What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

February 11, 2006

Top 50 Lib Dem target seats

The splendid Anthony Wells at UK Polling Report has undertaken a painstaking analysis of the boundary changes and their implications for the next general election. His report can be found here.

All his notional majority figures are based on how the parties polled at the last general election:

Labour = 36%, Tory = 33%, Lib Dem = 23%

If those figures were repeated, Labour would lose a net 10 seats, the Tories would gain 14 seats, and the Lib Dems would gain 1 seat.

Anthony has also calculated the Lib Dems' top 50 target seats: 22 of them are currently Labour-held, and 28 of them are Tory-held. They are as follows:

Target No., Constituency, Incumbent Party, Notional majority, Swing required

1. Solihull, Conservative [currently Lib Dem held], 17, 0.02%
2. Guildford, Conservative, 77, 0.08%

3. Oxford East, Labour, 399, 0.45%
4. Edinburgh South, Labour, 405, 0.47%
5. Islington South & Finsbury, Labour, 484, 0.78%
6. Oldham East & Saddleworth, Labour, 546, 0.78%
7. Eastbourne, Conservative, 755, 0.80%
8. Watford, Labour, 1148, 1.16%
9. Hampstead & Kilburn, Labour, 1095, 1.28%

10. Ealing Acton, Conservative, 55, 1.51%
11. Aberdeen South, Labour, 1348, 1.62%
12. Torridge & West Devon, Conservative, 1677, 1.69%
13. Meon Valley, Conservative, 1949, 2.04%
14. Weston-Super-Mare, Conservative, 2079, 2.12%
15. Ludlow, Conservative, 2027, 2.18%

16. Dorset West, Conservative, 2461, 2.31%
17. Edinburgh North and Leith, Labour, 2153, 2.52%
18. Devon Central, Conservative, 2534, 2.67%
19. Wells, Conservative, 3040, 2.87%
20. Totnes, Conservative, 2739, 3.00%
21. Newbury, Conservative, 3418, 3.18%
22. Worcestershire West, Conservative, 3597, 3.61%
23. Bournemouth West, Conservative, 2608, 3.66%

24. City of Durham, Labour, 3274, 3.69%
25. Norwich South, Labour, 3129, 3.85%
26. Chelmsford, Conservative, 3745, 3.99%
27. North Dorset, Conservative, 3910, 4.14%
28. Filton & Bradley Stoke, Conservative, 1201, 4.23%

29. Liverpool Wavertree, Labour, 3038, 4.37%
30. Leicester South, Labour, 3725, 4.39%
31. Derby North, Labour, 3552, 4.43%

32. Harborough, Conservative, 4369, 4.46%
33. Birmingham Hall Green, Labour, 4375, 5.04%
34. Orpington, Conservative, 5156, 5.24%
35. Broadland, Conservative, 5121, 5.28%
36. Haltemprice & Howden, Conservative, 5085, 5.32%
37. St Albans, Conservative, 1421, 5.35%
38. Surrey South West, Conservative, 5981, 5.62%

39. Reading East, Conservative, 850, 5.69%
40. Colne Valley, Labour, 1430, 5.70%
41. Somerset North, Conservative, 6016, 5.83%
42. Aberconwy, Labour, 243, 5.84%
43. Glasgow North, Labour, 3338, 5.98%

44. Mid Sussex, Conservative, 6261, 6.02%
45. Bristol North West, Labour, 1075, 6.11%
46. Northampton North, Labour, 3483, 6.22%
47. Bradford East, Labour, 4679, 6.40%
48. Swansea West, Labour, 4269, 6.45%
49. Blaydon, Labour, 5634, 6.72%

50. Wantage, Conservative, 7335, 6.75%

9 comments:

Chris Black said...

Thanks for this.

Chelmsford looks tasty!

Ian Ridley said...

Is Derby North really right? On the old boundaries the Lib Dems got an 11% swing alst year and now just need a 6.5% swing to take it. Yet the report says, "The old Derby South seat already had a solid Labour majority, however the new boundaries take the Liberal Democrats out of contention for the seat and leave it as a rock solid Labour bastion. 2005 Notional Result – C 7,080 L 20,739 LD 7,980. Oth 1,699 Labour majority 12,759 (34.0%)."

I can only guess many Lib Dem voters are moved to Derby North

Andy said...

It's strange, and a little uncanny, how no-one has ever seen Anthony Wells and God in the same room at the same time.

Liberal Neil said...

This is quite a useful piece of work and will be helpful in looking at our future targets.

The methodology does leave some oddities though. In your own Oxford East seat the transfer of Carfax and Holywell wards is worth a lot more than the few hundred votes Anthony gives us - but it doesn't show up because his methodology is based on city elections where the turnouts are much lower and the tactical situation is different.

Liberal Neil said...

ian - I think the party had already taken the view that the new Derby North was the better prospect for us.

Apollo Project said...

Some hardy perennials in there, I see (eg Wells).

Anonymous said...

Another interesting point that the report makes is that there will be a number of new constituencies, which will be notionally Lib Dem, such as St Austell & Newquay, Chippenham and York Outer.

James said...

It's an interesting report, but I do wish psephologists and academics would learn to distinguish from "marginality" and "winnability".

The list is of the most marginal seats which could fall for us, not neccessarily the ones we should go for. One would expect it to be easier next time for us to take Labour seats than Tory ones. The fact that it includes Solihull AND Orpington ought to give people a clue as to the flaw in the terminology.

Even seats like Chippenham will need the right candidate with good campaigning skills and is able to maintain momentum - it can't be taken as a given and its lonely at the top.

Liberal Neil said...

I thought that as well James. There are probably a number of Labour seats that will end up being more 'winnable' than several Tory seats on thet list, even if they are less 'marginal'.