Labour Target Seats

These are the hundred and twenty five seats with the lowest percentage majorities over the Labour party. This does not necessarily mean they would be the most winnable seats for the Labour in practice, or that they are the seats the Labour party will actually be targetting at the next general election. The Labour party won 232 seats at the last general election, so would need to win another ninety-four seats to secure an overall majority in the House of Commons.

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. Brighton, Kemptown Majority 690 (1.5%)
10. Bolton West Majority 801 (1.6%)
11. Telford Majority 730 (1.8%)
12. Weaver Vale Majority 806 (1.8%)
13. Bedford Majority 1097 (2.4%)
14. Plymouth Moor View Majority 1026 (2.4%)
15. Lincoln Majority 1443 (3%)
16. Cardiff North Majority 2137 (4.1%)
17. Peterborough Majority 1925 (4.1%)
18. Sheffield, Hallam Majority 2353 (4.2%)
19. Corby Majority 2412 (4.3%)
20. Waveney Majority 2408 (4.6%)
21. Warrington South Majority 2750 (4.6%)
22. Southampton, Itchen Majority 2316 (5.2%)
23. Keighley Majority 3053 (6.2%)
24. North Warwickshire Majority 2973 (6.3%)
25. Carlisle Majority 2774 (6.5%)
26. East Renfrewshire Majority 3718 (6.6%)
27. Leeds North West Majority 2907 (6.7%)
28. Halesowen & Rowley Regis Majority 3082 (7%)
29. Crewe & Nantwich Majority 3620 (7.3%)
30. Erewash Majority 3584 (7.4%)
31. Hendon Majority 3724 (7.5%)
32. Ipswich Majority 3733 (7.7%)
33. Broxtowe Majority 4287 (8%)
34. Stroud Majority 4866 (8%)
35. Calder Valley Majority 4427 (8.2%)
36. Northampton North Majority 3245 (8.3%)
37. Blackpool North & Cleveleys Majority 3340 (8.4%)
38. Pudsey Majority 4501 (8.8%)
39. Sherwood Majority 4647 (9.1%)
40. Amber Valley Majority 4205 (9.2%)
41. Colne Valley Majority 5378 (9.4%)
42. Hastings & Rye Majority 4796 (9.4%)
43. Bristol North West Majority 4944 (9.5%)
44. Edinburgh North & Leith Majority 5597 (9.6%)
45. Harrow East Majority 4757 (9.7%)
46. High Peak Majority 4894 (9.7%)
47. Stockton South Majority 5046 (9.8%)
48. Northampton South Majority 3793 (9.8%)
49. Norwich North Majority 4463 (10.2%)
50. Stevenage Majority 4955 (10.3%)
51. Enfield, Southgate Majority 4753 (10.4%)
52. Cannock Chase Majority 4923 (10.5%)
53. Morecambe & Lunesdale Majority 4590 (10.6%)
54. Nuneaton Majority 4882 (10.6%)
55. Dudley South Majority 4270 (11.2%)
56. Finchley & Golders Green Majority 5662 (11.2%)
57. South Ribble Majority 5945 (11.3%)
58. Worcester Majority 5646 (11.3%)
59. Rossendale & Darwen Majority 5654 (11.5%)
60. East Lothian Majority 6803 (11.5%)
61. South Swindon Majority 5785 (11.7%)
62. Southport Majority 1322 (3%)*
63. Preseli Pembrokeshire Majority 4969 (12.3%)
64. Paisley & Renfrewshire South Majority 5684 (12.3%)
65. Pendle Majority 5453 (12.3%)
66. Dover Majority 6294 (12.6%)
67. Reading East Majority 6520 (12.9%)
68. Warwick & Leamington Majority 6606 (13%)
69. Scarborough & Whitby Majority 6200 (13%)
70. Aberconwy Majority 3999 (13.3%)
71. Crawley Majority 6526 (13.4%)
72. Vale of Glamorgan Majority 6880 (13.4%)
73. Arfon Majority 3668 (13.6%)
74. Gloucester Majority 7251 (13.7%)
75. Great Yarmouth Majority 6154 (13.8%)
76. Reading West Majority 6650 (13.8%)
77. Carmarthen East & Dinefwr Majority 5599 (14.2%)
78. South Thanet Majority 2812 (5.7%)*
79. Brighton, Pavilion Majority 7967 (14.5%)
80. Chipping Barnet Majority 7656 (14.5%)
81. Stourbridge Majority 6694 (14.5%)
82. Elmet & Rothwell Majority 8490 (14.7%)
83. Milton Keynes South Majority 8672 (14.7%)
84. Aberdeen South Majority 7230 (14.8%)
85. Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire Majority 6054 (15%)
86. Camborne & Redruth Majority 7004 (15.2%)
87. Portsmouth South Majority 5241 (12.5%)*
88. Battersea Majority 7938 (15.6%)
89. Edinburgh South West Majority 8135 (15.8%)
90. Redditch Majority 7054 (16%)
91. Gravesham Majority 8370 (16.7%)
92. Dumfries & Galloway Majority 6514 (11.5%)*
93. Milton Keynes North Majority 9753 (16.9%)
94. Rutherglen & Hamilton West Majority 9975 (17.4%)
95. Cleethorpes Majority 7893 (17.5%)
96. Watford Majority 9794 (17.5%)
97. Loughborough Majority 9183 (17.6%)
98. Ochil & South Perthshire Majority 10168 (17.6%)
99. Clwyd West Majority 6730 (17.7%)
100. Shrewsbury & Atcham Majority 9565 (17.7%)
101. Paisley & Renfrewshire North Majority 9076 (18%)
102. South Basildon & East Thurrock Majority 7691 (16.9%)*
103. Lanark & Hamilton East Majority 10100 (18.3%)
104. Canterbury Majority 9798 (18.4%)
105. Dunfermline & West Fife Majority 10352 (18.6%)
106. Kingswood Majority 9006 (18.7%)
107. Stafford Majority 9177 (18.8%)
108. Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath Majority 9974 (18.8%)
109. Harlow Majority 8350 (18.9%)
110. Shipley Majority 9624 (19%)
111. Chingford & Woodford Green Majority 8386 (19.1%)
112. Edinburgh East Majority 9106 (19.3%)
113. Glasgow Central Majority 7662 (19.4%)
114. Airdrie & Shotts Majority 8779 (19.8%)
115. Carshalton & Wallington Majority 1510 (3.2%)*
116. Filton & Bradley Stoke Majority 9838 (20.1%)
117. Stirling Majority 10480 (20.1%)
118. Midlothian Majority 9859 (20.4%)
119. Basingstoke Majority 11063 (20.9%)
120. Linlithgow & Falkirk East Majority 12934 (21%)
121. Bexleyheath & Crayford Majority 9192 (21.1%)
122. Kensington Majority 7361 (21.2%)
123. Rugby Majority 10345 (21.2%)
124. Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock Majority 11265 (21.5%)
125. Rochford & Southend East Majority 9476 (21.7%)
Comments - 3,595 Responses on “Labour Target seats”
  1. Reflecting further on these results and local by-elections generally, I think voter mobilisation/campaign intensity probably explains a lot. I expect quite a large proportion of the turnout is generated by the parties that are bothering knocking on people’s doors/putting leaflets through their doors to remind their voters that the by-election is happening. Plus, if one party bothers and all the rest don’t there must inevitably be some temptation to reward the party that bothered.

  2. There’s probably an element of truth in that, but my impression is that UKIP do just as badly in seats where they are defending, or had previously been in contention. You would envisage that they would work such seats in the event of a by-election.

  3. I think UKIP have only won two council seats in Clacton and Cambridgeshire since the GE unless I’m mistaken.

    They may retain a long term 10-15% core of protest votes in general elections but they don’t seem to have a very sustainable future in local gvt outside favourable pockets of Essex, Kent, Lincolnhire, East Anglia and S Yorkshire.


    I would argue that the Tea Party is superfluous with the rise of people like Trump and Cruz in the GOP.

  5. Agreed.. Trump in particular does not like being told what to do and the Tea Party were fractious at their best and prone to having more viewpoints than members. He just wouldn’t tolerate them..

    The Tea Party didnt want any politician spending money on anything and ultimately, in the pork-barrel dependent sections of the US voting public, that destined anyone who was elected with Tea Party blessing to self-annihilate if they stuck to the no-spending principles.

  6. While I imagine certainly grassroots Tea Party supporters like Trump and many will be voting for Trump in the Primaries but from what I’ve heard Cruz has more ties to the Tea Party. It is true in comparison with 2012 the absence of Tea Party candidate like Michelle Bachmann is noticeable.

  7. Cruz is regarded thus far as a religious candidate rather than a fiscal candidate and the Tea Party was mainly a fiscal phenomenon rather that a moral one.

  8. Government has confirmed that the number of MPs will be cut by 50 by the 2020 General Election.

    It also rejected leeway of upto 10% for electorates which MPs proposed.

  9. Hardly new news… they have shown no movement on this since the GE. I thought there might be a bit more backbench pressure on the cut in MPs but the fact that the legislation has already gone through means few are probably thinking about it yet.

  10. Labour *in the lead* in YouGov post-budget poll. LAB 34 CON 33 UKIP 16 LD 6. Follows ICM tie earlier in the week. It does look like things are beginning to shift on the poll front. On past trends, and given the shaky economic news and other difficulties the govt has faced lately, not surprising in the slightest but many, probably myself included, thought LAB could never even get to poll leads under Corbyn and McDonnell.

    One observation I would make is that I detect something of a shift in public opinion on spending cuts, particularly as they relate to welfare. Up to now I think the majority have had little sympathy with the criticism of welfare cuts from Labour/campaign groups/the broader left. They saw the need for spending cuts and in any case thought lots of benefits went to the undeserving. Most people weren’t, and still aren’t, being hit themselves particularly. But after six years people are getting a bit impatient and have become more concerned (rightly in my view) about further cuts to disability benefit etc. and whether the government’s priorities are right.

  11. Also earlier in the month, there was a poll with Labour on 29 up two and Conservatives on 38 down three. While there is a significant difference in the numbers which is because of a different methodology, the change is similar.

  12. YouGov now showing a Labour lead of three… dreadful poll for the Tories all round, with Cameron’s personal ratings also slipping (more now trust Boris on EU). Seems events of recent weeks have done significant damage. Not unusual to see the opposition leading at this stage of the parliament, but given the CON lead was sitting comfortably at around the level it was at the election until a month or so ago this is quite a turnaround. Suggests locals may not be quite as disastrous for Labour as they could have been, though in all probability they will still lose seats as they were further ahead in 2012.

  13. Not sure where the best thread was for this, thought this was as good as any.

    I have a theory which I wonder if other thoughtful psephologists on here support.

    It is that, whilst local elections have always produced somewhat different winning parties to parliamentary elections in the same seats anyway, this might be greatly increased now Brexit has happened. Local issues haven’t changed that much, and similar politics may well be at play as pre-Brexit. OTOH, there are already signs that Brexit and its implications are both an emotive and overriding issue for voters as regards their government nationally, and as such are likely to lead to significantly different swings in different political directions depending on the locality.

    So we could start to see much more commonly a different party in power at local council level to the local MPs for that area.

    Stoke and Copeland will be interesting, though not necessarily conclusive, indicators in this regard.

  14. OK Gloy . . .!

  15. So does anyone want to hazard a guess at how many/if labour can gain?

  16. I’ll start the bidding: one seat. Croydon C or Brighton K most likely, both seats blighted by the rail strikes which might play into Labour hands (but might not if they are seen to be on the side of the strikers at commuters’ expense).

  17. I don’t think Labour will gain any seats. If by some miracle they do manage any, Croydon Central and Brighton Kemptown are the most likely ones.

  18. Also, Bury N is an outside possibility if the BAME vote turns out for Labour. Basically, I don’t think that any individual seat is likely to fall, but there are enough candidates that one might somewhere.

  19. AKMD surely theres a reasonable chance Labour may gain at least 1 to 2 seats in Scotland back from the SNP where the party is the main challenger?

  20. Labour’s further collapse in Scotland is greater than in rUK iirc. Their only 2015 hold largely a unique result of a terrible SNP candidate snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
    That could so so easily fall SNP or Tory this time.

    There is no Lab joy to be found in Scotland.

  21. You could well be right about Edinburgh south AA, the SNP tide may ebb somewhat elsewhere though and there are a few places Scottish Lab may be able to make a comeback.

  22. Labour aren’t 2nd anymore, cannot be seen as an ascendant force, and have a substantially hefty amount of further unwind from Tory 2015 unionist tacticals going home. I believe these places where SLab ‘could gain’ are essentially mythical, its backwards on this front in particular.
    Only the LibDems are capable of (a few) Scottish gains based on tactical reshuffling of static/falling support.

  23. Labour would be lucky to take Gower.

  24. There are some Labour former MPs standing again like

    Chris Williamson (Derby North)
    Julie Hilling (Bolton West)
    Sally Keeble (Northampton North)
    David Drew (Stroud)
    Kerry Pollard (St Albans)
    Gareth Thomas (Clwyd West)
    John Grogan (was MP for Selby until 2005, standing in Keighley like in 2015)
    Ian Davidson (former MP for one of the Glasgow seats, now standing in Berwickshire & co).

    Some of them are perennial candidates. David Drew is the Labour candidate in Stroud since 1992. Pollard first stood in St Albans in 1992, he has missed 2010 but did all other GEs there.

    Except for Gorgan, all others are 60+ and possible in retirement or close to it.

  25. New YouGov poll has Tory lead uncharateristically slashed from 18 to 13, with a big increase in the UKIP vote. To be honest, I think it’s more of a sampling variation than anything actually meaninfgul but that didn’t stop the Twitter Corbynistas from spouting “LABOUR SURGE” of course.

  26. Andrea – thanks.

    Yes, Williamson and Davidson must be pensioners by now. They’ve been politicians for decades.

  27. Wreathy – what figures are you looking at?

    The only one I saw just had a 1% increase for Labour and UKIP. No big increase for either. Just a big fall in the LDs.

  28. This one:

    CON: 45% (-4)

    LAB: 32% (+1)

    LDEM: 8% (-1)

    UKIP: 6% (+3)

    So yeah, Labour aren’t really gaining much from the Tories; in fact, I think this is the first poll for a while that have shown the Conservatives below 45%. But in terms of the Tories losing a little bit of support, it’s definitely reducing their lead from the highs of the early campaign.

  29. *Correction, the Tories are obviously above 45% in that poll, but my point stands. The Tories support is pretty firmly in the 45 – 50% range.

  30. **Double correction (should really proofread my comments multiple times before posting!) the Tories are *on* 45% as you can see, not above nor below it lol.

  31. I applaud the bravery of the announced policies on social care, free school meals, winter fuel allowance etc. But there can surely be little doubt that it will cost the Tories bucketloads of votes and seats. I don’t see the Tories gaining the likes of Mansfield and other poor WWC seats after this. Maybe it’ll be a modest majority of 50-70 after all.

  32. This will be within margin of error.

    Labour have increased their vote in the last few weeks from about 25.9% when the election was called to 30.1% as of this morning (via. Britain Elects). This has mostly been 2015 Labour undecideds returning and a squeeze on the other parties.

    The Tories share in the last YouGov poll was a bit high on 49 and a bit low on todays 45 their polling average in 47.1%.

  33. H Hemmelig- far too early to say (you do sometimes overreact to events if I may say so). Personally I would have kept the triple lock but this manifesto hardly strikes me as Thatcherite.

  34. Triple lock costs a fortune. Cameron’s triple lock and his commitment not to raise any taxes at all, plus the foreign aid ring fence, meant deficit reduction was practically impossible. As it is the Tories are aiming to balance the books in 2025, fifteen years after taking power. It’s shocking really.

    I don’t think it will cost the Tories that much. These voters are not suddenly all going to vote labour.

    I never bought into the Tories getting a 150 majority. I only said that a majority of 200 was more likely than one of fifty. I like Mays honesty and bravery. We can’t keep bribing the electorate in the way successive Greek governments have done. I think the British electorate intuit that.

  35. “I like Mays honesty and bravery. We can’t keep bribing the electorate in the way successive Greek governments have done.”

    Totally agree with that. It’s refreshing. But openly saying in a manifesto that you are going to make pensioners worse off is very brave indeed, for a Conservative. Sure “these voters are not suddenly all going to vote Labour” but some of those who have always voted Labour and switched to May may do so to protect their incomes. Some might also drift back to UKIP.

  36. “Cameron’s triple lock and his commitment not to raise any taxes at all, plus the foreign aid ring fence, meant deficit reduction was practically impossible.”

    Yet the deficit did come down quite substantially, compared with its peak under Brown.

    Hopefully the new measures will help to finish off the job, notwithstanding that we’re inevitably due a recession in the next year or two.

    I think this manifesto will firm up the Tories in some marginal areas like SW London but it is risky for them in poor WWC longer shot targets in the north.

  37. Labour up 8 pts to 34 pc in today’s Ipsos Mori but Cons remain on 49 pc.

  38. HH,

    The deficit was meant to be eliminated in 2015, remember. A tougher Chancellor could have eliminated in be 2018. The Tories are now committed to balancing the budget in 2025. It ring fencing, locks on benefit rises and all this jazz that makes actually eliminating the deficit very difficult, and, as you say, the chances are that another recession in the next 8 years could blow a hole in the public finances and the cycle repeats itself.

    A look at the fiscal development of Greece since 1980 would be most instructive.

  39. Regardless of the Tory lead, Labour would be jubilant if they really do get 34%. Corbyn would have beaten Brown and Miliband, despite an appalling vote share in Scotland, and not far off Blair’s vote in 2015 and Kinnock’s in 92. The flip side being that the chance of his stepping down or being toppled reduces substantially. Just one poll though. It’d be amazing IMO if they manage to significantly exceed their local election vote share of circa 28%.

  40. The one thing I am drawing from all the polls is that the Tory campaign and indeed Maybot herself have been pretty awful. They have literally everything going for them (Corbyn, Lab division, UKIP implosion, Brexit, media backup) yet they’re only going backwards since the election was announced. Their lead is so substantial that their in no real danger obviously but what I’d read into this if I were a Tory is the need to get grooming a replacement for May quick, letting her fight a proper election in 2022 is a recipe for disaster.

    As a Lab supporter though I naturally hope Maybot stays.

  41. Labour and others say Conservatives have become UKIP.

    UKIP and others say Conservatives have become Labour


    Which tends to confirm my feeling, that May’s manifesto launch was pitch perfect.

    Incidentally, Labour will find it impossible to lay a glove on the Tories’ manifesto commitments re social care etc., unless they come up with a plan themselves to take the difficult decisions and not duck them. Journos are not going to let them get away with doing that.

    And Labour spectacularly ducked it in their manifesto.

  42. There was also lots of stuff that compassionate people would like in the manifesto, a lot that you’d expect Labour supporters to be supporting.

    Like the bit on Mental Health and the part on a National Insurance holiday for employers taking on disabled people, other care cases and ex-criminals who have paid for their deeds. The ‘difficulty-employed’ in other words.

    The plans on Social Care will need sharpening up as we go along, but I believe that people in general will recognise that May has at least attempted to start doing something on a big and growing issue that affects the whole country, and not ducked talking about it just because it risks unpopularity. Somewhat counter-intuitively, I can envisage one scenario playing out where she actually consolidates her support through some of the ‘difficult’ bits of her manifesto.

    On Brexit: without over-mentioning Brexit all the way through, she emphasised it just at the key points, framing it as the prism through which the other ‘giant issues’ will – or will not – be successfully dealt with. The balance there was well rehearsed I’m sure.

    In general, the lack of statistics and that kind of detail on the speech won’t have done her any harm at all. It was about the messages, not the numbers of new Mental Health workers or £ spent on different bits of the NHS even. Had she not been going into this with such goodwill already from the electorate, there might have been a poor reaction to the lack of detail.

    She also only made veiled references to Labour / Corbyn, sticking to the ‘strong and stable’ line mixed with optimism. I’m struggling to see how the speech could have been better worded atm tbh.

    Though as always, how the messages / policies are portrayed by the media (and the effectiveness of the Gov spokespeople in interviews the rest of today) will drive the narrative more than the speech, given that there were no gaffes.

    I also thought Corbyn gave quite a good speech at Lab’s launch, incidentally (if you’re going to choose those policies / methods of costing them, well then Corbyn gave a good a speech on it as anyone could – I might not agree with the policies but that’s not the point).

  43. typo – ‘difficultly’ not ‘difficulty’-employed (spot the difference!)

  44. BT
    Purring aside for a minute what’s right/sensible/logical/needed the simple fact is the public don’t like “difficult decisions” and indeed despite the medias best efforts the Tories wont get much love from the public from some of their policies.

    Now as I have said its not going to do them nearly enough harm to in any way threaten them and I suppose from a political perspective you could argue that made their manifesto launch “pitch perfect” but that’s not really down to any masterstroke on the Tories part rather its a failure of the media to properly scrutinise the Tories and a failure of Labour to capitalise on any issues.

  45. I have seen enough elections not to be taken in by the “labour bounce”… Every election almost, they say the side who is the underdog had the better campaign. 1987 was a triumph of a campaign for labour, the red rose and all that, they got stuffed. Even last time in 2015, miliband was deemed to be surprisingly good, while Dave was lampooned as being aloof, not hungry enough and slightly lazy. Didn’t end well for mili, as I recall.

  46. putting rather

  47. That’s true Peter, perhaps 2005 aside. Howard started well than it was all quite lame.

    1997 and 2001 Major and Hague were deemed to have had good campaigns (in fact I still think Hague could have gained a lot more votes / seats if it were not for ‘demon eyes’ and its mass turnoff – the sympathy vote for the poor derided Conservatives and their not unlikeable (if a bit immature) leader, who at least didn’t spin like Blair / Campbell so were worth considering, instantly evaporated as they tarred themselves with Labour’s ‘hyper-negative campaigning’ brush.)

  48. The concept of a Labour gain may seem absurd but there are usually odd constituencies that go against the trend.

    In 1964 the Conservatives gained Smethwick, Eton & Slough and Birmingham Perry Barr from Labour.

    In 1979 Labour gained Glasgow Cathcart from the Conservatives.

    In 1983 Labour notionally Gained Crewe, Glasgow Cathcart, Birmingham Erdington and Liverpool Broad Green from the Conservatives.

    In 1992 the Conservatives gained Aberdeen South from Labour.

    In 2001 Labour won Dorset South from the Conservatives.

    If there was to be an unlikely Labour gain in 2017 it could only come from these constituencies –

    Morley & Outwood –
    Conservatives may have been lucky here in 2015.
    East Lothian –
    Labour outpolled the SNP a fortnight ago and retained the Holyrood constituency last year.
    Telford –
    Conservatives may have overpolled here on 2015.
    Gower –
    Labour won the Welsh Assembly constituency comfortably last year.
    Vale of Clwyd –
    Labour won the Welsh Assembly constituency comfortably last year.
    Brighton Kempton – Brighton & Hove are becoming less Tory.
    Bedford –
    I think that this constituency is changing demographically like Luton.
    Croydon Central –
    The demographic change is not as much as in Croydon North but still sufficient to dislodge the Conservatives in all but defeat for Labour on a scale between 1931 and 1983.

  49. Demon eyes was 1997, but Major was seen as a decent figure. In 1992, of course, the underdog did win. There lol be plenty more “Corbyn is doing great” stories, there will be a lot of whinging about Maybot, the dullness of slogans, the monotony… There may even be a wobble of the kind Tebbit had in 87, where there was a poll which had labour closing. It freaked out Tory central office. The results won’t be affected by thus stuff in any way.

  50. Bad men and mad men: advertisment in politics, gives a good insight into the 87 election. Labour were doing well there ad campaign gave them a lot of momentum so much so Joe Biden stole the script for his presidential nominee bid. However, what killed it for Labour was the attacks on their policies like unilateral disarmament, ‘Labour’s policy for the armed forces’ with a soldier surrendering.

    Labours policy is to renew trident. It won’t stop the Tories attack ads though. However, there haven’t been many of those yet maybe when the Tories turn their guns on Labour will take a hit. Until then though I do believe that Labour are up not because people want PM Corbyn but they don’t want a stonking Tory majority. It looks like we are returning to a two party system.

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