Holborn & St Pancras

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12014 (21.9%)
Labour: 29062 (52.9%)
Lib Dem: 3555 (6.5%)
Green: 7013 (12.8%)
UKIP: 2740 (5%)
Others: 533 (1%)
MAJORITY: 17048 (31%)

Category: Very safe Labour seat

Geography: Greater London. Part of Camden council area.

Main population centres: Holborn, Camden Town, Primrose Hill, Kentish Town, Highgate.

Profile: A long slim inner-city seat, stretching from the fringes of the City of London at Holborn, past the museums and university collages of Bloomsbury to St Pancras and King Cross station, still regarded as a grim red light district despite the regeneration that greeted the new Eurostar terminal at St Pancras. Northwards the seat covers the vibrant trendy areas like Camden Town with its market and music venues, the fashionable victorian terraces of Primrose Hill, the large council estates of Kentish Town and Maitland Park, Gospel Oak and the leafy affluence of Parliament Hill and Highgate. There are extremely high house prices here, but only around a quarter of the population are owner-occupiers, with most of the housing social housing or private rental.

Politics: Traditionally this has been a safe Labour seat and was retained by Labour throughout the 1980s. Almost half the housing is social housing and there is a significant Bangladeshi Muslim population. The more inner-city and southern part of the constituency is solidly Labour. The Greens have some strength in the seat and in 2015 it was contested by their party leader, Natalie Bennett

Current MP
KEIR STARMER (Labour) Born 1962, Southwark. Educated at Reigate Grammar and Leeds University. Former Director of Public Prosecutions. First elected as MP for Holborn & St Pancras in 2015. Appointed KCB in 2014 for services to law and criminal justice.
Past Results
Con: 11134 (20%)
Lab: 25198 (46%)
LDem: 15256 (28%)
GRN: 1480 (3%)
Oth: 1581 (3%)
MAJ: 9942 (18%)
Con: 6482 (19%)
Lab: 14857 (43%)
LDem: 10070 (29%)
GRN: 2798 (8%)
Oth: 152 (0%)
MAJ: 4787 (14%)
Con: 5258 (17%)
Lab: 16770 (54%)
LDem: 5595 (18%)
GRN: 1875 (6%)
Oth: 1631 (5%)
MAJ: 11175 (36%)
Con: 6804 (18%)
Lab: 24707 (65%)
LDem: 4750 (13%)
Oth: 946 (2%)
MAJ: 17903 (47%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
WILL BLAIR (Conservative) Educated at Sherborne School and Oxford University. Associate director of a PR and Communications company.
KEIR STARMER (Labour) Born 1962, Southwark. Educated at Reigate Grammar and Leeds University. Barrister and former Director of Public Prosecutions. Appointed KCB in 2014 for services to law and criminal justice.
JILL FRASER (Liberal Democrat) Born Essex. Works in a chip shop. Camden councillor 2003-2012. Contested Holborn and St Pancras 2005.
MAXINE SPENCER (UKIP) Born Hampstead. Full time carer. Contested Holborn and St Pancras 2010.
NATALIE BENNETT (Green) Born 1966, Australia. Educated at MLC School and Sydney University. Journalist. Contested Holborn and St Pancras 2010. Leader of the Green party since 2012.
DAVID O`SULLIVAN (Socialist Equality)
VANESSA HUDSON (Animal Welfare) Born Sheffield. Educated at Liverpool University. Media producer. Contested London 2014 European election.
Comments - 899 Responses on “Holborn & St Pancras”
  1. Okay, I’ve worded those options a bit badly, the poll question was better than that. But I remember the 34% better/4% worse split.

    On those numbers, the rump of Corbyn outriders are going to need a new grift. Aaron Bastani will be a Tory in ten years, you read it here first.

  2. Worth pointing out despite these numbers the Tories still lead

  3. They do, but Starmer is now leading Johnson on “best Prime Minister”. This may be a more reliable indicator than voting intention – it certainly was during the 2010-15 parliament, where Labour was ahead nearly the whole five years on voting intention, but Cameron consistently beat Miliband in the BPM stakes.

  4. It’s worth mentioning though it works the other way too. Thatcher trailed quite significantly on Best PM in the run up to 79. Also I think it should be said polls more often than not underestimate Tory support and overestimate Labour’s. It’s rarely the other way round. 2015 being one example of this 1992 another. 2017 I think was one of those rare occasions it was the other way around

  5. I suspect that, back in 1979, being a woman automatically stopped MT from looking Prime Ministerial to a large proportion of the electorate. Plus there may have been a bit of a rally round the flag during the Winter of Discontent.

    What is remarkable about Boris Johnson is that large parts of the electorate have been very patient with him. They have sympathised, they have been willing him to succeed – especially those that broke the habit of a lifetime to vote for him. And in spite of all this, his ratings have still collapsed.

  6. But the Tories still poll fairly well. Theresa May’s ratings were worse than Boris are now but the Tories polled just as well as they do now. I think too much is often attributed to leadership ratings imo. For Conservative voters in particular. I think I saw somewhere there have been more than 120 polls with the Tories +40 and in that time Boris personal ratings have peaked at +40 and fallen to minus numbers but their VIs have stayed solidly 40-50

  7. I think Starmer is very much in the same position Cameron was when he took over the Tories – in that whilst for the most part people find him personally persuadable they are not so sure about his party

    So like Cameron, he needs the government to mess up to give voters that reason to back him

    With what’s on the horizon he could find that he needs to rise to that occasion but I think his party might hamper his quest

  8. I can see why you say that. The polling parallels between Cameron and Starmer are fairly similar. Take polling on people’s priorities and competence. Both Starmer and Cameron out polled the government on every single issue except the economy. Which is perhaps unsurprisingly tells a great deal about the correlation between VID and confidence in the economy. Its the economy stupid.

    On a more fundamental level the Conservative Party and Conservative leaders will never share a great deal in common with the Labour Party or any Labour leader as the single never changing principle of the Conservative Party is to survive. It’s not the oldest party in the world for nothing. Their politics is flexible. It’s a financially a more conservative party than its opponents and promotes family values but other than that its fairly adaptable. Certainly this Conservative Party isn’t the same as the one 10 years ago.

    The Labour Party though is founded on the principle of representating the industrial working class. But they don’t exist anymore and while there will always be people who want a conservative party nobody wants a labour party. This was perhaps the biggest mistake of New Labour. It was a new party but not a new labour party. There is no real need for the Labour Party that doesn’t make it distinct from the Lib Dems, Greend or SNP and therefore will inevitably mean st some point the party will end up in the dustbin of history

  9. As long as FPTP persists, so will the Labour Party, for the obvious reason that it’s the only electoral vehicle for dethroning Conservative governments.

  10. That’s exactly the problem. People don’t vote Labour because tgey want Labour. They vote for them because they aren’t the Tories. Like the Liberals before them, the Whigs before them and the Parliamentarians before them. Its why the SNP now dominate Scottish politics. Why vote Labour when you can vote for the SNP. Once English progressive party challenges and usurpes the party we’re done. I’ll still be here delivering leaflets and knocking on doors but i expect most will move over.

    If we achieve PR before that we’ll probably see a fragmented parliamentary democracy like most of Europe. Labour’s coalition will exist as two or three different parties

  11. “People don’t vote Labour because they want Labour. They vote for them because they aren’t the Tories.”

    I feel seen…

  12. MW…you might be right and you offer no timescale but I would say that probably is not going to happen (Lab disappearing) in the short term at least and even though I have sympathy with the feelings being your prediction.

    I’d say right now its near to 50/50 who is going to win the next G.E.

    The Tories will have been in power for 14 years. Inevitably the GE will come at the end of 4 years of Austerity/mass unemployment/tax rises and benefit cuts. Sheer tiredness with the Tories will count for a lot on the CON debit side.

    The Lab re-brand will – probably- succeed (electorally).

  13. It is very unlikely Labour win the next election. Labour would need to replicate the Tory lead at 2019 election. Not impossible but very unlikely.

  14. I agree that Labour continues to exist because of the electoral system. This may be one reason why the party has been hesitant to endorse or adopt PR: it removes the need to tactically vote for the lesser of two evils in order to Get The Tories Out.

    Last May’s European elections may have given an indication as to the bottom floor of support for the two main parties. There were unique circumstances, and unpopular leaders, but I wonder what the real core vote of the party would be under a new electoral system. I think Brexit and the 2017 and 2019 general elections energised much of the anti-Tory vote around Labour candidates. A large part of that electorate are not tribal voters, socialists, social democrats or even enthused by the prospect of Labour in power. That’s pure conjecture, based on the big swings to the party in affluent metropolitan seats. Hampstead and Chiswick are not full of socialists.

    Starmer is already eating into the Lib Dem vote – outside of Lib-Con marginals, he will win back many of the LD voters, ditto the Greens, to build an anti-Tory coalition of hardcore Remainers and some disgruntled ‘red wall’ types switching back (added to Labour’s ultra-loyal tribal vote). I think a Labour-led coalition is quite likely at the moment, but not a majority. For anyone who wants a fairer voting system, that would be a better result, as it would force Labour’s hand. Another Labour majority would probably mean the issue was ducked again.

  15. Yes 13% that Labour got in 2009 and 2019 probably gives you an idea of what the party looks like if you strip away all the working class voters that find UKIP and Boris attractive, and the middle class voters that would back the Lib Dems and Greens in a heartbeat if they became more competitive.


    It’s fairly similar to the results that Pasok, SPD Dutch Labour, etc. got in recent elections.

    They won’t all call themselves socialists or social democrats but you get a lot more who are keen on paying more in tax, oppose wars like Iraq, oppose tuition fees and are keener on relaxing immigration than you might find in perhaps my neck of woods. I read an article on how parti le socialiste core vote was middle class voters

  16. Those ideas sound suspiciously like Lib Dem policies – except tuition fees, of course!

    Part of Labour’s core vote is middle-class supporters – they’re very prominent amongst party activists, but geographically spread out. Lib Dem seats are more likely to have a largely middle-class *and* socially progressive electorate.

    Also, I think many ideas can be supported by both the left and the right at different times. A lot of Tories (maybe more before Brexit) would want immigration restrictions relaxed.

  17. many lib dems are social democrats ofc

    Lib Dems have the a very broad coalition of voters from left leaning and centre left voters to fiscal conservative and centre right voters.

    Tories are very flexible. I read that the town hall in Birmingham was named after a very progressive Tory who municipalised most of Birminghams energy, transport and health services

  18. I disagree that Labour’s middle-class base is spread out. It is concentrated where the middle-class jobs are.

  19. Agree with PT – especially true with regards to the public sector

    there’s huge amount of such jobs in to name a few places like Wirral West, Wirral South, Chester, Canterbury, Cambridge, Leeds North West, Birmingham Edgbaston, Sefton Central – all seats that tick the three boxes of public sector, middle class and a hefty Labour vote that didn’t always exist

  20. There’s too many to name in London alone

  21. That may be, but there’s also been a healthy Labour vote and membership in seats like Richmond Park, which they have no hope of winning. In many cases like that, they probably vote tactically for the Lib Dems.

  22. Would like it if MATT WILSON would elucidate on why he thinks LAB winning the next general election is “highly unlikely”.

  23. From a straight up numbers point of view I’d say Matt’s right – although so much will happen within the next 4 years that all that goes out the window

  24. I’m not Matt, but it seems highly unlikely Labour can win overall – a minority Labour government is not beyond the realms of possibility. On current polling at Electoral Calculus, Labour could lead a government with a slim majority, using votes from other opposition parties. The party needs to win in some areas I can’t see them taking to win a majority themselves (based on https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/orderedseats.html – I know those seats won’t exist at the next GE anyway).

  25. The contributors above summarise well.

    I suppose it depends on what you consider victory. If an overall majority is victory then I’d be amazed if it were to happen. The swing required would be the largest ever. There are now seats Labour won in 1997 that with a similar swing they would not win now. Just to put in perspective neighbouring Penistone & Stockbridge now requires a greater swing than seats in Worthing and Bournemouth which have never had a Labour MP.

    If victory is a Labour government even a minority one. This is more likely though perhaps would need a greater swing than current polling suggests which four years out isn’t impossible. There was an embarrassing piece by the bloke from yougov trying to convince the reader that Starmer is on for 70 gains based on cross breaks. Desperately trying to suggest the MoE is smaller when you compile them, only omitting that cross breaks aren’t weighted.

    There is also as mentioned above the 6th boundary review which will see Labour lose more seats and the Tories gain more. Effectively Boris will have a larger head start than he currently does. It’s the reverse of 2010 when Cameron only had to overturn a 40 seat majority instead of 60. Had Cameron gained 90 on the old boundaries Labour would have been 30 seats short which would have made coalition negotiations more than 5 days. There’s also a question of the SNP. Will they still be in parliament in 2024. If not Labour will need the Lib Dems and 11 seats wont be enough

  26. You make a good case to suggest that it’s a huge uphill battle for Labour and a very salient pointvabout boundary changes. But it’s so far away as we’ve all said. Much depends on the economy as ever.

    May I ask you – MW – were you a Labour PPC in a recent HE?

  27. I was not, any particular reason you ask?

  28. Because you talked about Sam Gyimah a while back and I noticed that the Lab PPC in 2015 in his seat was a Matt Wilson. Thought it might have been you!

  29. How funny. It looks like this Matt Wilson is now a Cllr in North Shields. I have come across a few Matt Wilsons, I had a friend whoknew two others, but this is the forst in the party.

  30. There were two Jim Callaghans who were both Labour MPs.

  31. “It’s not the most thrilling news but the NEC elections are around the corner. They aren’t very definitive given there’s only about a dozen roles being contested for the 30 strong executive and the largest contest is the 9 seats all members can vote for which was a clean sweep for the left 2 years ago. No such chance of that this year with the voting system being changed to STV. The left slate have put up 6 candidates to match progress and Labour First 6 including Joanne Baxter and Gurinder Singh Josan who won by elections earlier this year. The popular independent left candidate Anne Black is standing for Open Labour and widely expected to do well.”

    The outcome was
    5 elected for the Left slate (Laura Pidcock, Gemma Bolton, Yasmine Dar, Nadia Jama and Mish Rahman)
    3 elected for the moderate slate (Luke Akehurst, Johanna Baxter and Gurinder Singh Josan)
    Ann Black

    Welsh rep was gained by Carwyn Jones over incumbent Mick Antoniw.
    Left-wing Lara McNeil held the Youth rep seat.
    Left supported Ellen Morrison won the Disabled Rep new seat.
    Nick Forbes and Alice Perry were confirmed in the Local Government section

    As expected the switch to STV prevented any sweep.
    The Left slate outpolled the Labour2Win slate in the CLP sections. However, their margin is way down compared to 2014-2018 years and more comparable to the 2020 by-election result (whch was on a much higher turnout as held along the leadership ballot).
    Left also balanced the vote spread between candidates better than the moderate slate.
    However, in the end, Starmer can count on more votes than before on the NEC.

  32. Really good summary.

    I think a Starmer maj was always inevitable. It wasn’t actually technically possible for the left to regain their maj. I could be wrong though. Gaining five seats was very impressive. I expected four personally. Momentum really exploited STV very well. They only got 37% of the vote but were able to win more than half the seats. The moderates will be pleased to get their expected 3 seats as well as gaining the welsh rep. However, may well feel despite their boast that Akehurst topped the poll they really failed to distribute their vote evenly and it cost them at least one seat.

    The disability rep was very close. In the youth committee elections the chair was gained by the left by some margin after the moderate candidate retired

  33. Thanks for informing us of the results, Andrea. Ironically it was the left who were moaning about the switch to STV. (Although anything less than a clean sweep would be objectionable I’m sure!)

    Radio 4’s Archive on 4 tonight was all about parties returning from electoral defeat to win power, with the underlying theme that Starmer has to do this with Labour. Listen here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000pf6f
    It all felt very familiar to me, as it will to anyone with a basic grasp of post-war politics. Nonetheless it was interesting.

    Starmer is also the guest on Desert Island Discs tomorrow. I wonder if Jeremy Corbyn has been asked before, as he has yet to appear on it. Before him, the last Labour leader who was never featured was Harold Wilson. Of course, they weren’t always guests during their leadership, but the trend has been for leaders since Kinnock to be guests before or during their leadership.

  34. It was the left that objected to STV. It was a mixture of they didn’t like the voting system or/and didn’t like the decision to adopt it with no consultation. Both I can kind of sympathise with. Yes FPTP is bad but STV was not the unifier that people hoped. The biggest winners were Laura Pidcock and Luke Akehurst. The soft left hoped to shave off the more extreme wings and get a group of reasonable members from either side. Instead we’ve put the extreme wings in one room with the hope they might not kill the party while they kill each other.

    The soft left hoped this would be their springboard too but Ann Black is the sole member to be elected. The moderates supported this to avoid a left sweep but with the lefts lead over the moderates a mere 6% a sweep wouldn’t have happened and its possible that they wouldn’t have even got a majority of the seats in the members section.

    Imo it was wrong not to consult on STV and perhaps the one bkack mark on the soft left who otherwise done their utmost to advertise themselves as transparent consulting members on almost everything. Interesting piece on LabourList with Lansman who says Corbyns office priority to win over the party rather than democratise it is one of his biggest regrets. Citing the attempt to remove Watson as one of his weakest moments saying he withdrew it immediately the next day. Lansmans credits Gurinder as one of the few elected yesterday who genuinely wants democracy.

    On the path back to power. It goes without saying that Starmers task is insurmountable at least in the short term. This isn’t the post war period. Scotland is gone, for Labour but perhaps for the UK too. The Red Wall is gone, more evidence of a recovery there but strenuous at best with people pulling at crossbreak straws. Labour are only competitive in former bellwether seats in the south like Reading, Stroud, etc. that swung heavily to Labour because of Brexit. Also former Tory safe seat like Worthing, Bournemouth, Southport, etc. though perhaps are out of reach atm

  35. Must be remembered that many of the red wall seats went from quite big Labour majorities to very small Tory ones. As an example, the Tories needed a ten-point swing at the last election to take Blyth Valley, and they managed it. It’s unlikely Labour would achieve a ten-point swing the other way at the next election to restore their 2017 majority in the seat – but they don’t need to do that. They only need a one-point swing to win th seat back, which should be relatively easy.

    There is certainly a path for Labour taking enough seats from the Tories to lock them out of power. If they simultaneously take back the likes of Burnley and Wrexham, while also winning classic middle-class swing seats like the two Milton Keynes constituencies, then they would be in a position to control Downing Street.

  36. “It’s unlikely Labour would achieve a ten-point swing the other way at the next election to restore their 2017 majority in the seat – but they don’t need to do that. They only need a one-point swing to win th seat back, which should be relatively easy.”

    A 1% swing would win back Blyth Valley but would still leave the Tories with an overall majority nationally.

    Can you give me an example of a government that was doing as well in the polls as this one a year into the term which failed to be re-elected? I can’t think of one. Possibly Labour in 2006 though from memory Cameron was clearly ahead then.

    I think there’s an outside chance of the government losing its majority and Starmer governing with a highly unstable Lab-SNP-LD coalition. I don’t see any path to a Labour majority whatsoever in 2024. Matt Wilson lists the key factors astutely.

  37. Thanks HH

    As HH says above the swing needed to recapture Blythe Valley would not be enough for the rest of the Red Wall. Look at the stonking Tory majorities in Scunthorpe, Ashfield and Mansfield. I’m sure I’ve said this before but to put it in perspective, tge swing to gain seats in former safe Tory Worthing is smaller than former Labour Penistone & Stockbridge. I’ve said this before too but don’t forget there is an impending boundary review which will reduce Labour’s total to less than 200. Basically just add another 20 seats to the Tory maj

  38. I don’t Labour gaining Worthing any time soon – not least because it’s a shit hole and such places send Tories to Parliament nowadays.

    The surprising increase in the Labour vote in 2017 – which didn’t disappear in 2019 – was due to the influx of young and not particularly affluent families priced out of Brighton & Hove, and their number is limited in any electorate.

    The working class and elderly people that dominate the rest of Worthing are as right wing and Tory-voting as they have always been.

    A look at the other Atlantic should be a wake up call for Labour. The Republicans dominate the poorest and least educated areas in America but the Democrats make up for it by support in the cities and suburbs – many of the latter of course used to be Republican

    Britain’s cities and suburbs are nowhere near as numerous and big as America’s which is a logistical problem for Labour as I don’t see them winning places like Wokingham and Tunbridge Wells any time soon

    Equivalent places in America are Democrat today.

  39. Some Labour MPs have threatened to resign the whip, if Corbyn is readmitted to the PLP.

    I’m guessing Hodge, Coyle and maybe Jess P.

  40. I didn’t watch newsnight but Hodge said on there she would leave in the morning if that were the case or so i hear

  41. Tim, you’re right that Labour haven’t got the urban and suburban middle-class vote the way the Democrats have in America. I think the Lib Dems cornered that market here for a while, and still do to an extent. It’s been discussed before here that without the LDs, Labour could have taken seats like Kingston. America is much more of a two-party system than the UK. If there weren’t several key minor parties here, including the LDs, Labour could have that vote. Remember, the Lib Dems advanced a lot in Wokingham last time.

    However, I really think you need to look around some of Labour’s safe seats in London, which certainly include some “shit holes”. I live in a salubrious part of an inner London seat, but down the road, it isn’t very nice at all. The difference, I suppose, is that London and other urban areas have demographics which are more friendly to Labour than those in Worthing – ethnic minorities, students, young professionals etc.

    The boundary review will be coming before the next election, but Electoral Calculus is currently projecting a minority Labour government. Of course, it can all change in the next few years.
    A majority does seem elusive for Labour at present, but some didn’t think the Tories could win one again pre-2015.

  42. I’m not sure Labour could govern as a minority when they are at least 50 seats short of a maj. Difference between 2015 and today is the Tories were 20 seats short of a maj and Labour is 120 seats short.

  43. “I’m not sure Labour could govern as a minority when they are at least 50 seats short of a maj. Difference between 2015 and today is the Tories were 20 seats short of a maj and Labour is 120 seats short.”

    Again, this is an astute analysis. Another difference is that Labour’s primary coalition partner would have to be the SNP, a party which is much more of an enemy to Labour than Clegg’s Lib Dems were to Cameron’s Tories. Any deal whatsoever with the SNP would have to include a second indyref, perhaps with the Labour government nationally forced to remain neutral in the campaign. The likely Yes victory would then see all SNP MPs depart Westminster, collapsing Labour’s minority government, with Labour blamed for losing the union in the election which followed. More simply, Labour are going to find coalition harder than the Tories because Labour people are almost always less willing to swallow their principles in order to obtain power.

  44. The existence as the Lib dens as a viable third party from the early 1980s to 2015 – foes of course compilicate things and makes comparisons with the US tricky.

    The Lib Dem’s did very well in Wokingham but it was a unique contest – pitting an ex-Tory still sitting as an MP for a neighbouring seat, who defected over Brexit against a dislikeable and very pro-Brexit humourless right-winger in a seat with a highly intelligent electorate and one of the few that understands the full implications of a no deal Brexit that the likes of weirdo Redwood have been promoting for decades.

    And redwood still hung on

    Most Labour seats are undoubtedly shit holes but there used to be a time a few decades back when they nearly all were – all those in England at any rate.

    But lots of money has been spent in city areas over the past decades – in no small part thanks to the EU – and the most decaying parts of the country tend to be delapidated and isolated coastal towns o run down rural towns of which there are phenty in East Anglia and Lincolnshire in particular. Areas which are neither wealthy nor attractive and dominated by mean-spirited and uncultured people that the likes of Andrew Mitchell would refer to as ‘plebs’ – the sort who came out in droves for Trump in the US – and the backbone it today’s Tory vote

  45. I think class still plays a role in such suburban wealthy seats here, in a way it perhaps doesn’t in the US. Plus the US has different values divides. The limit of the Lib Dems’ success here shows that affluent suburban voters are not always liberal; and the Tories have always maintained a veneer of liberalism, rather than being opposed to abortion or gun control. Margaret Thatcher and Enoch Powell voted in favour of legalising homosexuality, although of course the Tories did plenty of socially illiberal things too, particularly the Back to Basics campaign messaging.

    “Areas which are neither wealthy nor attractive and dominated by mean-spirited and uncultured people”
    I think that could accurately describe many inner-city Labour areas. But you perhaps see those people in a more benevolent way, Tim. I’ll grant you, they’re probably more likely to be DE than CD voters, with no assets, unlike those in the Tory shires.

    “Most Labour seats are undoubtedly shit holes but there used to be a time a few decades back when they nearly all were – all those in England at any rate.”
    But Camden and Islington are not universally wealthy. Labour once represented Eton.

    I think the electorate get scared of minority government being predicted by polls, so that reduces the chance of a Labour-SNP coalition. However, it would increase the likelihood of electoral reform. A Labour majority would make it less likely. That, for me, would be a positive outcome.

  46. But Elton at the time was paired with the monolithically Labour-voting Slough and I’m pretty it’s wards were as safely Conservative as neighbouring Windsor.

    It’s in wealthy urban/suburban seats where the Tories have been in free fall – Sheffield Hallam, Birmingham Edgbaston, Leeds North west, Bristol West – you could even add Brighton Pavilion – and of course London seats like Richmond Park, Battersea and Putney.

    Also if you look at the albeit terminally unreliable Electoral calculus website you highlighted earlier – quite a few of Labour’s predicted gains are seats they didn’t even win in 1997 – Altrincham & Sale, Wycombe, Kensington, Rushcliffe, Cities it London, Barnet – affluent seats which have a long Tory history but which if in the US would have switched to the Democrats a conservative a couple of decades ago

    Where the US goes, Britain still follows.

  47. Should read. ‘Switched to the Democrats at least a couple of decades ago

  48. My point was that Labour represented Eton, despite the fact the seat also included Slough. The Tories are still doing well at local level in some of those areas. The trend does seem to be going away from the Tories in urban seats, but they still have pockets of strength which mean they cannot be written off entirely. It’s unlikely they’ll win some of those seats in the near future if ever, I’d concur.

    I’m not sure Electoral Calculus is that unreliable. They were quite close with the result of the last GE.

    It would be remarkable for Labour to be winning some of those seats it didn’t take in 1997, but they aren’t uniformly affluent. Certainly not Kensington or Two Cities.

  49. Although to be fair Kensington is the most affluent parliamentary constituency in the Uk

    In terms of per capita its Sheffield Hallam

    Interesting that in the last Parliament both were won by Corbyn’s Labour

  50. “I think class still plays a role in such suburban wealthy seats here, in a way it perhaps doesn’t in the US. Plus the US has different values divides.”

    Elephant in the room here. The British Labour party still describes itself as “socialist”, more prominently so under some leaders than others, nevertheless there’s a large tranche of middle England which could never bring itself to vote for even a nominal socialist, let alone a proud one. Labour’s most electorally successful period in recent decades was when Blair (almost) successfully expunged socialism from the party.

    By contrast, there’s nothing recognisably socialist about the US Democrats. A few mad Trump supporters might call them communist socialists but in the mainstream there’s no stigma for a banker or stockbroker in the US to vote Democrat whereas that definitely still exists here. Tim’s point about the Lib Dems is important as well.

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