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. @Maura,

    It’s on newsfeeds and trending, it’s not personal texts!

    Does anybody know who the new deputy leader is (for Cons). Have I missed this?


  2. Sine Nomine
    “I’m certainly not here to gloat but I stayed up until 4.30am and awoke at 8.00am and couldn’t quite believe what i was seeing.”

    What a lightweight, I watched the whole show from 10pm till about 3pm on Friday, Non stop. Well I might have dozed off at one point for a few minutes – the best TV since the 1983 election. :)

    But I’m not gloating, just bloody relieved and I fully agree with your comments regarding labour’ chances in 2020 or even 2025.

    The Tory party will not split, DC will do his negotiation and soundings from many quarters in Europe are quite positive. He will then present the result and Tories will be given a free hand to campaign for or against staying in under the new terms. I am sure the country will vote to stay in. There, the boil is lanced and the Eurosceptics have had their day. Settled for ever or at least a generation. Time to select a new leader and prepare for the 2020 GE as a united party.

  3. @Sine Nomine
    ‘Labours low of 232 will make it really difficult for them to win in 2020 ‘

    Yes but it will not be very difficult for the Tories to ‘lose’ in 2020. Not easy to imagine the LibDems helping them out again even if they are the largest party in a hung parliament. After what has happened ‘revenge’ will be much more likely to motivate them.

  4. Robert Newark

    At which point the electorate reject Boris for looking a chump? ;-)

  5. Scotland’s Labour, Lib/Dem and Tory Mp’s arrive at Westminster today.

  6. @louiswalshvotesgreen

    re: Smith and Income Tax, my understanding is that the idea was that the tax-free personal allowance would be set by WM because this would mean that income tax would not be fully devolved. The point being that income tax in the rest of the UK would NOT then become a non-Scottish matter, and therefore not subject to EVEL-type legislation.

    The rest of it (rates and bands) would be devolved.

    re: HMRC administration costs, the Scottish Parliament has always had the right to vary the basic rate by 3p since it was established (second question in the 1997 referendum). This power was never used because a) no party pledging to use it ever won an election and b) there were administration costs attached by HMRC that would have reduced the effectiveness of making any adjustment.

    Eventually the SNP decided in circa 2009 to stop paying a small annual charge to HMRC which had kept open the possibility of using the adjustment active, because they couldn’t conceive of any circumstances in which it would be used.

  7. Robert Newark

    I don’t blame you for being elated. I would be.

    Your majority is 132 lower than Thatcher’s.

  8. Gary O

    Rather a partisan comment if I may say so.

    My response is that you underestimate Boris at your peril.

    Your last few posts shows that you really clutching at straws.

    After 1979 it took Labour 4 more GE’s to get back a majority.

    After 1997 it has taken the Tories 4 GE’s to regain a majority.

    Labour still has 3 to go, so that will be 2030 then.

  9. Oops. 2 to go so 2025.

  10. All things pass.
    All political careers end in tears/failure.
    Winners eventually become losers.
    Power drains away, out of the hand of the man or woman holding power.
    Human achievements are often illusory.
    You fool: this night you will have to answer for your very soul.

    The past is not always a guide to the future.
    Events, dear boy, events.

    Good Afternoon everyone from sunny Bournemouth East, which is a very safe Conservative seat.

  11. CHRISLANE1945

    Wise words.

  12. David Miliband rules himself out of the Labour leadership contest.

    Erm, David…

  13. Very disapointed to hear that Dan Jarvis has ruled himself out of the Labour leadership race, I think he would have been a very strong candidate who can relate to real ordinary people and has actually done something over than Law/Politics and put his country first, above even his own life.

  14. Is David still an MP?


    I agree. Never say never though.

  16. I appreciate victory must taste sweet for the Blues after 23 years. I’ll never forget that blissful night in 1997 and the joy my friends and I felt after 18 years of Tory rule; It was good to be alive.
    But the Conservatives have increased their vote share since 2010 by 0.8%. I repeat 0.8%.
    However one might wish to frame it, this was not a tidal wave.
    Clearly Labour have lessons to learn and need to think long and hard about their values and principles and how to connect with the voters.
    But it is not going to be plain sailing Cameron and his crew. Europe sunk the Tory ship in the 90s and the Referendum is not that far away. It’s going to take all Cameron’s PR skills to keep the boat afloat.

  17. @Graham
    Rather than going straight back into Fabian Disneyland, you would do better to show courage and face some facts about the party you love. I read some of the comments leading up to this election, the mentality shown probably means Labour will not win in 2030, never mind 2020.

  18. Valerie
    We won office in 2010, that is not 23 years ago. Put your party’s house in order. Miliband was prepared to go into a deal this time, as
    he clearly knew he could not win.

  19. There are a few potential problems on Europe, but it’s a free vote to the electorate, so I don’t think there will be as many problems as some may think. Of course you will always have the Bill Cash type MPs who will want out full stop, but it’s not their decision, it’s the electorates. :-)

    I think Cameron will get a few concessions and campaign to stay in, as will Lab, Lib and SNP.

    Can anybody help me on what is happening for deputy leader of the Cons?

  20. rolandgatinoise

    1) We won office in 2010, that is not 23 years ago. Put your party’s house in order.

    2) Miliband was prepared to go into a deal this time, as he clearly knew he could not win.

    Pure pedantry, but by your definition 2) above Cameron didn’t win in 2010 as he needed a deal with the LDs

  21. RICH
    I don’t know if that term is being used. However, Georgie has become
    “first minister” and is Camo’s deputy.

  22. Exile in York
    I had this argument at the time and the Labour supporter could not stand to admit it then either. Please yourself.

  23. Rolandgatinoise

    Can’t be sure, but I think the deputy leader of the Conservative party role was a bit of a one-off due to the existence of the coalition and having to make Nick Clegg deputy PM.

  24. The Conservatives don’t have the position of deputy leader which Labour and the LD have. UKIP have it as well but multiple ones instead.

  25. Exileinyorks

    There is a big difference between Conservatives winning the public vote, and also winning the most seats, and the scenario that Milliband faced where he would have 2nd in both of those.

    I know its fun for Labour to say Conservatives didn’t win in 2010 but they won the most votes, won the most seats and won the ultimate prize of number 10 downing street.

  26. Exile in York
    Nick Clegg as deputy PM, umm chance would be a fine thing wouldn’t

  27. Would be interesting to see if any former Libs now switch parties either to Labour or Tories.

    Didn’t David Laws say the only reason he was a Lib and not a Tory was because of S.28, well now that the Tories passed same sex marriage, maybe he could hop on over.

    Vince Cable is a former Labour member, could he return to the fold, or is he too closely linked now with the Tory led coalition?

  28. Roly

    You mean it was all an illusion and Nick Clegg wasn’t really deputy PM after all?

    Its a logic they are to sore to follow my friend, not worth the trouble.
    Take it from one who knows. Had the polls been right, and Miliband was PM, propped up by the biggest bunch of toerags in history, it would be hailed as a great victory for the proletariat.

    Of course he was, to much bitterness and spleen from Labour. My comment suggests they would haved loved him to still be in situ, serving in a LD/Lab coalition/deal. “The chance would have been a fine thing”.

  31. JAMES

    Maybe worth noting that there appears to be nothing to stop the Scottish Government from setting the first tax band rate it defines at 0% so that it effectively lifts the lower/starting tax threshold.

  32. Valerie

    No it wasn’t a tidal wave but nevertheless it was an increase and it was something many said could not be done by a ruling party. I hate landslides anyway. I consider the best majority to be 30-40. Enough to work with and see you through a parliament but not so much as the executive cannot be held in check.
    Cameron does have his work cut out but I have confidence that he will be ok. He will have learnt lessons from the last 5 years, particularly in how he handles his backbenchers. He has also had lots of sweeties to dish out as well so everything is good just now. Once the Europe vote is out of the way, the likes of Cash, who I personally dislike intensely, will have to put up, shut up or join UKIP. But then what will be the point of them? Unless they change to become an English version of the SNP and take more Labour voters.

  33. Robert Newark

    It was tongue-in-cheek rather than partisan but right back at you!

    I was just pointing out that you seemed to have set up a whole list of reasons why the Tories MUST win in 2020. I gave you one reason why they might not – that they might have a different leader less popular than the one they are facing.

    Too early to see how anything plays out over the next 5 years so I wouldn’t start celebrating the 2020 and 2025 election victories too early if I were you.

    I could also point to the fact that Blair had a 60 seat majority in 2005 (much bigger than the Tories would have now even under the boundary changes) and still got wiped out in 2010.

  34. Currently having coffee, and hoping against hope this is possible to have coffee without offending Coups or denigrating Scots.

    But I just wanna say, that in analysing Lab’s defeat, it’s possible they lost votes to…

    1) UKip over immigration

    2) Greens over being “not left enough”

    3) SNP ‘cos Scots saw an opportunity to hold the balance of power in a hung parliament.

    If this is the case, it’s quite difficult for Labour to do something about this.

    – As with Tories, hard to do much about immigration without leaving the EU

    – Hard to counter the balance of power opportunity.

    – And they could move towards greens but lose more in the centre.

    In the end, one has to consider the possibility that immigration and the possibility of a hung parliament, once seized hold of by the press, trumped other policy considerations.

    What with immigration and the possibility of a Scots hegemony being potentially viewed as being so wide-ranging in scope.

    Not that I was lying awake at night worrying about either of these things myself. But if enough fear is stoked in others…

  35. @ Robert Newark

    “Unless they change to become an English version of the SNP”

    Very good point.

    Depending on the policies of the Conservative government and some external factors, they will probably try that. I don’t know how effective it would be.


    Having just read your afternoons posts I must say I agree with virtually everything you have said about the possibilities for the 2020 & possibly the 2025 elections. I think it will be very hard for Labour . They now trail the Tories by 99 seats and I suspect they are locked out of Scotland for some time. The Tories also had their best result in Wales for 30 years so there is no comfort for Labour there. I think UKIP will continue to challenge Labour in their northern seats, certainly until after the referendum.

  37. @ ToH

    “UKIP will continue to challenge Labour in their northern seats,”

    It is true for some constituencies that UKIP increased their vote faster than Labour (in most cases Labour increasedtheir voting share in the North), but in a number of places Labour increased their share more than UKIP. I don’t know what they did in other parts in the North, but they were virtually non-existent in Merseyside and Manchester proper (!) in the campaign.

    So, while UKIP could remain a challenge for Labour, but not in the Northern belt – not for the time being. However, as an English nationalist party they could upset a lot of places in the country.

  38. @ Hawthorne 3.52 pm

    Another one for PR fans.
    In Germany, parties require a 5% vote threshold to gain entry to the Bundestag.
    I note that the SNP got 4.7% and the Greens 3.8%.
    May 11th, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    You quote one part of the electoral rule, but not the other:

    If a party fails to meet the requirement that it receive more than five per cent of all votes cast nationwide (also known as the “five per cent clause”), it is not represented in the Bundestag – unless the party has won at least three constituency seats, in which case it is taken into account in the distribution of seats to the parties’ lists in the individual Länder (federal states).

    I think that, in our Land, the SNP won at least three cinstituencies!!!

  39. As a bit of light relief I thoroughly recommend the new film version of “Far from the Madding Crowd”. It is beautifully acted, the locations are stunning and i found the score a delight. I’m not a great fan of Hardy, find him just depressing usually but this was good stuff.

  40. Roly

    You’re such a gracious winner. God knows what you’re like when you lose!

  41. the question in the North about voting shares is quite simple. Is it that a large proportion of the LibDem vote went to UKIP (the collapse of their vote is roughly equivalent to the UKIP increase), and Labour to a smaller extent, or Labour lost 15% to UKIP and gained 20% from LibDems.

    I don’t believe the latter. In many places in the (today) sunny North much of the LibDem vote use to be the anyone but Labour vote.

  42. Robert Newark

    “The Tory party will not split, DC will do his negotiation and soundings from many quarters in Europe are quite positive. He will then present the result and Tories will be given a free hand to campaign for or against staying in under the new terms.”

    The free hand is the right choice for Cameron, but it is also where the risk lies. If the Tory MPs on the opposite side of the debate to him are few in number and contain no senior figures all should be well and party loyalty will reel back in the dissenting voices. However, if the dissenting faction is large (and that depends on the package he has to offer) it could turn nasty.

    “I am sure the country will vote to stay in.”

    I hope you are right and by a decisive margin, but I suspect it will be tight.

    “There, the boil is lanced and the Eurosceptics have had their day. Settled for ever or at least a generation. ”

    Only if it is a decisive result – I refer to recent events in Scotland for the effectiveness of clear but not overwhelming results in referenda as a means of settling issues.

  43. James Kay

    I stand corrected.

    Britain really did a great job drawing up the West German constitution.

  44. @ToH

    Went to see “Far From the Madding Crowd”* last weekend. My partner loved it. It’s an excellent film for getting brownie points with one’s partner too!!

    * No offence to Scots implied!!

    ‘ propped up by the biggest bunch of toerags in history’

    Derogatory comments are not in the spirit of this site.

  46. @louiswalshvotesgreen

    The Smith Commision report is not without problems and I understand the draft Bill to implement it is also problematical.

    As far as income tax is concerned, the personal allowance will continue to be reserved as will the rates for interest and dividend income. Thresholds and other rates will be devolved.

    The ticking time bomb in the whole package is the general “no detriment” principle. I find it difficult to see how that can be made to work.


    “But I just wanna say, that in analysing Lab’s defeat, it’s possible they lost votes to”

    They didn’t lose votes in England and in fact they gained 15 seats.
    I think people are being too hard on Labour in England. When one party implodes it normally falls in line behind one other party.

    In this case the Tories benefited from the collapse of the Lib/Dems.
    2011 the SNP won a landslide on the back of the Lib/Dems imploding and in part a large number of Labour supporters going over to the SNP but over all Labour’s share of the vote never fell that much mainly because lost votes to the SNP in the the central belt were in part off set by Lib/Dems going Labour.

    Okay in last weeks GE Scottish Labour got a kicking but that was down to a number of factors mainly the indy ref hangover but the UK party did perform not too badly in England.

  48. Regarding negotiating with the EU – Switzerland is trying to renegotiate at the moment and it’s going really slowly – see the following article dated 30 Apr 2015

    Basically the Swiss had a deal to allow free movement of people with the EU, which stood for 12 years. Then they had a referendum in Feb 2014 where voters decided to pull out of this.

    The Swiss govt has been trying to do so ever since but the EU is playing hard ball – they’ve frozen negotiations on electricity sharing and on opening up EU financial services to the Swiss (which the Swiss are very keen on, presumably because they want to compete with London).

    I can’t find anything that indicates what Britain’s position (as an EU member) is on the Swiss renegotiation. And our useless press seem to have ignored the Swiss thing entirely.

    Anyway – I think we should watch the Swiss effort closely, as it’s a good canary in the mine as to whether our renegotiations will go well or not, (though of course the UK is a much more important country than Switzerland, so there will be a degree of eagerness to make sure Cameron has something to wave at the voters prior to his referendum).


    You might jump up and down with joy at the Tories election victory last week but don’t count your chickens just yet.

    A 15 seat majority ain’t that big a cushion when considering naughty back benches. If I were DC I would visit the nearest British Army Store ASAP and purchase a stab proof vest.

  50. There is a Lord Ashcroft poll for the period of 5-7 May if someone wants to examine it. The tables are not very well organised, so it’s a lot of work …

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