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Why Tories are wrong to fear that Corbyn could become Prime Minister in the foreseeable future – part 1

January 28th, 2018

There isn’t going to be an early general election

Labour came out of the last election 56 seats short of the Tories and the MP totals of other parties barely make up the gap particularly as Sinn Fein don’t take up their seats. This situation eas exacerbated by the Conservative-DUP no confidence vote agreement.

As the law stands at the moment there are only two ways that an election can take place before 2022. The first would require the Conservatives to do like Theresa May in last April and seek to secure the support of two thirds of all MPs. Given how badly wrong that went for the PM it’s hard to envisage her or her successor doing it again for a very long time indeed.

The other way of an early election can be triggered is if there are consecutive no confidence votes in the government within a period of a fortnight. The deal with the DUP is the first hurdle and the second one is that the SNP, with 35 MPs the third biggest party, surely won’t back any move that could trigger an early election. Their position in quite a large number of Scottish seats is quite precarious and the largest SNP vote share is just 46%.

The election system is now biased in favour of the Tories

Even with the current boundaries the Conservatives could expect to have a double digit lead on seats over Labour if both parties achieve the same national voucher.

This will be even more so if the new boundaries are brought in when the theoretical margin of victory for equal vote shares with Labour increases 20-30 seats

LAB has failed to establish election winning poll leads

Even though by any standards TMay’s Tories have been all over the place what is currently TMay’s party has managed to keep within a percentage point of Labour in almost all recent polls.

On current boundaries Corbyn’s party public needs a national vote lead of about 7% for a majority. On top of that the regional variation in Labour’s support has to be factored in. The party has not been doing anything like as well in the towns of midlands and the north as it had in the big conurbations. The former are places where there are the most marginal seats.

Part 2 of this analysis will be published tomorrow.

Mike Smithson