Liberal Democrat Target Seats

These are the fifty seats with the lowest percentage majorities over the Liberal Democrat party. This does not necessarily mean they would be the most winnable seats for the Lib Dems in practice, or that they are the seats the Lib Dems party will actually be targetting at the next general election.

1. Cambridge Majority 599 (1.1%)
2. Eastbourne Majority 733 (1.4%)
3. Lewes Majority 1083 (2.1%)
4. Thornbury & Yate Majority 1495 (3.1%)
5. Twickenham Majority 2017 (3.3%)
6. East Dunbartonshire Majority 2167 (4%)
7. Kingston & Surbiton Majority 2834 (4.7%)
8. St Ives Majority 2469 (5.1%)
9. Edinburgh West Majority 3210 (5.9%)
10. Torbay Majority 3286 (6.9%)
11. Sutton & Cheam Majority 3921 (7.8%)
12. Bath Majority 3833 (8.1%)
13. Burnley Majority 3244 (8.1%)
14. Bermondsey & Old Southwark Majority 4489 (8.8%)
15. Yeovil Majority 5313 (9.4%)
16. North East Fife Majority 4344 (9.6%)
17. Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross Majority 3844 (11.2%)
18. Colchester Majority 5575 (11.4%)
19. Cheadle Majority 6453 (12.1%)
20. Cheltenham Majority 6516 (12.1%)
21. Berwick-upon-Tweed Majority 4914 (12.2%)
22. Ross, Skye & Lochaber Majority 5124 (12.2%)
23. Portsmouth South Majority 5241 (12.5%)
24. Brecon & Radnorshire Majority 5102 (12.8%)
25. Cardiff Central Majority 4981 (12.9%)
26. North Devon Majority 6936 (13.3%)
27. Wells Majority 7585 (13.3%)
28. North Cornwall Majority 6621 (13.8%)
29. Gordon Majority 8687 (15%)
30. Hazel Grove Majority 6552 (15.2%)
31. Montgomeryshire Majority 5325 (15.7%)
32. Birmingham, Yardley Majority 6595 (16%)
33. St Austell & Newquay Majority 8173 (16.2%)
34. Argyll & Bute Majority 8473 (16.4%)
35. Eastleigh Majority 9147 (16.5%)
36. Oxford West & Abingdon Majority 9582 (16.8%)
37. Bristol West Majority 5673 (8.9%)*
38. Bradford East Majority 7084 (17.1%)
39. Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk Majority 328 (0.6%)*
40. Chippenham Majority 10076 (18.2%)
41. Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey Majority 10809 (18.8%)
42. Hornsey & Wood Green Majority 11058 (19.1%)
43. Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine Majority 7033 (12.8%)*
44. Bosworth Majority 10988 (20.5%)
45. Maidstone & The Weald Majority 10709 (21.4%)
46. Mid Dorset and North Poole Majority 10530 (22.6%)
47. Newton Abbot Majority 11288 (23.4%)
48. Solihull Majority 12902 (23.5%)
49. Redcar Majority 10388 (25.4%)
50. Watford Majority 9794 (17.5%)*

*Liberal Democrats currently in third place

Comments - 444 Responses on “Lib Dem Targets”
  1. On the current boundaries I do think that Scotland better ground for the Liberal Democrats in comparison to the rest of the UK as far as seat gains go: unionist tactical voting puts them in a favourable position in East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh West and North East Fife.

    The initial proposed boundaries changes would move East Dunbartonshire and North East Fife further out of reach for the party looking ahead to 2020, though the boundaries in Edinburgh West are significantly improved.

  2. Agreed for the most part.

  3. Lancs
    “But the point was surely that they’ve just been elected”

    This risks descending into semantics but we’re not talking about the Corbynite left we’re talking the Communist left. the same people who want to abolish private property. Say what you want about Corbyn he’s clearly no Communist.

    “although Paul Mason said that of Momentum as a whole”

    And he’s not wrong the difference is what little infrastructure Momentum has (ten thousand members, a dozen or so councillors, a handful of MP’s and links to the unions) the far FAR left don’t even have that, their literally a group of at most a few hundred members making noise at local meetings and posting things online.

    “Allowing Communist Party members at your meetings really is bizarre even for students”

    I don’t know who’s idea it was but as I said it wasn’t just Momentum, Liverpool Young Lab did the same and our chair was an avid Cooper supporter and of course we don’t allow them to attend anymore.

    “Imagine your response if Young Tories allowed the NF to do that”

    That’s different, most everyone accept the NF are racists and racism is wrong, Communism though isn’t in of itself wrong, you may profoundly disagree with it but its an economic model that should be respected, certainly it doesn’t warrant innate condemnation. Thus inviting the Communists is more like the Tories inviting some mega Libertarian group that believes in abolishing public spending like the Taxpayers Alliance for example and I think you’ll find they have observed more than one local Tory meeting, I imagine many of them are actually Tory party members in fact…

  4. Mr Pitt
    “Pretty sure he thinks George Osborne is actually literally Trotsky”

    Of course he doesn’t, that would be David Cameron…

  5. Rivers10: Ah yes, my mistake. So Osborne is what, Lenin?

  6. I suggest you catch up with the Daily Politics episode, so you realise what we’re all talking about.

    “Communism..must be respected…and certainly doesn’t warrant innate condemnation”

    Wow. Just wow.

    We really are in lala land now.

    Or maybe it’s just the current state of the Party.

    Where do you respect it then?

  7. Personally, I try to respect the right of all to have their own political beliefs. The beliefs themselves aren’t worthy of respect; the people are (at least, at start; people can reasonably lose respect (e.g., racists like Goldsmith, as just one recent example)). I disagree heartily with communism but can still respect communists and their right to put forward their views, even if they are essentially the opposite of my own views. It’s about allowing democratic, respectful debate even with those you’re vehemently opposed to.

  8. Innate condemnation? That’s an odd concept. Generally speaking the things you believe, you develop throughout your life whether that is something you promote or condemn. The idea that you are born with beliefs is a weirdly Orwellian idea.

  9. Mr P – I agree.

    However Rivers10 thinks Communism must be respected, not just the odd Communist still around in Britain in 2016.

  10. Didn’t the last communist in Britain recently stand down from council in Scotland

  11. Yes, I generally agree with you, Lancs Observer. I’d say I do respect certain strands of communism as a legitimate political ideology (classical Marxism, for instance), while others (e.g., Stalinism, Maoism) have gone the route of fascism, Kahanism, pan-Arabism, ultranationalism, etc. as being violent, extremist, dangerous belief systems that as a responsible person I consider it my duty to oppose.

  12. Are the LD candidates named earlier listed ones for 2020 or put in place for a snap general election within the next year or so? I am aware that there was a rush to get candidates in place for a possible early election and the likes of Graham Watson may have answered that call rather than a longer-term committment to a seat.

  13. They were for a snap, but I believe the assumption is most will stay on. Graham Watson may be an exception, though.

  14. Matt P – I think they have 300 members. The guy in South Wales tends to appear on the Daily Politics once a year when he stands somewhere.

  15. I can see why Bosworth looks like a genuine silver lining for Lib Dems. It falls into a rare set of seats that they didn’t hold in 2010 but stayed in 2nd in 2015 and within the realms of possibility of winning – either in one big swing, or two or three smaller swings.

    What makes this seat more remarkable than eg Montgomeryshire is that they have never held this seat, so it’s hard to see the Liberal tradition effect. Either some very good campaigning to hold the vote up in 2015, or some other one-off factors that I’m not aware of.

    As a general comment, not to be emphasised on this specific seat too much, I do think that Lib Dems stand a greater chance of achieving the necessary swings in such seats than in a good many of those they lost in 2015, where the locals will see that the new Tory MP doesn’t eat babies after all and where I suspect that Libs will, often, fall back further in 2020.

    Obviously there are exceptions to this, likely regains have been discussed widely on this site so I won’t go into these again here.

    (Reposted from Bosworth thread as I considered more relevant here)

  16. I’m going to keep replying on the Bosworth thread for now.

  17. A lot of seats will revert to type and will also have incumbency effects in the swings next time.

    North Devon is one such seat that should get safer for the Conservatives, along with Torbay, Chippenham etc.

  18. Torbay I have doubts on. Depends on if Sanders stands again. Chippenham on its new boundaries is unwinnable for the LDs.

    North Devon will probably be Tory for a few cycles but should stay marginal. It’s probably one of the most “natural” Lib Dem seats in the country in terms of history, voting patterns, etc.

  19. Berwick-upon-Tweed should become a safe Tory seat.

  20. I think you’re probably right. Maybe not rock-solid safe, but one the Lib Dems would need superb conditions to win. The new boundaries are odd, though, so we’ll see.

  21. Bosworth, Maidstone, Newton Abbot and Watford are ranked on this list that excludes seats that were Lib Dem until 2015 like Brent Central and Manchester Withington.

    This would infer that these four seats had quite strong relative swings to the Lib Dems in the context of the 2015 General Election.

  22. Of those I’d say the LDs should focus on:

    East Dunbartonshire
    Kingston & Surbiton
    Edinburgh West
    North East Fife

  23. It could be argued that these four seats may be better prospects that most former Lib Dem seats.

  24. I agree with Edinburgh West but boundary changes in North East Fife and East Dunbartonshire have brought in strong SNP working class communities.

    North East Fife had a very small electorate which means that to meet the new quota it has to gain 30.9% of Glenrothes.

    16.1% of Dunbartonshire East (Bearsden North) is being removed from that seat while 25.9% of Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East is being added. The impact of loss of a safe middle class Lib Dem area and the addition of a solid SNP working class area will bring the SNP majority to around 10000.

  25. Yes, those two will be far harder with boundary changes, although perhaps not completely unwinnable with a recovery.

  26. I am pretty sure that the Lib Dems will double their seats in 2020, winning between 15 and 20.

    Eastborne, Bath, Edinburgh West and St Ives are the most likely Lib Dem Gains and Leeds NW and Sheffield Hallam are certain notional Lib Dem Gains from Labour.

    The new boundaries will make it impossible for the Lib Dems to recover East Dunbartonshire of Fife North East….they have a better chance in Highland North now quite frankly.

  27. Might Andrew George stand again in St Ives and return as the MP? He’s still got a personal vote there which I’m sure limited the extent of his defeat in 2015. As for the other seats I’m in agreement with you, should the boundary changes go through it will certainly be interesting to see how it plays out for the Lib Dems, but they should target like mad in my opinion the places they lost in 2015 because they’re on the priority list.

  28. Plus Monaghan is just an absolutely atrocious MP.

  29. Mike Crockart looks poised to take Edinburgh West back I agree.

  30. Someone on here was saying Crockart can’t be selected because the Scottish LDs are doing AWS. Which would be a terrible idea, although if you look at Crockart’s Twitter it wouldn’t be shocking if he didn’t stand.

  31. Might Jo Swinson get reselected for East Dunbartonshire if the latest boundary review is thrown out?

  32. Yes I think she would.

  33. The all-AWS policy in Scotland wouldn’t make much difference lol.

  34. Yes, Swinson will be reselected if she wants it. I could even see her moving to Edinburgh West, although the Lib Dems aren’t as enthused by seat-switching as everyone else is.

  35. If boundaries remain unchanged who would be the candidate for the Lib Dems in North East Fife?

  36. Fife North East has to get larger because the current Westminster constituency is way below the electoral quota (15000 to 20000).

  37. Indeed but the BR may be struck down – if TM wants to pass it she’ll need a hefty Commons majority otherwise the David Burrowes’ of this world will scupper it. All the more reason there should be an election called if the Tories win Copeland

    The problem is this:
    The BR is struck down because it’s too radical, thus an even more radical BR is needed.

  38. Well, the main radical-ness of it is from the seat reduction. If they didn’t reduce when it’s scrapped, that wouldn’t be as radical as a result.

  39. All I can say is boundary reviews don’t always happen in the end, and this could yet fail I think.

  40. TM will need a hefty Commons majority to stand any chance of passing this latest BR.

  41. Hence the need for the repealing of the FTPA and a snap election if the Tories seize Copeland.

  42. @Conservative Estimate

    Would this Government actually get a majority of the HoC to pass a repeal of the FTPA?

  43. How come the Lib Dems have selected/re-selected candidates in some target seats like Bath and E Dunbartons. but not others like St Ives, Colchester or Fife NE. They’ve even selected candidates in safe Con and Lab seats – it just seems odd that they haven’t had a blanket policy of early selections across the UK and have left areas of key support without spokespersons

  44. Wow Richmond Park isn’t even on the list!

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