Full Notional Figures

At the bottom of this post is a spreadsheet giving the full notional results for the provisional recommendations, now covering Scotland, England and Wales (I haven’t calculated any notionals for Northern Ireland). We now have recommendations from all four commissions, the England, Scottish and Northern Ireland commissions have completed their first consultation period (the Welsh one is just starting), shortly they will put up all the written submissions they received and allow a further consultation period to allow people to comment on other people’s comments. After that we have the wait for the Commission to produce revised recommendations later this year.

The overall impact of all four Commissions recommendations is to reduce the number of Conservative seats by 7, the number of Labour seats by 28 and the number of Lib Dem seats by 11. This would have left the Conservatives just short of a majority at the last election with 299 seats (though note the important caveats with any notional calculations – these are just how the seats would have fallen if people’s votes at the 2010 election had been tallied on the new boundaries. In reality some people may have voted differently had the boundaries been different).

Of course, these figures are only what would have happened on the levels of support at the last election. It is extremely unlikely that the next election will be a carbon copy of the last one. It is more interesting to see what difference the new boundaries make on the swings each party need to win.

The Conservatives need a swing of just 0.1% to get an overall majority (equating to a lead of 7.4 points over Labour). This compares to the current position where the Conservatives need a lead of about 11 points over Labour to win.

Labour would need a swing of 2.5% to become the largest party (equating to a Conservative lead of 2.2 points over Labour). This compares to the current position where Labour become the largest party when the Conservative lead drops below 4 points.

Labour would need a swing of 5.8% to gain an overall majority (equating to a Labour lead of 4.3 points over the Tories). This compares to the current position where Labour need a lead of about 3 points over the Tories to win.

Hence Labour would still win a majority with a smaller lead than the Conservatives, and if the two parties had the same shares of the vote Labour would still have substantially more seats than the Conservatives. This is to be expected, as only part of the disparity is caused by unequal boundaries, with unrelated factors like lower turnout in Labour seats and tactical voting against the Conservatives also contributing.

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


102 Responses to “Full Notional Figures”

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  1. FrankG
    Interesting that your definition of ‘fairness’ only applies to the Tories. The FPTP system is inherently ‘unfair’ and is supported by the Tories. The biggest losers in terms of impact are the LD who already are ‘unfairly’ treated by the current system.
    I would not go as far to say ‘g……….ing’ but the change in the number of seats without any other reforms and selling it as ‘fair’ is bordering on mendacious. How Clegg can support this s beyond me

  2. oops sorry for doubling posting – thought I was in moderation for using the g word!

  3. Bazsc
    “I would not go as far to say ‘gerrymandering’ but the change in the number of seats without any other reforms and selling it as ‘fair’ is bordering on mendacious. How Clegg can support this s beyond me”

    How about the equalization of seat size in terms of voters? Doesn’t that count as a reform?

  4. On a purely objective basis a hung parliament ought to be more likely than ever, there is far more chance of a labour lead of 3-4% than there is of a Tory lead of 8-11%.

    In my own entirely subjective opinion, if the Tories can hold Labour to more or less level pegging at this stage of the cycle they should come out as the largest party in 2015. Much harder to see where a Tory majority can come from though, they will surely lose at least some seats to Labour and I don’t think they’ll take enough from the Lib Dems.

  5. @Richard in Norway

    Con40,Lab35,Lib15,Oth10% gives

    * Con: 310
    * Lab: 258
    * Lib: 6
    * Oth: 10

    Conversely, Con35,Lab40,Lib15,Oth10% gives

    * Con: 251
    * Lab: 318
    * Lib: 5
    * Oth: 10

    The reduction in seats hurts the third, fourth and fifth parties disproportionately. @Rob Sheffield is entirely correct when he says we won’t see such wide divergences again. Where he and I disagree is that I say the reduction in Lab->Lib tactical voting will give Con an overall majority in 2015, and he says the reunification of the centre-left will give it to Lab. Either of us may be correct[1].

    If you want reassurance, I agree with @A Cairns that uniform national swings are unlikely, and I would prefer regional ones. So the scenario above isn’t certain and I anticipate Lib will do better than the bald analysis above would indicate. But this was inevitable; any way you slice it, a reduction in seats hurts the minor parties.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1]: although it’s obviously me… :-)

  6. Martyn

    I think I. Might have spotted a flaw in your model. It seems that in your latest example the total projected votes are a lot less than total votes cast in 2010 I would expect that when libdem go down by more than 10000 that the other parties would go up by similar amounts. Of course I’m clutching at straws here

  7. @Martyn
    “But this was inevitable; any way you slice it, a reduction in seats hurts the minor parties. ”

    Perhaps this is Cameron’s strategy for dealing with the rise of the ‘Other’ vote? LeftyLampton, myself and others have been harping on about how dangerous that is for the two big parties in particular, so perhaps Cameron’s cleverer then we give him credit for?

  8. “The LDs will do very badly and lose at least half their seats but they probably won’t get destroyed in the West country in the way that some are predicting due to incumbancy/personal vote reasons.”

    I agree with this. They are very likely to lose places like Chippenham and Mid Dorset but are likely to hold on in Bath, Yeovil, Cheltenham, Bristol West and North Devon. I realise David Laws had his little spot of bother soon after the election but he’s so far ahead in Yeovil (the boundary changes have little partisan effect here), I’ll be shocked if he loses. This area has long had LD strength going back to Paddy Ashdown’s tenure as MP and South Somerset council is one of the longest run LAs in the UK. Labour have always been weak in the region and I don’t see much tactical unwind here.

  9. @TopHat;

    You said “…Then surely what you’ve said is of very little use? Models should be positive-descriptive – you have to abandon them if they don’t work, even if they are mathematically “neat” and seem like they should work. I mean, surely it’d be at least worth looking at the 2005 results, then using a UPNS of the 2010 vote % to see if it accurately predicted that election…”

    You may have misunderstood me: I contend that UPNS is better than UNS, because UNS can give negative results and UPNS can’t. Additionally, UPNS calculations are intuitive and easily checked. Also, using a four party model (Con/Lab/Lib/Oth) model means I can integrate NI into the results very quickly (since NI is always Oth).

    You are correct that a model has to reflect reality or be junked, and UPNS may simply not work. But I am limited to what I can achieve, and UPNS is the best I can do with a spreadsheet. So I’ll stick with it for the time being. You already have Anthony or Electoral Calculus for UNS estimates.

    Regards, Martyn

  10. Bazsc

    ” . How Clegg can support this s beyond me”

    Because he is a ££x%% *f*** f**ING b%**%%%d

    Just my opinion you understand

  11. Ultimately the talk of fairness is always a question of procedural fairness vs fairness of result.

    FPTP with equalised boundaries has increased procedural fairness, as each constituency is equal and everything is fair according to the rules.
    However the result under the new boundaries is far less fair in result, to any party that isn’t called ‘Labour’ or ‘Conservative’ but unfortunately it’s a product of FPTP, a system that gives deeply unfair results.

    Essentially you’re having different arguments over fairness – you’re using one word but both with completely different meanings. A bug in the English language.

    Interestingly, outside of the partisans (who will only care about fairness when it comes to their party benefiting – a one party state would be fair to them), it seems that broadly speaking the left and right are split in the way that they always are over fairness.
    The right are arguing for procedural fairness (FPTP isn’t unfair) while the left are arguing for fairness of result (FPTP is unfair).

    Much in the same way that arguments over ‘fairness’ in tax-systems, etc are always two sides shouting over each other while not using the same meaning of the word – the right always after procedural fairness (flat taxes) while the left after fairness of result (progressive taxes).
    (Just a little observation…)

    So the argument is a pretty pointless one when you’re essentially using two different words (fairness-a and fairness-b) when they just happen to be made up of the same letters and vaguely share a concept.

    That said – as far as fairness of results goes, FPTP will always deliver an unfair result to the third party(ies), a slightly less unfair result to the second party and sometimes an unfair result to the first party (1951, 1974, IIRC).
    But given that the boundary changes are to do with procedural fairness and not fairness of outcome – the critics have no good argument over fairness [1] except in criticism of the system of FPTP (and not the boundary changes).

    [1] Other arguments, such as the number of MPs and the centralising of power in the executive are valid – but that is a separate issue.

  12. Meant to say that South Somerset council is one of the longest run Lib Dem LAs in the UK.

    I also wanted to add something about Martyn’s UPNS formula. While certainly well-intentioned, his example of North Norfolk is not a good one. While the council was gained by the Tories and Labour saw a significant increase in the vote, the same swing in the parliamentary seat would not be enough for a Con gain. Norman Lamb will likely hold on by a few thousand but with a big reduction in his current 11k+ majority.

  13. Amber

    We’ll have to stop agreeing on so many things! :-)

  14. Martyn

    ” a reduction in seats hurts the minor parties”

    Very true – and in STV systems, the smaller number of elected members from wards/constituencies has a similar effect.

  15. @Martyn;

    I tried using UPNS on the 2005 figures to predict the 2010 seats using the 2010 % vote share, and the prediction came out at:

    CON 295; LAB 270; LIB 51.

    It’s not bad per se, but it performs worse than equivalent UPS predictors from 2005. As such, it seems more likely the Lib Dems will get 9 seats, which (barring any stupid mistakes on my behalf) is what they get from a UNS on the proposed boundaries at current ratings.

  16. Martyn,

    I agree your calculation looks the more logical.

    Regards

  17. Amber

    I had a request from one of the reasonable people on PB.com to persuade you to move over there – due to the dire level of debate on that site.

    Whether you could cope with people who make Roland possibly sweet, I don’t know. :-)

  18. AW says that Tory have to be 7.4% above Labour to get OM,Martyn says that with 5% higher voteshare,they can get a majority…Both can`t be right

  19. @Martyn

    I think you have the wrong idea about uniform national swing. UNS does NOT mean it is the single national polling figure applied to each seat.

    On the figs you quote the national decreases/increases for say Lab, LD and Con are:

    Lab +11.3 (40 – 29.7)
    Con +3.1 (40 -36.9)
    LD – 13.6 (23.6 -10)

    The swings are therefore:

    Con to Lab 4.10 (11.3 – 3.1 divided by 2)
    LD to Lab 12.45 (11.3 – (-13.6) divided by 2)
    LD to Con 8.35 (3.1 – (-13.6) divided by 2)

    For the proposed North Norfolk constituency’s GE2010 the following are the vote%s

    LD 29669 53.2%
    Con: 18317 32.9%
    Lab: 3948 7.1%
    Oth: 3798 6.8 %

    This gives a LD majority of 11,352 ie 20.3% over Con
    Con would need a 10.15% LD/Con swing to overtake LD.

    The current LD/Con swing of 8.35% is therefore well below the swing required for Con to take the seat from LD.

  20. possibly -> positively

  21. Tinged Fringe

    Sorry but I think you are constructing a lot of waffle to support your political viewpoint.

    I do not have the same confidence as you that this has been done for altruistic reasons by the Tories – I would like to see an analysis of what number of seats gives the Tories the most benefit.

    From my viewpoint the FPTP system is based on unfairness – especially when now a party with 23% of the votes will get 7% of the seats – even worse than the old system.

  22. @ Scotswhahae

    The Government was defeated on all three of the welfare reform votes tonight in the Lords!
    ————————————-
    That’s the way to do opposition politics!
    :-)

  23. AKMD

    As a Labour voter in the West, I can tell you that there will be a tactical unwind in the Lib Dem vote. I have voted tactically in the last 4 GE and nothing will make me do it again.

    The last local elections saw Labour vote in rural Devon increasing by 10% at the expense of the Lib Dems and this will happen at the GE

  24. @ Old Nat

    I had a request from one of the reasonable people on PB.com to persuade you to move over there – due to the dire level of debate on that site.
    —————————
    LOL :-)

    I looked at the Telegraph comments once. It damaged my soul; I still get flashbacks & have to hide under the covers until they go away!

  25. @Bazsc

    “Interesting that your definition of ‘fairness’ only applies to the Tories. The FPTP system is inherently ‘unfair’ and is supported by the Tories.”

    Unfortunately you have clearly completely misunderstood my definition of ‘fairness’.

    All MPs of whatever party should represent approximately the same number of electorate irrespective of whether that elector actually casts a ballot or not. That is fair!

    The boundary commissions do not take into account votes cast but only the total number of the electorate entitled to vote in each constituency. It would be VERY wrong indeed for them to take any constituency’s voting pattern into account. They should certainly NOT take into account any counting system employed in an election, be it FPTP, AV, PR etc etc. Their PRIMARY role is to produce equal sized constituencies of the size limits dictated by Parliament, (NOT by the Govt but Parliament). Their Terms of Reference are decided by Parliament and given to them.

    I would be TOTALLY against any actions by the boundary commissions to adjust boundaries to ‘compensate’ for constituencies of good or poor turnout, for party advantage or any thing outside their Terms of Reference.

    Labour for years has obtained an ‘unfair’ advantage from the inequality of constituency sizes. Labour has also obtained an advantage by having its supporters better distributed, but this quite rightly beyond the boundary commissions remit.. LDs have suffered from the method of counting votes. Even if the voting counting system was changed, inequality in constituency sizes would still give an ‘unfair’ advantage to one party or another.

    If you are dissatisfied with the method of counting votes then by all means campaign to get it changed. You should NOT mix up the ‘unfairness’ of any counting system with the ‘unfairness’ of unequal constituency sizes.

  26. MARTYN and R in N.
    Good evening, from Dorset, beautiful day it was:

    The figures with LDems so low are amazing, and yes, how can LD vote for it?

    Is Mr Clegg going to become a liberal Tory, along with Danny Alexander and David Lawes?

    What is Huhne thinking about?

  27. FRANKG
    Labour has also obtained an advantage by having its supporters better distributed, but this quite rightly beyond the boundary commissions remit..
    Hope you are not suggesting that Labour deliberately moved people into marginal constituencies for electoral advantage…If you are it would sound ridiculous

  28. @Martyn

    Re UPNS.

    The model isn’t quite as mathematically neat as that, because of variations in absolute voting numbers in different constituencies (due to size and relative turnout). I’ve applied the 40/40/10/10 split (assuming SNP and UKIP both 3% within that) and then scaled back the new totals with a different multiplier for each constituency in order to keep turnout constant for each constituency. Then add the totals for each constituency. You end up with a total GB vote share of 41.1% Con, Lab 38.7%, LD 10.5%, SNP 2.7% etc. So that’s the national vote share consistent with your seat totals on a UPNS model.

    Is this type of model of use? Well AW showed last year that the proportional model worked very well in the Scottish Holyrood elections in terms of correlation with the LD vote, subject to adjusting for incumbency benefits. So that’s one argument for using a proportional model when looking at changes to the LD vote share across GB.

    However, I’m much more sceptical about applying UPNS when looking at the other main parties. Not least because of the higher volatility between elections of LD voters than Lab or Con (which predates the coalition), caution is needed. I have a distant memory that UNS turned out to be the better model in 2010.

    Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, can regional swings be assumed to be in line with the GB ones? This may be a reasonable default assumption for much of England and Wales in the absence of other information. But given the situation in Scotland, some tweaks will clearly be needed there.

  29. Breaking news that the Government has suffered a surprise defeat in the Lords, and significant amendments have been passed to the Welfare Bill that strike out the removal of benefits for those who were made disabled in youth (And so didn’t have sufficient NI contributions), Cancer patients are not to be moved to Income related payments, and the move to means tested payments will not happen until the second year of claim instead of after the first. (I’m unsure if they also struck down the backdating that would mean most current claimants would be immediately moved to means tested payments)

  30. FrankG

    Equalising the size of constituencies may be the right thing to do but that is always been the remit of the BC – it is the tolerances that will change and we may see the fun and games this causes due to population movements between elections – continually fiddling with constituencies at each election will soon get a bit tedious and unpopular.

    I do take the points you make but as a LD voter I am not particularly happy to see my vote even more diluted than it was before in order to help the Tories.

    I repeat my interest in knowing who benefits from equalization of constituency size for a certain number of seats. I seem to remember reading somewhere that 600 is the optimum for the Tories – but this may have been partisan moaning.

  31. @Amber; “that’s the way to do opposition politics!”

    I know!!! Totally chuffed.

    “I looked at the telegraph comments once. It damaged my soul”.

    I know the feeling. I accidentally clicked a link to the Daily Mail before, and it left me shivering in fear…

  32. Bazsc – “I seem to remember reading somewhere that 600 is the optimum for the Tories – but this may have been partisan moaning.”

    It was partisan moaning.. Clearly some particular arrangements of boundaries are better than others, it simply isn’t possible to determine what the “best” number is with any degree of certainty. There are countless different ways the boundary commissions could have split up the country into 600 seats and no way the Conservatives could have predicted them.

    For example, ages ago Lewis Baston did an exercise trying to predict what the boundary commission would do for 600 seats, on his estimate the Conservatives lost 15 and Labour 18 – extremely different from what we got. That’s no criticism at all of Lewis, just an illustration that it wasn’t possible to predict accurately enough what the result of any given number of seats would be to tailor it to party advantage.

    Just to make it extra impossible, the 600 figure was set before Dec 2010 electorate figures existed, so it really would have been completely impossible.

  33. Hi Anthony

    Thanks for that

    Just shows how arbitrary FPTP is – those in marginal constituencies and in the BC offices decide and the rest of us might as well stay at home and watch the tv!

  34. @ FrankG

    “Don’t you perhaps think that if the MP is so well known and regarded then it might be already in the GE2010 results, which of course are therefore already taken into account in these predictions. Logically any changes to the electorate must reduce the popularity factor of a candidate compared to GE2010 in most seats. Unless of course your candidate currently has an unpopularity factor and then you may not wish that to be remembered by the new electorate.”

    The point I was really making but not clearly is that if the MP is currently popular, they could well maintain the existing votes and gain support from people that have joined from neighbouring constituency who could not vote for them previously. For example there may be many students in constituencies near Sheffield Hallam that could not vote for Nick Clegg before, but will now be able to do so. (if that seat is affected by the changes)

  35. So out of interest – with the Lib Dems looking at getting under 10 seats if I read the above right, can anyone tell me which those will be (say, their last 10-15 seats that would go under new boundaries)? And, therefore, by extrapolation which MPs will (or are likely to) form the rump party… this could be very significant in determining the future development of the LDs.

  36. Well, first off, it’s not gerrymandering, so we can hit that particular mole back into its hole.

    Why would Clegg support this? I think the naive belief that Labour would join a progressive union in support of AV.

    This entire process is urgently overdue. We have far, far, far too many MPs. And far, far, far too little real devolution and people power where it matters.

    Reducing the number of MPs will create new seats where incumbent MPs (and by the sound of the whinging, Labour MPs the most) having to actually work for their votes.

    I support the reduction even further – 500 would be a great next step.

    We need to scrap Labour’s inbuilt attitude against democracy.

  37. @R Huckle

    Surely you mean “For example there may be many *students* in constituencies near Sheffield Hallam that could not vote for Nick Clegg before, but will now be able to vote against him.” ;)

  38. @Jayblanc

    “Why yes! The LibDems might lose vote share if they pull the plug on Boundary Changes…
    They will *certainly* lose seats if they do not.
    They may well, as suggested above, be reduced to a single seat!

    So what do you think will happen?”

    The first thing to happen is that Martyn should look at his figures and methodology. He has it VERY WRONG mathematically, logically and statistically as my recent posting on his North Norfolk example clearly shows.

    IMO LDs will recover a large % of their lost votes by GE2015, mainly from DKs returning to their former party. Even YouGov recognise that some form of adjustment has to be done on DKs to get an accurate VI and therefore change their methodology closer to any election. IMO they will not lose as many seats as some ‘enthusiastic’ (especially those who stretch ‘non-partisan’ to the absolute limit) contributors on this site anticipate.

    Changes will be proposed to all the various boundary proposals and where these are based on logically grounds within the TORs and not for party partisan ‘gerry mandering’ purposes, they may get incorporated into the final recommendations.

    IMO the boundary changes will then be approved, irrespective of whether they favour one party over another, because they are about ‘fairness’ and working towards an even electoral playing field.

  39. @Anthony Wells

    As far as the LDs are concerned, their optimum size is clearly 650. The concentration of their support in small pockets over much of GB meant that they were always going to lose more than other parties if that concentration of support were diluted across 2+ constituencies. Cardiff Central is the latest very predictable example. And once they win a seat they also depend acutely on incumbency to consolidate it, which will be similarly diluted but which is yet to be built into any modelling.

    The reduction of seats has diluted that concentration and has also thrown in a lot of general churn to boot, far more than under a boundary review equalising on 650 seats. The bigger the reduction of seats, I suggest the bigger the LD losses. So 600 is bad, and 550 would have been worse etc.

    I am honestly astonished that the LDs agreed to the reduction to 600 and can only conclude that either they either completely overlooked this effect or convinced themselves that AV would succeed.

    If the third party will have a smaller share of the seats, I think we can conclude that at least the reduction to 600 makes the prospect of one party gaining a outright majority of seats more likely. That might have been Cameron’s intention in seeking a reduction in seats, I suggest.

  40. More details of the Lib Dem rebels in the HoL.

    3 Liberal Democrats, Jenny Tonge, Matthew Taylor and Roger Roberts voted for an amendment which protected young people’s right to claim Employment and Support Allowance.

    The Government was also defeated on their one year time limit for claiming Contributory ESA. This was increased to two years by the amendment. The Liberal Democrat rebels were Dee Doocey and Jenny Tonge.

    The third defeat was to exempt Cancer patients from this limit. Liberal Democrats who rebelled on this vote were Eric Avebury, Dee Doocey, Shirley Williams, Jenny Tonge and Tim Clement-Jones.

  41. @phil,

    I think the issue for the LDs isn’t entirely about total number of seats. Their incumbency strength means that any major readjustment has the potential to hurt them, in the short term.

    Even a seat equalisation with the current numbers would see some of the LD bastions broken up and parcelled out.

    BUT.

    The point of the LDs is that they don’t really have a traditional base, in terms of geography or demographics. They gradually build up strength in particular constituencies, or exploit anti-government sentiment in by-elections.

    The LDs will suffer from the reorganisation in 2015, but I would guess they will then start to build up new concentrations of strength.

  42. @FrankG; I agree with you the the LDs will not do as badly as many predict (mainly I think due to tactical voting), however I think you may have accidentally donned the rose-tinted spectacles a little; I think they’ll take heavy losses (I’d be surprised if they still had over 40 seats after a 2015 GE), however, I don’t think we’ll see a total wipeout (I think they won’t drop below 30).

    LDs rely heavily on aining new voters between elections, and students. I know that one group won’t trust him again as far as they could throw him, but the current LDs haven’t had to dea with the toxicity effect before, which I think is preventing them attracting new voters…

    I certainly think that they are in trouble.

  43. Lord, is everyone talking to me… :-) OK, one at a time.

    @RiN

    The model isn’t used to predict the number of votes cast, so this isn’t really a problem. See my reply to @Phil below

    @PeteB

    You may be right

    @Akmd

    This is why I want to modify the model using regional swings. I can’t use Anthony’s cross-breaks (“The First Rule of UKPR Club is ‘Don’t mention the cross-breaks’. The Second Rule of…”) so I’ll eventually look at the ALDC figures.

    @Oldnat

    Agreed

    @Top Hat

    See below

    @Phil

    Thank you for pointing out how to fudge it to make the turnouts match. See my further reply to TopHat below.

    @Hal

    Thank you for explaining swing to me, although it was not necessary. Incidentally, I am not wrong statistically, logically nor mathematically: my logic is sound (it’s very simple, so difficult to get wrong), the maths are checkable and (since we’re not using probabilities) it would be difficult to be wrong statistically (it’s not biased, for example). The model may or may not be *accurate*, but that’s a different thing and, as TopHat demonstrated (without me asking him to), it’s not actually that bad in postdicting 2010 from 2005. Please feel free to use another model if you wish.

    @Smukesh

    Correct. Although it would be more accurate to say both of us are wrong-ish. Use whichever model you feel happiest with.

    @chrislane1945

    I should imagine Huhne is ruminating on the criminal justice system, the European Arrest Warrant, and how fast he can get to Southampton Airport from Eastleigh

    Regards, Martyn

  44. @Top Hat

    Thank you for the above (where did u get the spreadsheet for the 2005 constituency results, btw). The following is a true story.

    Back when I was freelance and the Army still had money to spare, I did a study for the Army on training fatigue. Performance drops off with fatigue but fatigue is difficult to measure numerically and the relationship isn’t simply linear. So I read up on the literature. The Americans use body scanners, the French use blood tests. I went through all the indicators and submitted my report to the Colonel (more accurately, to his Major: they’re big on rank). Whilst I did that, I told him the best way to do it was…take a stick.

    The reason fot this is that vertical jump height from a standing start is a good indicator of fatigue. It’s not the best, but it’s good enuf. So if your sergeant takes a stick and tells the squaddie to jump up, he can read off the numbers immediately from notches on the stick. Badda bing, it costs about five pence and you can do it in the rain and dark. Sometimes, I *really* earn my money… :-)

    the reason for this little anecdote is that although UPNS has its disadvantages and there are better ways, it’s quick, cheap, comprehensible, easily checkable, and can be done in the rain and dark…

    Regards, Martyn

  45. @SMukesh

    “Labour has also obtained an advantage by having its supporters better distributed, but this quite rightly beyond the boundary commissions remit.
    Hope you are not suggesting that Labour deliberately moved people into marginal constituencies for electoral advantage…If you are it would sound ridiculous’

    Your comment is a common ‘trick’ when a person can’t find anything wrong with an argument. Suggest it is saying something it clearly isn’t and then rubbish it as though it had implied it in the first place. It is unworthy of you!

    I deliberately stated (sometimes using capitals for emphasis) that the boundary commissions TORs are to rectify the inequality in constituency electorate sizes. I have emphasised that i would be TOTALLY against them going beyond their TORs. How you can translate that as implying Lab have moved people around the country to get a better vote distribution is TOTALLY beyond my understanding. Labours more efficient voter distribution allows them to win more seats with seemingly a smaller vote share. There is nothing ‘unfair’ about that and it would be very WRONG to try and ‘gerry mander’ boundaries to try to ‘correct’ this phenomenon. In the same way it would be WRONG to amend boundaries to correct inequalities in turnout between constituencies. The purpose of the boundary commissions is NOT to make amends for voter indifference or sheer idleness.

  46. @Martyn
    It’s about more than just making the turnouts match per se. That is, it’s about correcting the national vote share that produces the seat numbers that you cite. Cons turn out to have a 2.4% lead over Labour, rather than being level pegging.

  47. @Scotswaehae

    “however I think you may have accidentally donned the rose-tinted spectacles a little”

    Never “rose-tinted”, of that you can be certain.

    As for the LD chances at GE2015, we will see!

  48. @FrankG:

    Sorry, I meant to say “metaphorically rose-tinted, but clearly very anti-rose-tinted and of a strong canary yellow colour”.

    It didn’t quite have the same ring to it…

  49. FRANKG
    The word `obtained` may suggest that it was a deliberate act…All I wanted was clarification

  50. @Scotswaehae

    All tinted glasses are often known as shades, it’s getting the right shade that is the key in my opinion!

    My kind of bird often wears a different plumage nowadays and it’s difficult to find anything close to the right shade near my home nest.

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