Here’s a final post on the proposed boundary changes for the time being, I’ve had a chance to look at the marginality of seats. Now, as I said in an earlier post, on the levels of support at the 2010 election the proposed English boundaries would have given the Conservatives 5 fewer seats, Labour 18 fewer seats and the Liberal Democrats 7 fewer seats. That’s a gain of 13 seats for the Conservatives relative to Labour.

However, it doesn’t follow that there would be the same impact if levels of support had been different. What if, for example, Labour notionally lost lots of seats at 2010 levels of support, but the new boundaries produced lots of seats that could be won on a very small swing – it could be that the new boundaries were better for Labour than the current boundaries in a scenario where the Conservatives had slightly less support.

Hence the table below shows what the distribution of seats would be with various uniform swings between Labour and Conservative.

These suggest that while the proposed boundaries are beneficial to the Conservatives under 2010 levels of support, they would be much less beneficial to them compared to the current boundaries if there was a swing to the Conservatives (with a 2 point swing to the Tories – the equivalent of an 11 point GB lead – these boundaries would only see the Conservatives gain 3 seats relative to Labour). On the other hand, in a scenario where there was a swing towards Labour these proposed boundaries would be much better for the Tories. If there was a three point swing to Labour (putting the parties roughly neck and neck in GB support) then the Conservatives would win 2 more seats than on the current boundaries, Labour 26 less – a relative gain of 28 seats.

That particular level of support is most advantageous to the Tories, their gain declines again on bigger Labour swings. The point is, however, that in terms of marginality seats are not evenly distributed, so a particular set of boundaries that is good for a party when they are x% ahead in polls may not be good for them when they are y% behind.

The headline figures of gains and losses at 2010 levels of support can be somewhat misleading, given it ignores whether more seats become winnable marginals or safe seats. The best measure will probably be what percentage leads the two main parties need in order to get a majority on the new boundaries. Currently the Conservatives need about an 11 point lead, Labour about a 3 point lead.

We can’t tell exactly what leads they’ll need on the new boundaries until we see Scotland and Wales, but the Conservatives will need at most a lead of 9 points (since on these boundaries, that size swing would give over 300 seats in England alone) and I expect it will be a bit less unless the Welsh boundaries are truly horrific for them. On the old boundaries Labour could win an overall majority with a lead over the Tories of 3%, but given they win far more seats in Scotland and Wales than the Tories do, we really will need to wait for the other Commissions’ reports before we can make any estimates about how their target will change.

With all that done, below is a spreadsheet of the notional figures for all the proposed seats, carried out the same way – ready for people to crunch and experiment with in their own way.

Notional results for Provisional English Boundaries (excel) (csv)

I’ll add the caveat I provided last time I did this, these notionals are just the product of estimating how general election support is distributed throughout each seat, based up which are the stronger and weaker wards for each party in local elections, and then reallocating the wards to their new seats. There is little or no human judgement here – if just how the numbers stack up once they are all pumped into the spreadsheet, so if it is an area you know well you may very well have a better idea of how the party support in your area actually stacks up. It’s not a perfect system of projecting notional results, and sometimes later election results suggest individual seats were off, but one the whole it performs pretty well. That said, if you spot anything spectactularly odd do mention it – it may be an error.

273 Responses to “Full notional results for the provisional boundaries”

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  1. Thanks for this Anthony, I would probably assume that a 4% swing or so to Labour in England is most likely.

  2. great stuff anthony, clear, precise and easy to understand.

    Much appreciated

  3. It would seem that any local ‘new constituency’ polls will be of great interest. Any local elections coming up?

  4. Any way to translate this into .pdf

    Would be interested to see a notional result with 5% Con-Lab and 11% LD-Lab swings.

  5. I think the new notional Halifax seat is wrongly inserted in the Labour tables on these notional predictions. I think it is highly likely that once the independent cllr’s distortion is taken into account it is likely Halifax with the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward included would be a notionally conservative seat.

  6. is there any way of guessing what level of VI the dems would need to retain their current stregth in the commons, down 7 seats at current VI looks like a big win for us

  7. just a mo i misunderstood completely. current support means 2010 results

    the panic attack of optimism is over

  8. Thank you Mr Wells, very interesting indeed. It pays to wait for an expert.

  9. @Anthony,

    I click on your .xlsx link but all I get is a zip file with some xml in it. Any ideas?

    Regards, Martyn

  10. Martyn – no idea, but I’ve put up a csv version of the file as well now, so try that.

  11. @Anthony

    The csv version works for me. Thank you, btw: this is very helpful.

    Regards, Martyn

  12. @Martyn

    There are a number of online xlsx to xls converters online (the second “x” in xlsx represents XML).

  13. Some of them even without tautologies…

  14. @Paddy Matthews

    Point taken, but I wasn’t getting an .xlsx file, I was getting a zip file containing XML – it’s not like I was getting a .xlsx file which i could save and then convert as you suggest.

    Still, the csv file works ticketty-boo, so it’s moot. Thanks, anyway.

    Regards, Martyn

  15. Terrific stuff Anthony.

  16. @ Anthony

    So, if I’m reading this correctly, the Tories would have a majority of 3 seats, with a 1% swing to CON over their 2010 vote, regardless of what happens in Scotland & Wales. Would that be correct?

    If I’m repeating back at you, something you already wrote in the article, please humour me & answer anyway because I am a ‘check my understanding’ kind of a person.

    Thank you.

  17. Well, they’d have at least 303 seats on a uniform swing of 1% from Lab to Con, plus whatever seats they won in Scotland and Wales (and they would be unlikely to win zero seats in Wales, even if they win zero in Scotland!)

    303 seats is a majority of 6 though!

  18. Oh hang on, is that a headline? Tories get a majority of 3 on the proposed new boundaries?

  19. 1.8!!!
    This is the number that has sealed the fate of German liberals: they are not just declining, but are virtually finished as a political party. This is the percentage of votes they got today in Berlin’s State Election – they had 7.6 in the 2006 State Election and 11.5 in 2009 GE. It is the fourth time this year that they are ousted from a State Parliament, and their recent euro-skeptic U-turn did them more harm than good, alienating once and for all their pro-European urban liberal base. Other than that, SPD + Greens have OM (SPD: 29, – 2 from 2006 but + 9 compared to 2009, Greens 18, best result ever, + 5 from 2006, + 1 from 2009), the Left is down at 11.5% (-2 from 2006, – 8.5 from 2009), the CDU slightly up (from 21 to 23), but it does them no good because of their allies’ demise. Finally the Pirate Party is at 9%, a surprise result.

  20. @Virgilio

    Indeed, any explanation for the success of ‘die Piraten’

  21. @DoctorB,

    Not quite. The headline is that the Tories would only need a 1% swing to secure a UK-wide majority purely on English seats.

    I suspect once the Scots and Welsh figures are available, the headline will be (much more succinctly), that the 2010 election would have resulted in a Tory majority if it had been fought under the new rules. Maybe not, its also likely that the figure under the re-jigged boundaries would have been the Tories falling 2 or 3 seats short.

    All will really depend on how the carveup of Wales pans out. They currently have 9 there and 1 in scotland. If they lost 1 in Wales they’d still have a majority on the 2010 numbers (just). If they lose more than 1 in Wales, and/or lose their only Scottish seat, they’d fall short.

    Given the size of the reduction in Welsh seats, its very likely I think that they’d have fallen short.

  22. I think the tories would end up about 2 short or so assuming 5 tory seats in Wales and 1 in Scotland.

  23. @? Cairns
    I think that the impressive score of the Piraten is an expression of the expansion of Internet-centered info-tainment (Facebook, song and movie downloading etc) among the young (but also now among older) people. It is another facet of modernity, together with the one (pro-enviroment, feminism, civil liberties, anti-nuclear etc) expressed by the Greens.

  24. Excellent stuff from Anthony, as ever.

    It’s worth emphasising of course that this is a game with more variables than the Lab/Con swing. You’d get different results if you did the same sums with different assumptions for LibDem support; if I’ve understood correctly, Anthony’s table assumes that the LibDem figure is held constant at 2010 levels.

  25. Just read Tim farron’s speech, very good, would have liked to have seen it, I have always complained that we didn’t have a bruiser but Tim seems to be the man for the job, very tough, even tougher than most considering that he wasn’t attacking the defenceless. But I wonder does the fact that he praised nick clegg excessively mean that he’s holding a knive behind his back. I don’t know it wasn’t the speech of a leader in waiting more the tough northern deputy, am I falling into stereotypes or is it the political parties that have a formula, southern softie leader backed up by hard as nails northern deputy. It’s probably just me. I think he needs to soften around the edges a bit if he going to be leader. But I would be tempted to rejoin the party if he was standing.

  26. Richard in Norway
    What is the point of a “Tuff Talker” if the policies are as soft as warm butter? The whole point of his speech was to tell the faithful that only LD involvement in government prevented the Tory vermin from taking us back to the 1830’s. If this pleased the eternal opposition in sandals, that’s fine by us.

  27. Roland

    My sandals have hobnails

  28. RiN

    “My sandals have hobnails”

    And in such sandals the Roman Army conquered in Europe! (except, of course Germany, Scotland and a few other places :-) )

    Noting Virgilio’s post above re Berlin, and the 4-5% that LDs now get in Scotland, should we be considering a consequential link between hobnailed sandals in the 2nd century and electoral success/failure in the 21st?

  29. Thanks to everyone at YouGov for helping to compile these figures so quickly.

  30. Oh dear – there seems to be a problem with the downloaded file. It downloads as a zip but when I click on it I just get another zip file instead of the file itself.

  31. Old Nat

    You are awful

    I think the the German liberals are a different breed to the dems, further to the right in economic policy. But these days who knows. It seems Germany is moving to the left but I doubt they abandon sound money it part of the German psyche

  32. Andy

    I’m a techno idiot but it opened up just fine for me

  33. Richard – are you on Windows? I’m using a Macintosh so maybe it’s something to do with that.

  34. [Geek mode on]

    As it’s an xlsx file it *may* not open correctly unless you’re using the Office 2007 version of Excel. Use the csv file instead.

    [Geek mode off]

    Look! Squirrel!

    Regards, Martyn

  35. @Martyn

    Point taken, but I wasn’t getting an .xlsx file, I was getting a zip file containing XML

    Yes, because that’s what an .xlsx document is.

  36. @Paddy Matthews

    Thank you.

    Regards, Martyn

  37. As predicted, the Lib Dem conference became rather heated. There was an emergency motion made to debate the NHS reforms. The motion received 235 yays to 183 nays, but required a 2/3rd’s majority to allow for debate.

    I think this is the turning point in the decline of the party, and has disrupted the idea that the party membership are happy with coalition. 235 Lib Dem activists are going to go home after being told to shut up by the party leadership. What they do after conference… We’ll see.

  38. Excellent work. I’ve only skimmed through now, but in those areas that I have done my figures agree withn yours, which is probably more comforting for me than for you. One result that did strike me as strange was the LDs being third in Brighton Pavilion & Hove

  39. Incidentally – looking at the swing tables, a 5% swing from Conservative to Labour would still leave the Conservatives the largest party in the popular vote in England. These notionals show Labour just (but only just pulling ahead in seats on that swing) while on the current boundaries they win 20 seats more. It does show how this does go some way to redressing the bias in Labour’s favour (though it doesn’t remove it completely). Obviously the reduction fo seats for Scotland and Wales will also contribute to this

  40. Allow me to join the chorus – great work!

    I just hope we don’t get accusations of gerrymandering because the pro-Labour bias seems to be somewhat reduced.

  41. I found some amusing and scary comments by the former finance minister of Singapore.

    Mr Yeo said talk of global architecture is an attempt by Western countries to wriggle out of hard choices and “pass on their pain” to somebody else. The “Old Cathedral” of global affairs – built on American power – is crumbling and should not be rebuilt.

    “China and India are going to grow whatever happens to the global system. The world will muddle along as it has for much of history,” he said.

    Mr Yeo called for a bout of “creative destruction” in the West, warning of “very painful” times as American and European workers learn to compete toe-to-toe with educated Asians willing to put in longer hours for much lower pay. This may test political systems to breaking point.

  42. @RiN

    Yep, I read that article too (or a similar one covering the same subject)

    h ttp://

    Going to South-East Asia and asking for help presumes they *want* to help. There’s been quite a few articles recently with people looking forward to destruction providing they can gain some advantages for themselves (see h ttp:// for an example). The fact that real people will really suffer is seen as an irrelevance.

    Regards, Martyn

  43. Managed to convert the file dooda into WordPad, it’s not a spreadsheet though.

    Will have a good look later (thank you AW), but at first sight a swing from LD to Labour means more gains for the Tories from LD than before (and fewer Labour gains from LD?).

    There would though be a number of instant Labour gains from the Tories (on a whisker of an LD-Lab swing), and if anything more Con/Lab marginals come into play, dependent on the scale of any LD collapse.

    Analysis of the LD conference suggests they have given up on the left of their party. They hope to shore up their remaining support and go into an election targeting the floating centre/centre right. The type of voter won over by Blair, and to a lesser extent by his “heir”.

    Painting Cameron as a right-winger it would seem. Something along the lines of “trusted on the ecomony unlike Labour, but gentler than the Tories – a party of the head and the heart”.

  44. @ RiN

    The “Old Cathedral” of global affairs – built on American power – is crumbling and should not be rebuilt.
    It will be rebuilt, though.

    Asia doesn’t have the infra-structure or demographics to usurp the US. If it wanted to, the US could turn the financial lights out in Asia with the flick of a switch.

  45. @JayBlanc
    The limited reaction I’ve seen from LibDems has actually been positive about the NHS vote.
    ‘We’ve sent a strong message to the party leadership and the LibDems in the lords’ etc.


    Electoral calculus released theirs also today !

    I always find their prediction tool to be the most accurate and felt- certainly in terms of the various seats that I had track knowledge of- their pre 2010 notionals were more accurate than here (sorry AW) !

    They data vis flat format and web browsable. They present both at regional and ward level.

    They make England changes as:

    Con minus 5

    Lab minus 15

    LD minus 10

  47. Anthony I continue to be surprised that opponents of the review have not raised the issue of double counting in calculating the quota for the new constituencies and in the review itself due to people be registered in more than one constituency – I estimate around 1.5 million voters

  48. Many thanks for these figures Anthony – it’s exactly what most of us want.
    (Thanks also Pete – saw your London figures).

    I did notice one odd thing somewhere but have lost it now – but nothing else.
    Workington and Keswick is an interesting one – Labour ahead by 12 votes.

    Electoral calculus released theirs also today !
    I always find their prediction tool to be the most accurate and felt- certainly in terms of the various seats that I had track knowledge of- their pre 2010 notionals were more accurate than here (sorry AW) !”

    Given they have Ealing as notionally Labour and Paddington notionally Conservative I don’t know how you come to that conclusion. They have basically used the same methodology (if that is the word) as the Guardian, namely treating all wards of a constituency as if they vote the same way. Complete waste of space

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