labour vote)
    Clifton with Maidenway (Torbay) -9.0%
    Kinson South (Bournemouth) +7.0%
    Rodwell (Dorset) -7.3%
    Salisbury St Edmund & Milford (Wiltshire) +5.6%
    Totnes (South Hams) +3.7%

    Wales (average +0.1%)
    Bettws (Newport) +6.8%
    Dewi (Gwynedd) -0.2%
    Gogarth (Conwy) +1.4%
    Kidwelly (Carmarthenshire) -10.6%
    Ogmore Vale (Bridgend) +3.7%
    Riverside (Cardiff) -0.8%

    West Midlands (average -10.6%)
    Belle Vue (Shropshire) -28.7%
    Blakebrook & S Habberley -1.7%
    Meole (Shropshire) -11.0%
    Stourport-on-Severn (Worcs) -0.8%

    Yorkshire & Humberside
    Pontefract N (Wakefield) +0.1%

  26. Somebody tweeted those earlier. Looks very bad but I’d add in a couple of caveats:

    1/ Most of these will be comparing to May 2012, 2013 or 2014. I don’t think anybody is suggesting LAB aren’t doing worse than they were then.
    2/ Local by-election are prone to featuring more candidates than regular council elections, thus sometimes the % for all the parties who contested it last time goes down.

    Still, big picture is LAB under their new leader have made no advance on where they were in May as yet.

  27. Don’t forget there will almost certainly be boundary changes before 2020.

    There is an awful lot of water to go under the bridge before the next General Election. So foget about politics funtil the New Year and in the meantime have a Merry Christmas, whatever your politics.

  28. From Lewis Baston’s paper for The Fabians, 2016 locals aggregate in Labour held marginals

    Wirral West: Con 43.9 Lab 39
    Birmingham Edgobastan: Lab 40.9 Con 40.2
    Wirral South: Lab 37.5 Con 32.7 LD 17.8
    Birmingham Nortfield: Lab 39.5 Con 35.4 UKIP 15.8
    Coventry South: Lab 44.3 Con 37.7
    Bolton NE: Lab 39.7 Con 31.8 UKIP 18.7
    Dewsbury: Lab 42.6 Con 35.5
    Wolverhampton SW: Lab 46.6 Con 37.6
    Newcastle under Lyme: Lab 39 Con 29 UKIP 14
    Coventry NW: Lab 44.5 Con 31.6
    Dudley North: Lab 43.7% UKIP 28.8% Con 25.9%
    Bury South: Lab 45.6 Con 27.4
    Bristol East: LAb 42 Con 24.9
    Halifax: Lab 46.5 Con 28.4
    Batley & Spen: Lab 42% Con 23.7% UKIP 15.7%
    Wakefield: Lab 44.5 Con 25.7
    Southampton Test: Lab 44.3 Con 23.6
    Walsall North: Lab 47.3 Con 24.8

  29. It’s a bit like Edgbaston in that the Tories usually do better in local elections than general elections these days. It’s not a new thing this year.

  30. @AndyJS its sort of the opposite of places like Stevenage and Harlow where Labour seem to do better locally than they do in general elections.

  31. I wonder if the divergence between local and national results in Edgbaston is caused by a strong personal vote for Gisela Stuart – a generally sensible centrist MP who is probably popular with people who might otherwise vote Tory.

  32. The Wirral is weird since the Tories seem to outperform locally across the whole peninsula. Look at Wallasey for example. the seat contains two reliable Tory wards with Wallasey proper and Moreton West as well as two Lab facing marginals in New Brighton and Moreton East. This would be enough you’d think for the Tories to pick up a very respectful share of the vote in the Westminster constituency yet its very safe Labour.

  33. IIRC Edgbaston was the most marginal seat at the 2010 GE that Labour managed to hold onto. That says much about Ms Stuart’s local popularity.

  34. Or, more likely it tells us that middle-class urban seats are trending Labour quite quickly in a lot of cases.

  35. “Or, more likely it tells us that middle-class urban seats are trending Labour quite quickly in a lot of cases.”

    It depends what type of middle-class voters they are. If they’re public sector middle-class voters they’ll be likely to trend Labour, but private sector middle-class voters are more likely not to be trending that way.

  36. Weird random by-election question: why are most by-elections in Labour-held seats? And why (in recent years) has almost every MP who has died been Labour? Some stats:

    2015-present: 6 Labour, 3 Con. 3 deaths (all Lab)

    2010-2015: 14 Labour, 4 Con, 2 SF, 1 LD. 6 deaths (all Lab)

    2005-2010: 8 Labour, 3 Con, 1 LD, 1 Ind, 1 Speaker. 8 deaths (4 Labour, 1 LD, 1 Ind, 2 Con)

    2001-2010: 6 Labour (weird that there were only six by-elections in a whole parliament… I forgot that). 4 deaths, obviously all Lab.

    So, since the turn of the century: 50 by-elections, of which 68% have been Labour-held. Of the deaths (21), 81% were Labour.

    So: why are most by-elections in Labour seats and why are almost all MPs who die Labour?

  37. Working class people work longer hours, smoke more and don’t eat as well as the other half.

  38. Deepthroat: Labour MPs are not generally working class.

  39. Overwhelming majority of the 21 that we are talking WERE working class.

  40. Whatever the reason for Labour MP s being older, it is still the case. In May 2015, only 8 Tory MPs were over 70 compared with 16 Labour, and from 60-70 the numbers were 40 and 50 respectively. That is 29% of all Labour MPs compared with only 14% of Tory MPs over 60.

    The anticipated Corbynista deselections and retirements due to boundary changes may change that balance in 2020, but meanwhile by-elections in Labour seats will continue to be more likely..

  41. On that subject I think between now and 2020 we can almost certainly expect at least one more by-election in a Lab seat, its been discussed before but if Kaufman lasts till the next election it will be something of a miracle, his attendance record of late has been very poor which doesn’t point to an MP in prime health. Personally I think for the good of his constituents he should retire as soon as possible.

  42. Indeed but Skinner at least appears to be in (relatively) good health, Kaufman’s absences and poor attendance of late is telling.

  43. What a thing to say – especially on Christmas Eve.

  44. LOL.

  45. Manchester Gorton should be one of the easiest seats in the country for Corbyn’s Labour to get a very good performance should a by-election arise.

  46. I agree with that. I think this is the epitome of the sort of urban city seat that would particularly Corbyn at a byelection, or even a general election- the only trouble is of course, as with nearly all others, it’s already such a ridiculously safe seat for Labour.

  47. Interesting thoughts, everyone. Thanks for answering the question…

    And frankly, there have been 9 by-elections in about a year and two-thirds since the election. If there’s another three and a third years to go (which isn’t set in stone, obviously), I’d expect quite a few more in Labour seats, not just one.

  48. You would expect there to be more on the horizon I think yes. The question is will they be in ultra safe Labour seats or marginal Labour seats? If we get more of the latter e.g. Copeland things could get interesting…

  49. On my more general point, the reason I feel things could yet get even more interesting in the New Year is because there’s been reports there could be more Labour MPs about to resign, and following in Reed’s footsteps…

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