Just a quick line to point out that the Constituency guide part of the site has now been updated to reflect the general election results and the new MPs elected, including the target and defence lists for the parties (SNP and UKIP to follow). Before anyone points it out there’s still lots to do – including new swingometers and updating MPs profiles to reflect the reshuffles.

345 Responses to “Constituency Guide update”

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  1. Has young liz ever said anything about PR ?Chuka is a fan .

  2. @ Millie

    “And they can only gain in Scotland. There is obvious opportunity there.”

    I think that Lab have to view gaining ground in Scotland as a long term project. Their best hope for a way back in Scotland is for the UK party to make the right choices to regain credibility as potential centre-left UK government, but this must run in parallel with LiS regaining their own credibility through being an effective party of constructive opposition at Holyrood.

    If they can tick both these boxes, LiS have a shot at making themselves the preferred unionist choice in many seats, and perhaps winning back some of the soft nationalist votes from the SNP.

  3. The outcome of the Polish presidential election will, I think, spur another little migration wave. Poland is dividing geographically between the wealthier north and west and the poorer south and east. A high proportion of early arrivals in the UK were from the wealthier areas propelled by dislike of the Law and Justice party which put forward Mr Duda (though he left the party while not deserting their agenda).

  4. CMJ

    No-brainer, isn’t it?

  5. ExileinYorks

    Do you think that Liz Kendall, occupying a properly centrist stance would appeal to a lot of Scots who find the Nats a bit too left-leaning?

    Or is it now all about a divide between those for or against the Union?

  6. Judging by my Facebook friend a lot of Labour Members will quit if Liz Kendall becomes leader. The Greens would benefit substantially in members.

  7. @ 07052015

    I was wondering the same thing earlier today. The problem is that even if she is, I don’t rate her chances of convincing the rest of the party to move in that direction. From a personal perspective, it would change everything, but I am not sure it is a vote-winner among the Labour constituency. More’s the pity!

  8. I imagine the deal breaker for the Scots regarding. Labour is the stance they take on the union.

    If a new Labour leader is open to a radical reform, they may have a chance in Scotland.

  9. Good evening all from a wet windy dull but mild Giffnock.

    What a result for Motherwell. Staying on the football theme although also staying on topic…. aka Constituency guide update, I would just like to highlight what would probably be my favorite constituency in England…Liverpool, Walton.

    “Category: Ultra-safe Labour seat
    Geography: North West, Merseyside. Part of the Liverpool council area.
    “Walton covers the northern part of the city, it includes both the major football stadiums of Liverpool (Anfield and Goodison Park) and the sitting MP Steve Rotheram has been vocal in his pursuit of the Hillsborough justice campaign”

    The Labour vote here is staggering!! Labour 82% UKIP 9% Tories 5%

    I know Liverpool doesn’t do Tory but 5%..That’s almost a lost deposit. Anyway Hail Hail YNWA

  10. Millie

    “And they can only gain in Scotland. There is obvious opportunity there.”

    Actually, no.

    Assuming that the new boundaries are fairly much along the same lines as the 2013 proposals, then Edinburgh South East – the seat that most closely resembles Edinburgh South – loses a chunk of Con/LD voters (whose tactical votes put Murray in) and gains wards where the SNP did well.

    While it will need more work to see how the new seats are going to turn out, I can’t immediately spot any where LiS are going to have a greater chance due to boundary changes.

    Labour’s best chances lie in the type of wealthy areas which would vote Tory in England – to that extent, a nice right-wing Labour leader at Westminster would suit them.

    However, that assumes that the Scottish Tories under Davidson can’t sell themselves as a better bet than LiS.

  11. @ Colin

    Compustat lists over 25,000 publicly traded companies for the U.S., and there are broader databases. One shouldn’t forget regional stock exchanges

    For the rest of your questions, hopefully the paper will come out soon. If not, I will upload some nice graphs on GoogleDrive.


    A few months ago you were quite vocal toward Putin. Have you been Blacklisted yet?

  13. LASZLO

    What ” paper”?

  14. Millie – in the early part of your essay you give an opinion as though it is fact which perhaps was unintentional.

    ”That is a tall order, because the reputation of Labour for ‘tax and spend’ is deserved”

    My understanding is that the accusation is that Labour borrowed too much when the Economy was (ostensibly) strong.

    If true that would not be tax and spend but rather:

    insufficient taxing or over spending but not the 2 together.

    Of course Labour allowed the charge to stick; and, reminders of Cameron and Osborne saying they would stick to the plans (they subsequently criticised) or comparing the Debt/GDP or more crucially Debt Interest/GDP ratios under the long Labour and Conservative periods in Government seem to affect that narrative.

  15. AC certainly impressive Labour vote in Walton ,meanwhile in Somerton and Frome Labour came fifth behind the libdems,ukip and the greens.

  16. Any calculations for Westminster elections in Scotland also need to take into account whether we will have one or two Holyrood elections before Westminster rolls round again.

    Because of the 5 year term decided for Westminster, the 4 year terms for the devolved administrations have had to be temporarily delayed.

    It is intended that the Scottish Parliament will make its own arrangements in future, and the parties have agreed that the decision on the election timetable should be made by this Parliament.

    So should the 2016 Holyrood election produce a 3, 4, or 5 year term?

    Peat Worrier examines some of the factors that will be exercising thinking at the top of the Scottish parties.


  17. @ Millie

    At the moment, the Unionist/Nationalist axis is probably more important than the Left/Right one. However, they both still have relevance.

    The impact of Liz (or anyone else) on LiS fortunes is mainly going to come from persuading more of middle England to vote Labour and therefore make a Labour government seem achievable. If they can do that it will help LiS, if they can’t the SNP will make hay with the accusation that England will always vote Tory.

    I’m not persuaded that Liz can hold the left, see off the UKIP challenge in the North and Midlands, and capture some of the centre ground; but if she can do all of that, it is more likely to help than hinder LiS recovery.

  18. 07052015

    “AC certainly impressive Labour vote in Walton ,meanwhile in Somerton and Frome Labour came fifth behind the libdems,ukip and the greens”

    Nice shout out for my Granny’s seat, I was down in Frome last week for a couple of days when doing my granny tour which started in Italy.

    Yeah Labour had a very poor showing here, the Mendips aren’t big on Labour but bring me a seat where a sitting candidate has achieved more than 82%. This is Kim Jong-un stuff.

  19. Sorry, Q1 are the smallest companies by asset value, Q4 are the largest for each year.

  20. Frome council also all independent independents ?

  21. Regarding Scotland – it’s a complete unknown how the effects of the Scotland Bill will work out.

    They’re being given full control over Income tax and control over 40% of the benefits spending decisions.

    In theory that sounds great. But apparently there are only 19,000 people in Scotland who earn over £150,000 (out of a population of 5 million!) and they’ve already chased one away (Michelle Mone).

    So taxing the rich won’t yield much. If they want to increase benefits they will need to increase basic income tax.

    The SNP could decide they don’t want to use their powers after all – and Labour will pounce on how this proves their belief that FFA wouldn’t help Scotland, only pooling across the UK helps. Or they could put up income tax and see people switch to the Conservatives.

    Or they could try another version of “it’s all Westminster’s fault” in order to get people to keep voting for them. (Though they have 56 MPs in Westminster who likely won’t be able to get better terms on the Scotland Bill – something Lab will be keen to point out).

  22. Jim Jam

    I can’t honestly claim ‘unintentional’ but not intended to provoke.

    I think it is pretty much accepted that Middle England has that ‘tax and spend’ perception of Labour. Its on a par with ‘Is the Pope Catholic?’

    My point was that they have to deal with that perception, but I should have expressed it better.

  23. Seems that the Federal Government rather ignored the constitution over the royal sprogs.

    Since William arranged his contributions in the correct order, it makes no practical; difference, but could raise some interesting tensions between Ottawa and the Provinces.


  24. @CANDY

    In other words, the Scotland Bill was intended to be something impossible to use by still denying the most important financial levers. You’re right. That looks like it was the intent.

  25. “If they want to increase benefits they will need to increase basic income tax.”

    Which is a power Holyrood has had for 16 years without using. So much for Scottish social democracy.

  26. Electoral Reform Society are – unsurprisingly – calling for electoral reform.

    The most interesting thing about their research shows that AV wouldn’t have changed much at all; the rest is just going over the same ground that proportional systems are, you guessed it, more proportional.

    I wonder how the public feel about the large number of Lib Dems in the House of Lords, given their recent electoral performance. More interestingly I wonder how the Lib Dems feel about it, since this kind of legislative inertia doesn’t seem very Liberal.

    Might be some fertile ground there for a Labour leader to keep people on the left on board if they decide to move towards the centre on economic issues.

  27. Steve

    Yep that report by the electoral reform society shows up some of the problems with getting broad support for reform.

    On the one hand, a more representative distribution of seats is fairer and results in no wasted votes, however, someone loses out on what they currently have. In this case it’s the three main parties that all lose seats.

    Also, given the uk electorate and media’s obsession with ‘strong and stable’ single party government, the result suggested by PR would seem to suggest a nightmare of horse trading that would hand power to the minor parties.

    Given all of that, and despite being a massive supporter of PR, I think it’s a campaign doomed to gain no media traction and fall on deaf ears within the party machines.

  28. Gary O

    “Also, given the uk electorate and media’s obsession with ‘strong and stable’ single party government”

    As far as the electorate is concerned, “obsession” seems somewhat of an overstatement.

    In the last two general elections, only around two-thirds of the electorate have voted for either of the two parties which were possibly going to form single party government.

  29. Colin

    “If they choose Burnham/Watson I will be quite happy :-)”

    I agree that would be a conservative dream ticket.

  30. Candy

    “The SNP could decide they don’t want to use their powers after all”

    I believe they have had limited powers to increase the basic rate of income tax in Scotland for some time, but have declined to use it. No surprise, as they are afraid to do so. They want to be able to blame the English as usual.

  31. OLDNAT

    Yes probably unfair and unkind of me to lump the media and electorate together like that.

    I’ll qualify my remarks to say that the media IS obsessed BUT the electorate seems to be split. Strong and stable government clearly has some traction in certain sections of the electorate, but is also clearly not a priority for others.

    Strong and stable government is something that the main two parties find desirable though, as long as they happen to be the government at the time. :-)

  32. LASZLO

    Thanks for those.

    Relating them to your assertions is a bit of a task-though as I said , I discount the last one as illogical.

    If you are really searching for evidence of widespread corporate & managerial malfeasance in US companies, questioning an increase in Marketing costs when Sales are stalling is not the most obvious example to alight on :-)

  33. Actually, Colin and TOH, the dream winner of the Labour leadership for the Tries would be Liz Kendall because even if Labour won under her they’d be carrying out Conservative policies. A win win all round for people like you I would have thought.

  34. Norman,

    I think there needs to be a distinction made between the new Labour true believers (Blair, Milburn, Byers, Mandleson etc) whose view of the way things should be was pretty lassai faire and right wing in Economic policy terms; and, others such as Hewitt, Darling arguably Brown, who move the centre to get Elected.

    It is clear to me that Cooper, whilst being a tad authoritarian on security matters is in the latter camp.

    Kendal is apparently an acolyte of Hewitt (having taken her seat) so could be in the ‘trimmer’ rather than zealot group as well.
    Frankly I don’t know yet and it is something I hope to learn.

  35. For what it’s worth YouGov’s first post-election VI poll is out:

    CON 41 LAB 30 UKIP 13 LD 7 GRN 4

    Not sure if methodology has changed or whether we are seeing a ‘me-too’ effect.

  36. As Chris is teaching I will it.

    The LDs look too high.

  37. Gary O

    “Strong and stable government is something that the main two parties find desirable though, as long as they happen to be the government at the time. :-)”

    We are in total agreement on that! :-)

  38. Jim Jam

    I certainly think Labour overtaxed AND overspent during their time in office, I think many people share this view.

    It’s all a matter of opinion of course, but certainly the two aren’t mutually incompatible – even if the taxing (or tax collecting) was too ineffective and / or the spend outweighed the receipt of taxes too far.

  39. Good morning all from a very windy Mount Florida. I’m looking over towards the national stadium and the flags are fluttering wildly.
    “Frome council also all independent independents ?”

    I suspect they are all closet Lib/Dems hiding their true allegiances

  40. BT – I accept it is widely held view but it was Millie stating as a fact which I had an issue with and she has graciously accepted this.

    I also, acknowledged that this perception is something Labour have to deal.

    The fact that the Conservatives managed to get a majority this time shows that memories fade and that they were not prevented from doing so despite Lawson’s boom and bust blip, the late 80’s negative equity and most of all Black Wednesday.

    2020 may well be too soon and given the data that started this thread Labour will be doing well just to prevent another cons OM after the boundary review based on 600 seats is implemented.

  41. @Jack

    Will need more info from yougov on that really; they’ll have no doubt been working with their figures for weeks – who knows if its valid or ‘made to suit’.

  42. Morning/afternoon everyone. It’s been unsurprisingly quiet around here for the last couple of weeks, and there hasn’t been too much to really get excited about pollwise. However, on a rather gloomy June morning over here in Germany, I have a couple of points that I’ve thought about over the weekend.

    @Jack Sheldon – Do you have a link to the tables of the YouGov poll – I could only find the “Is FIFA a bit corrupt?” poll on the YouGov website :)

    It’s been interesting seeing the possible Cabinet disagreements regarding the HRA – if the intention is *not* to leave the ECHR, I’m not quite sure what the point of all the fury is about. If it’s a case of keeping Daily Mail/Express readers happy, then surely minor alterations to the wording of the existing Act would be a more pragmatic thing to do. One of the big objections to the 1998 Act is really in the way that judges have interpreted it, particularly with regards to foreign criminals and terror suspects. Do any legal types around here know if it’s feasible to reword some sections of the Act in order to, in a sense, “aid” the interpretation? To me, it seems like an awful waste of goodwill for something that half the general public don’t care about, and 90% of the rest don’t know anything about it, just to get one or two headlines four years out from an election.

    On another bit of political posturing, the whole EU in/out referendum continues to completely baffle me. If anyone can say in 200 words what it is that the Conservatives want to achieve in terms of renegotiation, I’d be delighted to know. What is particularly unclear to me is what Cameron sees as a result of a Brexit (horrible misleading and factually incorrect term!). If it’s a case of the UK still being involved in a EFTA-like trading bloc, then the UK will still have to contribute extensively to the European Union (as does Norway and Switzerland). In addition, it’s very difficult to imagine the other EU partners allowing the UK to remain part of a trading bloc without allowing for some freedom of movement – freedom to trade and freedom of movement to me are inextricably linked.

    On the other hand, if there is goodwill amongst some EU member states for some concessions to the UK, that could still be problematic. In particular, if (as Poland has suggested) that these concessions would be tantamount to alterations of the Nice and Lisbon Treaties, then a treaty negotiation would be necessary. This would probably take years (way beyond 2017), and would also require a referendum in Ireland! In the pragmatic real world of the EU, there’s a fair chance that Cameron would be able to make alterations to the out-of-work benefit system (to be honest, I think he could implement that without any negotiation and get away with it) – changes to in-work tax credit, in my view, would be much more difficult to implement without some fairly significant overhaul of the entire allowance system.

    It does seem a little bit odd that, having won a majority against the odds and against most expectations, that the Conservatives have put a lot of emphasis on these two bills, rather than concentrating on, for example, the improvements to childcare and increases in the TFA to help those on minimum wage. Interestingly, in the context of this thread, and the discussion of how could be next Labour leader, from the QS, there appeared to be indications that the Conservatives were tilting leftwards in terms of putting working people first – while Labour appear to be unsure of which direction to take.

    Finally, the opportunity for a Green-like, leftish party in England was mentioned earlier in the thread. Depending on the ability of UKIP to retain voters in the North of England, and the ability of Labour to win back left leaning but well-off voters in the Midlands and South, the left in England may become a bit of a fourway dogfight with the Greens and Lib Dems. If the Greens can ditch some of the crazy stuff, while working hard at local issues (for example, HS2 is a potential issue where they could pick up some “green” Tories), they could manage what the Lib Dems did in the 1990s and carve out some strong areas of support. There are a lot of areas in the UK with no effective opposition, and well-organised local activitism could help the Greens (or indeed Lib Dems 2.0) to make inroads into local government.

    Sorry again for the length and rambling nature of the post – sometimes they become a bit of a stream-of-consciousness!


    Perhaps if AB & YC had denounced as much of the EM programe before the GE , as they have since losing it -Labour might have won


    As I understand it the HR issue is not what bits of the 1998 Act do we wish to change.

    The issue is that the 1998 Act effectively incorporated Strasbourg case law into UK domestic law.

    Jacob Rees Moog suggested on DP this morning that continuing association with the Convention is fine-an umbrella of principles.
    But the aim is to break the link with Strasbourg rulings on UK domestic Law.

    It is that which requires the scrapping of the 1998 Act-and its replacement by our own Bill of Rights.

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