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 - 770 Responses on “Lib Dem Targets”
  1. MrN – thanks, that’s useful.

    I think you have omitted Southport which the LDs lost, declined vote % and came third.

  2. The first four look like gains except the welsh one

  3. Not sure about St Ives

    In its current state the Lib Dems won’t gain anything outside the “disgusted of South West London” belt. That means Richmond plus the very occasional cosmopolitan seat which the Tories held on to, like Cheltenham.

  4. I can’t see any English seat that had any significant Leave vote share going Lib Dem for a generation, at least.

    Lots of Remainers, especially young ones, backed Labour instead (odd considering Corbyn is somewhere close to Dan Hannan in respect of EU enthusiasm).

    They’re basically a single issue party nationally – they can still make gains locally in by elections and build from there, but it is a very long, hard road back.

  5. I wonder why it’s taking Anthony so long to update everything on here. Was way quicker post the 2015 election. Perhaps he had a little more enthusiasm for the result in 2015 haha.

  6. The Lib Dems have been unbelievably quiet since Cable has become leader. As the most anti-Brexit party you might have expected to have heard a bit more from then given it’s all everyone talks about nowadays but maybe their underwhelming vote at the last election has led to some serious soul searching

    Like Luke Senior says, it was perhaps odd that so many young liberal Remainers voted for a Corbyn-led Labour Party rather than would seem like a more logical fit, although if the last few years have taught us anything it’s that politics is far from logical today

  7. The students and recent graduates won’t have forgiven the party for the tuition fees calamity when in government.

    Though you can say what you want about their flip flopping on various topics, EU enthusiasm has always been at the forefront… never wavering, only becoming more intense I’d say.

    During the referendum campaign I met one or two liberal leave people, I wish I’d had the chance to ask them whether it was difficult being a leaver in such a staunch remain party.

    Obviously Labour’s position was remain but I’d wager that a significant minority of activists (pre the huge influx of leftists) were swing voters or leave supporters.

  8. Luke: I think there were lots of leave-leaning Labour *voters*, but the pre-2015 *membership* was largely a mix of pro-EU soft-leftists, and even more pro-EU Blairite true-believers. Far more enamoured of the EU than it is now – and Labour’s recent ambivalence isn’t all “constructive ambiguity”, there has been a significant rise in the old Bennite view that the EU is a corporate takeover.

  9. Being in a university seat that voted 60+ % Labour, I have not met a single student citing tuition fees for the reason they were not voting for the Liberal Democrats. I cannot speak for recent graduates but I imagine the reasons behind ‘young liberal remainers’ getting behind Labour are twofold.

    One, in most seats we were non entities and a vote for us was therefore perceived as irrational and worthless.

    Two, our policies simply didn’t get through to students as successfully as Labour’s did. Corbyn had serious momentum amongst the student vote and Tim Farron was never going to stop that.

    Amongst university students, tuition fees really do not sway any significant number of student votes anymore.

  10. One: if your seat was 60%+ Labour, then that sounds like a safe Labour seat. There is absolutely no danger of “letting the Tories in” there. So liberal voters might as well vote for what they believe in.

    Two: and what was the single most expensive pledge in Labour’s manifesto? Oh yeah, cancelling tuition fees, I’m pretty sure that “got through” to young people…

    I agree probably most students would have voted for Labour even without that pledge, because honestly, what did the Conservatives offer them either in terms of retail politics or in terms of the values they projected? But the pledge was not aimed at them, it was aimed at their generally swing-voting parents. And it worked like a charm.

  11. Wasn’t the promise to comit to the kings fund 8bn more expensive

  12. The said seat was not safe Labour prior to the general election, in fact, on the earlier polling running up to the GE it would have gone Conservative.

    As for your second point, the Liberal Democrats were never heard in the GE. Theresa May turned the election into a presidential style contest with no room for a third party. Students were only engaging with the Labour parties message which was (mostly) accepted and the Conservative Party message which they rejected. Yes, students vaguely knew of the costings but that was more than could be said about the Liberal Democrat’s policy message.

    Returning to my initial point, I do not think tuition fees are no longer a significant drag on our vote. That is different to whether Labour’s pledge to abolish tuition fees was effective or not.

  13. Which seat are you talking about?

  14. Nottingham South

  15. Thanks for that.

    I guess that an 8% swing to the Conservatives (so as to overcome the 16% Lab lead last time) would have been consistent with those polls in April showing Tory leads of 25%. But even then I would have thought that it was fairly obvious that the Tories were likely to far better in Leave voting seats, and Nottingham South was 52% Remain.

  16. Nottingham South was the sort of seat that could feasibly have gone blue at the start of the campaign, but by polling day was pretty obviously going to be a comfortable Labour hold.

  17. ‘Nottingham South was the sort of seat that could feasibly have gone blue at the start of the campaign…’

    That’s true if you take the very highest lead (of 25%) and then apply UNS. But if you look at the polls as a whole, they showed the Tory lead falling from an average of around 21% in mid-to-late April to 7% on the eve of the General Election.

    With the benefit of the actual results from 8th June, it’s interesting to reverse engineer what they might have looked like with a swing of around 7% to the Tories. That is, so as to reflect all of the ground they lost in the course of the campaign.

    By my reckoning the Tories might have won about 60-70 more seats than they did, but we would still have seen some seats swinging from Conservative to Labour- including a small Con>Lab swing in Nottingham South.

    http://www.electionpolling.co.uk/battleground/targets/conservative

  18. The report into the election suggested that the 20% lead were 11% in reality

  19. That would be true of ComRes and ICM, whose final polls overstated the Tories’ lead by about 9 points. But there was a spread of results in the final polls which ranged from 12 points with ICM down to just a 1 pojnt Tory lead with Opinium . The election-eve average of all pollsters was a Tory lead of 6.9 points, against an actual result with the Tories 2.4 points ahead.

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