Liberal Democrat Defence List

These are the remaining Liberal Democrat seats ordered by the lowest percentage majorities. This does not necessarily mean that the seats at the top would be the most vulnerable Liberal Democrats seats in practice.

1. Southport Majority 1322 (3%)
2. Carshalton & Wallington Majority 1510 (3.2%)
3. Orkney & Shetland Majority 817 (3.6%)
4. Sheffield, Hallam Majority 2353 (4.2%)
5. Leeds North West Majority 2907 (6.7%)
6. Ceredigion Majority 3067 (8.2%)
7. North Norfolk Majority 4043 (8.2%)
8. Westmorland & Lonsdale Majority 8949 (18.3%)
Comments - 1,379 Responses on “Lib Dem Defence”
  1. Jo Swinson and Alistair Carmichael will.both be MPs come June 8th

  2. The latest polls also seem to suggest the LibDems plunge in the polls seems to have halted, whether this is temporary or more long-lasting it’s hard to tell.

  3. It’s probably almost impossible to fall any further, given that the margin of error is often +/- 2.5%.

    Although Vince does like to quote that they were an * in some poll when they were first formed.

  4. I do think we should look separately at LD Scotland LD England/Wales prospects.

    In Scotland, I think the LDs are dead cert in O&S, almost certain in Edinburgh, W and probably very slightly ahead in E Dunbartonshire and NE Fife. About a 1 in 3 shot at Caithness, too.

  5. In Wales are there any shock gains? Cardiff? Or Brecon?

  6. Cardiff is obviously more likely, but we shall see. Poll of Wales to be released today, according to Britain Elects.

  7. Well for me, I’ve seen the recent polls and now even I (as a LD voter) am starting to think that a possible Libdem wipeout is looking more plausible than unlikely.

  8. They won’t need a taxi – a bicycle (for Farron) will suffice.

  9. Welcome to two party politics in England at government level.

  10. Currently, Electoral Calculus has two seats as their prediction (Westmoreland and O&S). They think:

    Tory gains in Ceredigion, Carshalton, North Norfolk and Southport

    Labour gains in Hallam and Leeds NW.

    I think the Ceredigion one is a stretch for sure; can’t see the Tories taking that (Plaid, maybe).

    Otherwise, it’s plausible… but obviously far from certain. Hallam is the one I seriously doubt. I just can’t see Labour gaining ground there, so the only thing that’d cause that is major LD losses in the seat.

  11. But if those losses do come through, then I think it’ll take at least seven decades before the Libdems can ever think of winning a seat again.

  12. They’ve proven to be remarkably resilient in the past though. However, they’ve generally been pretty lucky with strongish leaders and a falter in the main parties’ prospects; no sign of that happening anytime soon.

  13. Going down to two seats would probably save Farron’s job more than going down to six. Unless Alistair Carmichael really wants to lead the Parliamentary party of “the bloke who just resigned”

  14. Unless Labour win a huge majority in Headingley Ward, I don’t see them taking the constituency.

  15. There is no way on ‘this earth or fuller’s’ that Labour will poll 35% in this election.

    The Lib Dems will hold Leeds NW and Sheffield Hallam in my view. Clegg’s popularity has picked up somewhat from his complete nadir in 2015. And remember – in most elections except for the obvious and atypical exception of 2015 – that Lib Dem incumbents often defy the odds and hold on unexpectedly time after time.

  16. I also really struggle to see how we do not take Edinburgh West and Fife North East. However, that being said, given our recent form they could be our only two gains of the evening. The SNP also clearly think East Dunbartonshire will be close having sent up Nichola et al. But I can see us falling short on the 8th of June.

    To an extent, I think we are more likely to lose Sheffield Hallam and Leeds NW than fail to gain those two Scottish seats.

  17. Let’s not also forget that the Wales polls (where all the focus has been on the wild swings, first towards the Conservatives and then back to Labour) have made absolutely dire reading for Plaid. On those figures Ynys Mon is looking very unlikely and Ceredigion is a pipe dream.

  18. Ceredigan, Orkney and Westmorland all fine. Theyll all be held. Carshalton is a sure fire con gain.

  19. I think it’ll be very varied, honestly. I also think they could get big increases in seats they won’t win (Vauxhall, St Albans, Withington), which is obviously not ideal.

    Honestly, I could see the LDs being just incredibly varied in terms of results. They might manage to lose vote share and yet increase seats. It very much depends.

    I do also wonder if the mild Tory decline will help at all. We’ve said it before: the Tories being weak is the best thing in the world for the Lib Dems.

  20. For those that think Orkney and Shetland is 100% safe, just remember that the incumbent is a self confessed liar who has a majority of 817 votes. Worth also considering that the full details of his deceit didn’t surface until his constituents took him to court.

  21. For those interested in student votes, the exams at Leeds University finish on 2nd June and normally very few students will be around after that. (I am a Leeds University lecturer). In Sheffield the exams finish on 9th June but they will be over for many students.. This is a big difference from May 2015.. Even though the student vote is perhaps even more strongly Labour than 2015, I would expect there to be less of it in those seats. I think the big question in both seats is what the Labour Remain voters will do..

  22. Thanks for that Andrew111

  23. Scottyboy,
    What was your prediction for Orkney and for Shetland in the Holyrood election?

  24. ANDREW111
    What was your prediction for Orkney and for Shetland in the Holyrood election?
    May 28th, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Errm, Orkney and Shetland is not a constituency at Holyrood.

  25. However, there are are two separate seats which were both won by the LibDems with two very good candidates. The Westminster seat is a different kettle of fish and the self confessed liar incumbent has effectively had a free ride up until the 2015 election. He doesn’t hail from these isles, his vote was built up over many years before he arrived. In this election he will have to face voters who know he is a liar plus he he is up against a well thought of young local female SNP candidate. Trust me, he is far from a shoo in.

  26. The SNP candidate…

    TWENTY five year old Shetlander Miriam Brett has been announced as the SNP’s candidate for the Orkney and Shetland constituency in the 8 June General Election.

    Brett was born and bred in Shetland, living between Bressay and Walls, and previously worked in policy research before taking up a post as senior economic adviser to the SNP’s Westminster group. She also played a prominent role in the Yes campaign for Scottish independence in 2014.

    She will be looking to unseat Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael in the Northern Isles, where he had an 817-vote majority two years ago. Also standing are Robina Barton for Labour, Jamie Halcro-Johnston for the Conservatives and Robert Smith for UKIP.

    Brett and Barton are the first female candidates in the constituency in two decades. Since 1997 there have been four UK General Elections, with every one featuring an all-male ballot.

    Brett said: “It was a privilege to grow up in such a unique and beautiful community, and I cannot think of a greater honour than representing my home constituency in parliament.

    Miriam Brett @MiriamBrett
    Thrilled to have been selected as the SNP candidate for Orkney and Shetland. I can think of no greater privilege than representing my home.

    “People across these isles have needlessly been subjected to harmful, counterproductive cuts under both the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition and the current UK Government.

    “We need only to look at the food bank usage across these isles to see the damage that this has caused. The SNP is the only opposition to have consistently voted against austerity, and I will use my voice at Westminster to unapologetically reject these cuts.”

    She said the “harsh realities of a hard Tory Brexit pose a very real threat to our communities, from the need to protect EU citizens living in our isles, to the need to ensure that local businesses do not face hardship”.

    “The SNP has demonstrated time and time again that we are an effective opposition to the Tories, and will continue to ensure that communities across Scotland have their voice heard.

    “If elected, I promise to represent the issues facing our community in Westminster, and to work tirelessly to serve every one of my constituents.”

    Commenting on Brett’s selection, which was also hailed by prominent party figures including MP Mhairi Black, SNP Highlands and Islands list MSP Maree Todd said: “Miriam is an inspirational young woman who was a leading light in the Yes campaign. She will be a strong voice for Shetland and Orkney in Westminster as well as a breath of fresh air. A bright young local lass keen to improve her community.”

    The SNP’s Shetland branch convener Iain Malcolmson added: “Both Orkney and Shetland branches were very keen to select Miriam as our candidate. She’s extremely able, talented and a real go-getter. We’re very excited about this campaign.”

  27. Scotty Boy
    If you read my question to you, you will see that I am well aware that the Northern Isles comprises 2 Holyrood constituencies.
    I note you did not answer my question.. However I do recall that there was widespread ramping by Nats in these two seats last year, on the basis that Carmichael’s transgressions dominated the minds of voters…
    If proven liars were automatically in trouble in this election, Theresa May would be in trouble in Maidenhead…

  28. At the Holyrood election the two excellent, honest, LibDem candidates deserved their victories. Let’s see how the dishonest one gets on.

  29. I don’t think that Orkney and Shetland is a given for the LibDems, because of the issues with Alistair Carmichael. However the SNP intake of 2015 has been disappointing, because of the heavy whipping of their block and however talented their candidate is here she’ll just become lobby fodder like the others, if elected.

    Meanwhile why are the LibDems doing so badly? The omens weren’t good when they fell back in the local elections, from a poor starting point, although the % vote went up. Much less air time because of the 2015 hammering? Farron’s running of the campaign? Some of the media handling of his beliefs has been unreasonable in that you couldn’t envisage similar questions directed to someone who was a Muslim rather than Christian.

  30. Why are they doing so badly indeed?

    …I wish I knew…

  31. I think the ramping that went on before Holyrood is very similar to the ramping now. Also, Scottyboy clearly has an agenda — with all this “liar, liar” talk, he sounds like a certain American president, doesn’t he?

    I’d expect it to be a slightly increased majority, though perhaps not a 100% cert.

  32. If I have an “agenda” it is to warn against complacency from LibDem rampers who just assume Orkney and Shetland is a done deal.

    When you look at the facts…

    1/ Incumbent self confessed liar.
    2/Constituents went to court to have previous election result overturned.
    3/A majority of 817.
    4/A highly thought of SNP local young female candidate.

    Is it a done deal?

  33. Scotty

    We don’t really need the election addresses of candidates on here.

    You’ve also not actually given us any inside knowledge of how the actual O & S campaign is going, you’ve just recycled publicly available information (as well as ramping) so – although it’s quite possible – we’re really none the wiser whether Carmichael is under serious threat or not.

  34. It’s certainly interesting to see Electoral Calculus showing both Leeds NW and Sheffield Hallam falling to Labour.. I previously thought both were safe bets for the Lib Dems but now I’m not so sure. Considering both were safe Tory seats once upon a time such a transformation is quite remarkable.

  35. As most of my campaigning effort this time around has been outside Hallam, I’m going to be mildly annoyed if Labour wins it by accident.

  36. Scotty,
    I asked you what you predicted for the Holyrood election in Orkney and in Shetland, not whether the Lib Dem candidates were any good!

    This is a polling site and we like to calibrate the opinions of posters against past performance!

  37. Sorry Andrew, I have only joined the site recently so it obviously wouldn’t be fair of me to relay past opinions without proof.

  38. I respect that, ScottyBoy. Fair enough.

    And I tend to think Electoral Calculus is wrong on those two, but I could be off, of course. I just don’t think Labour or the Tories will invest the resources into Hallam and Leeds NW they’d need to take them, while the Lib Dems will button down the hatches and put up a very solid defense.

  39. Re Holyrood elections I looked back and found this post of mine dated 24/1/2016 from another site if that helps.

    There are 73 constituency seats and 56 regional seats at Holyrood, total 129 so 65 seats required for an overall majority.

    SNP… 2011 election – 53 constituency seats, 16 regional seats, total seats 69.

    Now the dominant force in Scottish politics, the SNP won 56 of the 59 Westminster seats in the 2015 UK general election. With a very popular leader, they still ride high in the opinion polls following the independence referendum vote of 2014. Their target is to win as many as possible constituency seats and not have to rely on so many regional seats in order to attain an overall majority which, on all known data, is highly likely. It is difficult to identify their core vote as they have equal appeal to centre left industrial and city dwellers as they do to folks in rural and island communities. The one age group that has proved a stumbling block regarding support in the past is voters who are 60 plus.
    If the present opinion polls are correct in Scotland as they were in the 2015 general election (unlike England) the SNP constituency seats are likely to rise.

    Conservative…2011 election – 3 constituency seats, 12 regional seats, total seats 15.

    The Scottish Conservatives have a rock solid mid-teen opinion poll rating. This means that they are unable to win many constituency seats outright but will always win seats on the regional (or list) seats. They have a very popular leader in the shape of Ruth Davidson who has been impressive both at Holyrood and in particular on live televised debates centred on the 2014 general election. With the LibDem demise in Scotland, they have scope for gains in the centre right voting ground.
    With a solid core vote, it’s difficult to envisage the number of Conservative seats falling by many and are more likely to rise by a small number.

    Labour….2011 election – 15 constituency seats, 22 regional seats, total seats 37.

    The Labour party in Scotland are in a desperate situation. Their traditional left and centre left vote has collapsed with the SNP easily the main beneficiaries. In the Westminster 2015 general election they retained only one of their Scottish seats. Many Scottish Labour leaders have come and gone but to no effect. Kezia Dugdale, the present incumbent, has passion but lacks experience. Her time may come but she may not appeal to the 60 years plus age group that has been Labour’s bread and butter of the past.
    Labour’s present constituency seat total will come under severe pressure but they will win many regional seats.

    LibDem…2011 election – 2 constituency seats, 3 regional seats, total seats 5.

    If Labour are in a bad way, then the LibDems in Scotland are in complete meltdown. Gone are the days of strong constituency MP’s and respected representatives in the past such as Jo Grimond, David Steel, Menzies Campbell, Charles Kennedy and their like. With their strong personnel gradually depleted, their rural vote has followed at an accelerated rate. Lost deposit territory beckons with their centre, centre right and protest vote falling prey to various other parties.

    Scottish Green…2011 election – 0 constituency seats, 2 regional seats, total 2 seats.

    The Scottish Green Party are likely in my opinion to increase their seat numbers slightly. They are likely to benefit on the regional list from high student number city dwellers and possibly from highland rural areas where any remaining LibDem vote will come under intense pressure.

    Scottish Socialist Party…2011 election – 0 seats.

    They could damage any hard left Labour vote and it could be possible for them to gain representation with a regional seat.

  40. So, sounds like you thought they’d hold Orkney and Shetland… or that they’d make two gains elsewhere.

  41. After watching the debates last night on BBC, I’m gonna have to say that a Libdem wipeout is all but certain now. I won’t be surprised if we get pictures of Farron looking miserable in his constituency.

  42. How did you get that from the debate? Just curious. And I don’t think we’re anywhere near “all but certain,” in all honesty. I think that’d be sub-6% in polling.

  43. Because all signs are pointing to a Libdem demise, even Electoral Calculus has them polling at their absolute worst. I’d rather prepare for the worst than be optimistic.

  44. I think “the worst” is 3, not none. I just don’t see that happening. Most predictors have them between 6-10. I think that’ll bear out.

    What would make me curious: if they have more new MPs than old. That is, say they get 6: it could be Twickenham, Kingston, Oxford West, Edinburgh West, East Dunbartonshire and Ceredigion or something.

  45. I thought Farron did ok in the debate and personally am near certain to revert to the fold, having voted Labour in 2015.

    It’s hard to understand, as have posted before, why they are doing so badly. It seems that despite the consistently depressing evidence from the polls, that there is some evidence from the targetted constituencies that the vote is holding up. However, the same might have been said at the last GE.

  46. There is a good article in the Guardian on a focus group in Wells which I would recommend

  47. I will be voting LD for the first time in a general since ’97. I, too, feel that they should be doing better.

    And I’ll add that I agree Farron did okay. I find him irritating, but his “absentee Theresa” bit was pretty good and I think it’ll resonate well with people.

  48. I curretnly think that the LIbDems may only get four seats in London: Carlshalton, Kingston, Richmond Park and Twickenham. Although they are in difficulty according to the opinion polls, I suspect they will hold on in Orkney and Shetland and Westmoreland. But if they just hold these six seats, where will the LibDems go next?

    The LibDems have become overwhelmingly the party of the rich London establishment, heavily influenced by overseas (particularly European) interests. I don’t see why on earth ordinary voters should support them, and it appears that the large majority of voters realise this too..

  49. Of all the English Party Leaders, Farron is least representative of some variety of the London establishment..

    It does look like you have a bit of an axe to grind on the Lib Dems, Frederic…

  50. I hope not, Andrew. Where I live, in Kent, the LIbDems are hardly in the map and never have been.

    I would actually like the LibDems, also the Greens and perhaps even UKIP, to get a few seats so that their views are heard in parliament. This doesn’t appear to be happening in 2017.

    I agrtee with you about Fallon; but the LibDems didn’t have many leadership candidates to choose from!

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