Seats where the Conservative share fell
There were 75 seats where the Conservative share of the vote fell. Their biggest falls were Westmorland and Lonsdale (the effect of Tim Farron building up a mountainous personal vote), Bromsgrove (presumably the result of Julie Kirkbride’s expenses – though there were two other cases of ethnic minority Conservative candidates inheriting safe seats and receiving a lower share of vote), Sheffield Hallam (the Clegg factor no doubt), Folkestone and Hythe (probably the loss of Michael Howard’s personal vote as leader), Castle Point (where the former Conservative MP Bob Spink split their vote).
Biggest Conservative increases
The biggest Conservative increase was 16% in Hartlepool, taking second place from the Liberal Democrats (probably the by-election factor slowly unwinding), followed by Montgomeryshire (where Lembit Opik fell), Esher and Walton, Crewe and Nantwich (the by-election effect), Cardiff Central (a strange one there, the Conservatives are in third place), Camborne and Redruth (unseating Julia Goldsworthy from third place).
Seats where the Labour vote rose
There were 80 seats where Labour increased their share of the vote – over half of these were in Scotland, many others were seats with a large Muslim population where the Iraq war effect in 2005 seemed to reverse somewhat. The biggest increases in Labour’s vote were Blaenau Gwent, where they reclaimed the seat from the Independent MP, East Ham and West Ham (where Respect performed well in 2005 but did not stand in 2010), Glenrothes (after the successful by-election defence), Dunbartonshire West, Edinburgh West (where they took second place from the Conservatives) and Bethnal Green and Bow (another of the three Labour Gains).
Biggest Labour falls
The biggest drop in the Labour vote was 24% in Barnsley East, a seat so safe they probably barely felt it. The main beneficiary there was a new BNP candidate. This was followed by Hemel Hempstead (putting them into 3rd place in a seat they held till 2005), Redcar, Don Valley (making Caroline Flint’s seat a marginal – the votes went to new BNP, UKIP and English Democrat candidates), Norfolk North West (where their candidate went spectacularly off message in the days before the election), Cannock Chase (the “safest” Labour seat that was won by the Conservatives) and Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper’s seat).
Biggest Lib Dem increases
Three seats stand out with huge increases in their vote – most notably the incredible performance in Redcar, Mo Mowlam’s old seat, which fell on a 21.8% swing, wiping out a 31% majority – presumably on the back of the mothballing of the Corus steelworks. Almost as large was the increase in the Lib Dem vote in Ashfield, Geoff Hoon’s old seat inherited by Gloria de Piero, which the Lib Dems only narrowly missed out on. Less remarked upon was a 17% increase in the Lib Dem vote in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. After that the best performances were Dunfermline and Fife (by-election factor, though not enough to hold the seat), Westmoreland and Lonsdale (the Tim Farron effect), Ceredigion, Maidstone and the Weald, Brent Central (Sarah Teather gambling on going for the difficult option when her seat was abolished… and making the right choice).
Worst Lib Dem peformances
The biggest drop was Orpington, where they lost whatever following their candidate Chris Maines had built up after fighting the seat hard at multiple elections. Following that their worst performances were Edinburgh West, Hartlepool (fading by-election effect), Montgomeryshire (Lembit Opik) and Haltemprice and Howden.
Biggest swings from Lab => Conservative
36 seats had a swing from Labour to Conservative of over 10%. The biggest were Hemel Hempstead (CON HOLD – 14.4%), Cannock Chase (CON GAIN – 14%), Barnsley East (LAB HOLD – 13.9%), Crewe and Nantwich (CON “GAIN” – 13.7%), Norwich North (CON “GAIN” – 12.9%), Hartlepool (LAB HOLD – 12.8%), Sittingbourne and Sheppey (CON “HOLD” – 12.7%). The biggest swings in the other direction were Blaenau Gwent (-7.7) and East Ham (-7.7).
Biggest swings from Lab => LD
There were 29 seats with a swing from Labour to Lib Dem. The biggest were Redcar (LD GAIN – 21.8), Ashfield (LAB HOLD – 17.2), Merthyr Tydfil (LAB HOLD – 16.9), Barnsley East (LAB HOLD – 14), St Albans (CON HOLD – 13.8), Bosworth (CON HOLD – 13.8), Norfolk North West (CON HOLD – 13.3). Note some of those movements beneath the surface where the Conservative MPs vote remained pretty unchanged but the Lib Dems overtook Labour and took a strong second place on large Lab=>LD swings. The biggest swings in the other direction were mostly in Scotland, the largest were Edinburgh West (-11.3), Orpington (-9.5) and Paisley and Renfrewshire North (-8).
Biggest swings between Con and LD
The largest swings from LD to Con were Hartlepool, Montgomeryshire, Orpington, St Ives and Cardiff Central. The biggest swings in the other direction were Redcar, Westmoreland and Lonsdale, Ashfield and Dunfermline and Fife.
Highest shares and lost deposits
The Conservatives won 125 seats with over 50% of the vote. The highest were Richmond Yorkshire (62.8%), Beaconsfield (61.1%) and Windsor (60.9%). They lost their deposit in two seats, Glasgow East (4.5%) and Na h-Eileanan an Iar (4.4%).
Labour won 76 seats with over 50% of the vote. The highest were Liverpool Walton (72%), Knowsley (70.9%), East Ham (70.4%). They lost their deposit in 5 seats, all tight LD-v-Con marginals: Eastbourne (4.8%), Somerton and Frome (4.4%), Newbury (4.3%), Cornwall North (4.2%), Westmorland and Lonsdale (2.3%).
The Liberal Democrats won 12 seats with over 50% of the vote. The highest were Orkney and Shetland (62%), Westmorland and Lonsdale (60%), Bath (56.7%). They managed to save all their deposits, with their lowest share of the vote being Glasgow East (5%).
Minor parties and Independents
The BNP saved 72 deposits. Their strongest performances were Barking, Dagenham and Rotherham. UKIP saved 98 deposits, their strongest performances were Buckingham, Boston and Skegness and Christchurch. The Green party saved 7 deposits – their best performance was obviously Brighton Pavilion, followed by Norwich South.
The English Democrats put up 107 candidates and saved 1 deposit in Doncaster North (5.2%). The Christian party put up 70 candidates, and lost all their deposits. Their highest vote was 1.8% in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.
The highest votes for Independents and others were obviously Buckingham, Wyre Forest, Castle Point (where Bob Spink did surprisingly well for a former MP standing as an Independent) and Blaenau Gwent. Less obvious strong performances came in Makerfield, Mansfield, Hemsworth, West Ham, Dewsbury and Sleaford and North Hykeham.
Safest seats, closest marginals
The safest seats are Liverpool Walton (Lab, 57.7%), Knowsley (Lab, 57.5%), Liverpool West Derby (Lab, 56.2%). The safest Lib Dem seat in Orkney and Shetland (51.3%). The safest Conservative seat is Richmond Yorkshire (43.7%). There are 40 seats with majorities under 1000, including 5 with majorities under 100 – Thurrock (92), Bolton West (92), Camborne and Redruth (66), Warwickshire North (54), Hampstead and Kilburn (42). All the figures on this post are based only on Great Britain – in Northern Ireland we had the narrowest majority of all, 4 votes in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.