The election of a majority Conservative government means that the Parliamentary boundary review will presumably go ahead on the rules passed under the last government, but delayed by the Liberal Democrats (the review that was started in the last Parliament was abandoned before it was completed after the law was changed). There is no need for the government to pass any laws to implement this, it will start up automatically early next year once electorate numbers are available, though Parliament will still have to vote to implement the Boundary Commissions’ recommendations, and with a small majority that is not necessarily a given – last time round there were a couple of Tory MPs who said they were going to vote against the new boundaries, and the government doesn’t have much of a majority to begin with.

Anyway, a couple of people have asked me how this election would have looked had the revised boundaries proposed in the last Parliament gone through. I’ve done a rough rejig of my provisional boundary calculations using the result of this election, and had the new boundaries gone through the Conservatives would have won 322 seats, nine fewer than they did but enough to give them a healthy majority of 44 in a Commons of 600 MPs. Labour would have won 204 MPs (28 fewer), the SNP 50 seats (and would have pushed Labour out of Scotland entirely) and the Lib Dems just 4.

Of course, this is not necessarily a good guide to what the new review this Parliament will produce – electorate numbers will have changed since 2010 and given some of the discussion after the abandoned review I suspect the English Commission may be a little more open to splitting wards so the proposed changes are less disruptive (something that requires only a change of mindset, not a change of rules!), but we shall see.


1,050 Responses to “What the election would have looked like on the new boundaries”

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  1. @ Statgeek

    The problem with the lower number of MPs that there about 130 appointments by the PM … (Actually, depending on the calculation it can even be 170).

  2. JACK SHELDON
    New Survation/MoS poll:
    CON 40 LAB 31 UKIP 12 LD 6 GRN 2
    ‘Shy Tories’ not so shy now :)
    __________

    Any Scottish cross breaks?

  3. @ Bristolian Howard

    Indeed that poll on the 7th of May with a very large sample was clearly an outlier. Having said that suddenly Survation seems to be confirming it. We have to wait a few more polls to see if it is a trend.

    By the way considering the dubious mea culpa from Survation, they are quite quickly off the mark, and as somebody rightly said that they found the shy Cons – out of the blue I suppose. We will have to wait for the tables :-)

  4. Re that new Survation presumably members of this forum are about to rubbish it by analysing the cross-breaks and saying how its an outlier and they can’t be trusted as a pollster :)

  5. MPs represent unregistered voters too don’t they – and children? Surely the boundaries should be drawn on population? Census data could be used.

  6. Allan Christie

    Specially for you! Survation sdcottish crossbreak

    SNP 60.2% : Lab 12.6% : Con 12.2% : LD 3.9% : UKIP 3.7% : Grn 1.6%

    N only 77, but given the accuracy of polling in Scotland, and that it seems to be pretty crap in England, those figures may be just as accurate as the GB headline figures. :-)

  7. Chrislane, thanks for the LibDem comment. Put a smile on my face amidst the gloom :-)
    Some things never change!

  8. JASPER22
    The polling people now have zero credibility. The industry has a huge amount of work to do as it is now a joke. They will take years to recover from this debacle
    ________

    Well they got the exit poll down to a treat.

    On the exit poll. What is it with Lib/Dems and exit polls. 5 years ago Ming rubbished it and now Paddy. Has he eaten his hat yet?

    Oh dear its not funny but you can’t help but laugh.

  9. @Jasper

    Agreed on the first part, and disagree on the second. England always wants to start a fight, so it can say it won a battle. Note the majority of activists that were defeated…”the battle continues”. It’s a joke. It can never cooperate with anyone, short of joining with another to win a battle.

    Notice the pattern? :))

    It’s very boring, very divisive and very old fashioned, and I for one am sick to the back teeth of the system that ensures that Scots are ruled from far away by 1 in 59 MPs.

    Do you know that 0.72% of Scots got their preferred candidate elected to government? Less than 1%. That’s out of 2.9 million people. Less than twenty one thousand have their preferred candidate elected to govern them.

    So take your FPTP and do the proverbial with it. It’s the worst system available.

  10. @ OldNat

    I know of the MoE, but Labour looks a bit high, and Green a bit low in those cross breaks.

  11. @Neil

    A luxury? A necessity.

  12. Can someone explain to me how despite the Tories getting more seats per vote at this election than Labour (for once), they’d still do even better under the boundary changes? I always thought the boundary changes were to mitigate Labour’s general unfair advantage, but in this election it would have cemented the Tories’ unfair advantage.

  13. I would imagine the LDs are in denial, would that not be human? Probably the same for Slab. BTW, if it was Amber’s constituency that was held, well done my friend up there..

  14. @Allan Christie

    I think the LDs have now learned the lesson that pavement politics can’t save you from annihilation in the way they imagined. For years they’d been assuming local incumbency would come to the rescue. In the end though they got annihilated slightly less badly in the seats they held they still got annihilated. I wasn’t that surprised – incumbency’s important but I thought and said several times on here than Ashcroft’s polls were massively inflating it.

  15. OLDNAT
    Allan Christie
    Specially for you! Survation sdcottish crossbreak
    SNP 60.2% : Lab 12.6% : Con 12.2% : LD 3.9% : UKIP 3.7% : Grn 1.6%
    N only 77, but given the accuracy of polling in Scotland, and that it seems to be pretty crap in England, those figures may be just as accurate as the GB headline figures. :-)
    ________

    Thanks OLDNAT. I’m thinking based on that cross break the SNP could make some big gains!!

  16. Surely 322 is a majority of 22 – unless I am missing something?

  17. Of Course that Survation poll has the Tories two ahead of their election result and the SNP 10 points.
    I cant see even the press trusting polls again as they will be worried a big mistake happens again.

  18. Lazlo

    :-)

    While we are on memes, I note that there has been rioting in London against the Tories.

    I presume this will be widely reported across the media as Labour supporting thugs attacking democratic free speech?

  19. One more comment on the locals and then I’ll shut up. It’s noticeable how well Labour did in some local contests – Corby for instance – but failed to translate this into Parliamentary success in the same area. Similarly there are constuencies Labour didn’t get close too e.g. Crawley, but where they have strong local record.
    I’ve just soken with my nephew who voted Labour in the locals where he lives, but was unconvinced by the Labour leadership so took another tak in the General. I know people vote for different reasons in local and national elections, but the disparity when the ballots are held at the same time seems odd, and I wonder whether these confused loyalties might effect the way responses are made to polling companies.

  20. @ Neil A

    Thank you, very decent of you, lets do it again in 5 years…:)

  21. @ Steve

    “Surely 322 is a majority of 22 – unless I am missing something?”

    The polling companies have a little bit of a credibility problem and they are adjusting their models. AW is still better than Survation.

    Imagine if D…e finds out that the poll on the favourite flavouring of yoghurts was based on a sampling error …

  22. Steve

    No, you need to subtract 22 from the 300 figure as well.

    11 is pertinent in working out how many seats need to be taken to gain equality, and how many troublemakers can defeat a government vote.

  23. Hi Anthony,

    To my suggestion of adding 3% to Con vote and deducting 3% to Lab, you replied that this was cheating.. Why not for it appears something is inherently wrong. Perhaps the people who are more centre right are less vocal than those of a left wing persuasion.

    The next polls (a week or so after the election) should reflect very similar figures to the actual election (short of a major economic disaster)
    , ie Con 36-37% and Lab 30-31%.

    If they do not then the particular pollsters should review their sample sizes and assumptions. Alternatively they explain the reason for the change.

    In 2010, 1 week after the GE, ComRes showed Lab at 34% whereas at GE it was 29% – do you honestly believed that Lab’s share of vote in space of 1 week increased by 5%.

    1 week prior to 2015 GE election, the same poll showed Lab at 35% (while in reality 30%). Do you honestly believe that Lab’s share of vote in space of 1 week decreased by 5%.

    Well at least they predicted 1% increase in Lab’s total share of vote.

  24. The current electoral boundaries clearly favour Labour. For example in the 2005 GE Blair gained 35% of the popular vote that translated to 355 seats. In 2015 GE the Tories gained 37% of the popular vote for 331 seats. Surely it has to be revamped.

  25. @ OldNat

    Wow. Do you have a device there that reads my thoughts?

    Earlier on there was a debate here how to embarrass, or even bring down the government, and for once Roland was quite right.

    I started to write our LP friends that if they were so certain, then bring out a 100,000 people every day for a 100 days to Central London, and they may be able to bring down the government democratically …no government in the UK would be able to sustain that … Calculating with three days rotation, it is a mere 3 million people.

    I discarded it, but you prompted it. It is about to finish Worden’s tasks of mourning.

  26. On potential reasons for the utter failure of the polls:

    Shy Tories:
    Why would a Tory be less ‘shy’ about declaring their VI in an exit polling as opposed to a normal poll on the exact same day? Why would they happily tell their vote to an actual person but be too ‘shy’ to do it on an anonymous online form? Can’t see how Shy Tories can explain the disparity between the exit poll and the same-day yougov poll.

    Very late swing:
    This again doesn’t explain the disparity between the YG poll and the exit poll. Why would the exit poll pick it up and not the YG poll.

    Was it down to the reallocation of DKs? There are, of course, no DKs in an exit poll. This could explain some of the disparity, but certainly not all of it. And pre-election polling suggested the DKs were more likely to vote Lab than Tory.

    So what the hell was it? Is there some sort of systematic error in the statistical methodology they’re doing? Are they wrong to trust people’s recollection of their 2010 vote? Are people just, for some reason, lying to pollsters?

  27. @killary45

    I believe this is the first election the torys have needed less votes per seat than labour for a while.(not 100% on that )
    This was caused by the labour wipe out in scotland

    Also again not 100% but I think labour need need of a lead % to get a majority

  28. Nick Palmer on pb.com has an anecdote from Broxtowe about voters suddenly saying they were not going to vote Labour during the GOTV operation.

    People lie to canvassers and presumably they lie to pollsters.

  29. @Jack Sheldon

    I think until a proper explanation comes out explaining why the polls were wrong and what has been done to fix them, we will all be rubbishing any poll that is published.

    They need to have a break, figure out the problems, explain them, then start up again.

    Survation’s explanation is frankly laughable. “we won’t try to understand why all those other polls we published were wrong because we had one poll using a different methodology( not very different to the methodology that other companies were using and got wrong), but our one poll was right, so we will declare victory and move on”

  30. JACK SHELDON
    @Allan Christie
    I think the LDs have now learned the lesson that pavement politics can’t save you from annihilation in the way they imagined. For years they’d been assuming local incumbency would come to the rescue. In the end though they got annihilated slightly less badly in the seats they held they still got annihilated. I wasn’t that surprised – incumbency’s important but I thought and said several times on here than Ashcroft’s polls were massively inflating it
    ________

    I agree. The Lib/Dems did put a huge emphasis on incumbency . They did say they would lose seats but do much better than what the national and individual polls were showing.

    I don’t know what it is with the Libs but they really do have their backs to the wall. They even thought tactical voting would save them in Scotland and that was booted into the long grass.

    The groundhog for the Lib/Dems was the ITV poll which showed the Tories taking all 14 Lib sets in the South West…And it was correct.

  31. Thanks Hawhorn, that’s quite obvious actually!

  32. @ David

    “Shy Tories:
    Why would a Tory be less ‘shy’ about declaring their VI in an exit polling as opposed to a normal poll on the exact same day? Why would they happily tell their vote to an actual person but be too ‘shy’ to do it on an anonymous online form? Can’t see how Shy Tories can explain the disparity between the exit poll and the same-day yougov poll.”

    It is a very legitimate question. I think the polling companies will find they are LibDems in the new situation and some DKs.

  33. Surely 322 is a majority of 22 – unless I am missing something
    600 seats. 300 is dead heat. 322 means the opposition can only muster 278. 322 – 278 = 44.

    Can someone explain to me how despite the Tories getting more seats per vote at this election than Labour (for once), they’d still do even better under the boundary changes?
    It will be the impact of the SNP. It was Labour that they slaughtered most of all.

  34. I’m not sure why people are giving the pollsters a hard time. Remember they were snap shots of public opinion at the time they were taken.

    With so many DK’s they could not possibly predict how they would vote.

  35. @nmidlander

    Indeed, I frequently vote differently in simultaneously-held general and local elections. The council candidate may be someone you know personally to be a hardworking rather apolitical local councillor while his general election counterpart gets seen as some party apparatchik who is just division fodder for a national party. They are very different elections for different offices.

    In countries with a bicameral system, I suspect the electorate splits its vote to achieve paralysis.

  36. Lazlo

    Your power to transmit your thoughts and motivate thousands of people to riot on the streets is truly impressive!

    :-)

  37. @LMZ no, it’s always been the other way round. The boundaries are well-known to favour Lab, this is the first time the Tories got more seats per vote.

    In 2010:
    Con: 8.4 seats per %
    Lab: 8.9 seats per %

    In 2005:
    Con: 6.1 seats per %
    Lab: 10.1 seats per %

    In 2001:
    Con: 5.4 seats per %
    Lab: 10.1 seats per %

  38. I suppose this expression of 44 and 22 is just a question of terms, and how you define it. 322 is not a majority of 44 in political sense as you will find out very quickly if you loose 23 seats. You merely have 44 more seats than the others. Majority, in political sense is measured from 301, so it (you don’t measure the boiling point of water from -100 Celsius…) is actually 21 majority …

  39. re. boundary changes:
    MP’s expenses were a lousy reason to reduce the number of constituencies. There was never any proper discussion of this – it was just a Tory calculation to upset the Lib Dems and force them to reorganise.. One of the reasons the Lib Dems did not play ball in the end.

    Votes per MP: the winning party always has the least votes per MP in FPTP (exception is regional parties like the SNP).

    But I suspect another factor is that Labour has many deprived inner city seats where they get votes of 60% plus, whereas winning Tories get rather less! I dont have any stats on that though.

    relative to the unfairness of FPTP the unfairness of unequal constituency size is nothing, and the Tories going on about this as the big unfairness in British politics is extremely hypocritical…

  40. Whoops – looks like I misread @LMZ’s post. Yep, this is the first time the Tories have needed fewer votes per seat than Lab.

    @Anthony Wells

    Now the election is over and traffic will be down, might it be time for a site update? This comments system, to put it bluntly, feels about 10 years old. Being able to edit comments, for example, should be a given in a modern website. Might also mean less work for you if you can just automate the Poll of Polls and stuff like that.

  41. Thats what I did mean, Thats why they want to change them

    Just scotland knocked things off for labour this time

  42. Yep, I also was fooled by the LD incumbency argument: which seemed to imply that the LD vote loss in support would take place more where the LD’s didn’t have a seat, thus saving some extra votes (ie vote concentration, or getting them in the right places) and save some LD MPs. ie perhaps if they kept above say 6% nationally, they could thus win say 15-20 ish seats.

    But no. The votes they got weren’t concentrated enough even with 8%.It’s the same old story with FPTP: it’s not just all about how many votes you get, it’s where they are. If you get 45% then it’s not really a problem; below 10% then you really need to get them bunched together win seats.

  43. CYT.
    Thanks, yes, humour helps humans to survive.

    LASZLO and DAVID.

    Giles Coren has a brilliant article about the syndrome of shy Tories, very funny and analytical. Well worth a read.

  44. What system of Proportional Representation still allows for constituency-based, or regional, representation? For example, a system where the UK is split up into 50 or so regions represented by a certain number of MPs, elected via PR in each region?

  45. David

    There’s the AMS system that has been running in the UK since 1999 (for Scotland and Wales) – so hardly new.

    Or there’s AV+ suggested by the Jenkins Commission back in 1998 for the UK Parliament.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_vote_Plus

  46. @DAVID

    Don’t the Irish have such an STV-based system? Perhaps someone from there can comment on how well it works?

  47. @allan Christie – you being serious? They have never been so wrong, anywhere, ever and you wonder why they’re getting a hard time? I guess the daily yougov has gone for a button after this debacle

  48. David – yes, a site revamp is about due. But probably much later this year. I shall be sitting about and having a rest and not doing much for a good couple of months. I’m in no hurry.

  49. @David,

    Read up on something called “Consistency Bias”. People are loath to change their opinion, in any circumstances. Once they’ve decided they will generally stick with it, regardless of any changes in circumstances.

    If a person puts their X against a name in a voting booth, and is given an identical ballot paper 5 minutes later and asked to repeat the exercise, I expect they would vote the same way at least 95% (if not 100%) of the time.

  50. @OldNat – thanks.

    @AW – No need for a rush of course, but I look forward to it.

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