Archive for the 'Boundary Reviews' Category


UK Special Elections Super Thursday 1 : February 15th 2018

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Higham Ferrers on Northamptonshire (Con defence)
Result: Con 1,414 (57% -3% on last time), Lab 557 (22% +3% on last time), Lib Dem 336 (13% +2% on last time), UKIP 109 (4% -6% on last time), Green 81 (3%, no candidate last time)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 857 (35%) on a swing of 3% from Con to Lab

Higham Ferrers, Lancaster on East Northamptonshire (Con defence)
Result: Con 611 (56%), Lib Dem 244 (22%), Lab 189 (17%), Green 33 (3%), UKIP 22 (2%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 367 (34%), no swing due to unopposed return last time

Worstead on North Norfolk (Con defence)
Result: Lib Dem 509 (73% +40% on last time), Con 118 (17% -25% on last time), Lab 73 (10% -2% on last time) (No Green candidate this time -13%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 391 (56%) on a swing of 32.5% from Con to Lib Dem

St. Pauls on Tendring (UKIP defence)
Result: Con 378 (38% +11% on last time), Ind 160 (16%), Ind 134 (13%), Lab 114 (11% -2% on last time), Lib Dem 79 (8% no candidate last time), UKIP 71 (7% -30% on last time), Green 70 (7% no candidate last time)
Conservative GAIN from UKIP with a majority of 218 (22%)
Total Independent vote: 294 (29% +7% on last time)
Swing: 2% from Ind to Con (20.5% from UKIP to Con)

Ruxley on Epsom and Ewell (Residents defence)
Result: Residents 398 (37% -8% on last time), Con 340 (32% unchanged on last time), Lab 264 (25% +11% on last time), Lib Dem 67 (6% -3% on last time)
Residents HOLD with a majority of 58 (5%) on a swing of 4% from Residents to Con

Carterton South on West Oxfordshire (Con defence)
Result: Con 388 (63% +1% on last time), Lib Dem 146 (24% +18% on last time), Lab 83 (13% +2% on last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -15%, No Green candidate this time -6%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 242 (39%) on a swing of 8.5% from Con to Lib Dem (8% from UKIP to Con)

Chudleigh on Teignbridge (Con defence)
Result: Lib Dem 575 (41% +28% on last time), Con 564 (40% +7% on last time), Lab 262 (19% +4% on last time) (No Green candidate this time -15%, No Independent candidate this time -25%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 11 (1%) on a swing of 10.5% from Con to Lib Dem (26.5% from Ind to Lib Dem)

Dawlish Central and North East on Teignbridge (Con defence)
Result: Lib Dem 1,287 (71% +48% on last time), Con 535 (29% -1% on last time) (No Labour candidate this time -15%, No Green candidate this time -15%, No Independent candidate this time -17%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 752 (42%) on a swing of 24.5% from Con to Lib Dem

Grassmoor on North East Derbyshire (Lab defence)
Result: Lab 459 (49% -10% on last time), Con 368 (39% +22% on last time), Lib Dem 111 (12% no candidate last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -24%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 91 (10%) on a swing of 16% from Lab to Con (7% from UKIP to Lab)

Armthorpe on Doncaster (Lab defence)
Result: Lab 1,431 (75% +34% on last time), Ind 466 (25%, no candidate last time) (No Conservative candidate this time -22%, No UKIP candidate this time -29%, No Green candidate this time -9%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 965 (50%) on a notional swing of 4.5% from Ind to Lab (actual swing: 31.5% from UKIP to Lab)

Holgate on City of York (Lab defence)
Result: Lab 1,521 (50% +23% on last time), Lib Dem 982 (32% +19% on last time), Con 334 (11% -8% on last time), Green 203 (7% -9% on last time) (No UKIP candidate this time -12%, No Independent candidate this time -9%, no other party candidate this time -4%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 539 (18%) on a swing of 2% from Lib Dem to Lab (15.5% from Con to Lab)

Halton Castle on Halton (Lab defence)
Result: Lab 522 (70% unchanged on last time), Ind 133 (18% no candidate last time), Con 88 (12%, no candidate last time) (No Lib Dem candidate this time -8%, no UKIP candidate this time -17%, no other party candidate this time -5%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 389 (52%) on a notional swing of 9% from Lab to Ind (8.5% from UKIP to Lab)

Morecambe North on Lancashire (Con defence)
Result: Con 1,332 (49% -14% on last time), Lib Dem 809 (30% +22% on last time), Lab 580 (21% -1% on last time) (No Green candidate this time -7%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 523 (19%) on a swing of 18% from Con to Lib Dem (6.5% from Con to Lab)

Bonnybridge and Larbert on Falkirk (SNP defence)
First Preference Vote Count: Con 1,088 (32% +8% on last time), Lab 813 (24% +8% on last time), UKIP 35 (1% no candidate last time), Green 124 (4% unchanged on last time), SNP 1,295 (39% +5% on last time) (No Independent candidates this time -22%)
Swing: 1.5% from SNP to Con
SNP HOLD on the fifth count

Summary of votes cast, share, seats won and change on last time
Conservatives 7,558 (33% unchanged on last time) winning 5 seats (-2 seats on last time)
Labour 6,868 (30% +4% on last time) winning 4 seats (unchanged on last time)
Liberal Democrats 5,145 (22% +12% on last time) winning 3 seats (+3 seats on last time)
Scottish National Party 1,295 (6% +3% on last time) winning 1 seat (unchanged on last time)
Independents 893 (4% unchanged on last time) winning 0 seats (unchanged on last time)
Green Party 511 (2% -4% on last time) winning 0 seats (unchanged on last time)
Resident’s Association 398 (2% -3% on last time) winning 1 seat (unchanged on last time)
UKIP 237 (1% -10% on last time) winning 0 seats (-1 seat on last time)
Conservative lead of 690 (3%) on a swing of 2% from Con to Lab

Compiled by Harry Hayfield


What the proposed new boundaries would mean if Britain voted as in latest ICM poll

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

The Electoral Calculus projection based on proposed boundaries

And the Electoral Calculus projection on current boundaries

Over the next couple of years the boundaries review is going to become a major issue. The final proposals are almost there and to show the effect of them I have taken a projection, based on yesterday’s ICM poll, from Martin Baxter’s Electoral Calculus based on the old boundaries and compared them with the new.

As can be seen the Conservatives do better with the new boundaries and will be closer to an overall majority. The big question is whether the House of Commons will approve the changes which come to it later on in the year.

A big issue is what was originally the Cameron plan to cut the number of seats by 50. This results in more potential losers amongst those sitting MPs who might worry about having to fight for a seat against neighbouring MP in areas where the number of seats are being cut back.

For many MPs this may be that their livelihoods could be at stake.

In the meantime the existing boundaries, the ones on which the 2010 General Election was fought, are increasingly becoming out of date.

What is interesting is that under both the new boundaries and old boundaries the Tories do better in terms of seats and on the same percentage vote than Labour.

As I have repeatedly highlighted here of late we have moved on from a situation where the boundaries favoured the red team to one where they favour the blue – something that is accentuated by the changes. The issue with Northern Ireland looks as though it has been resolved and the DUP remains the top party in the province.

Mike Smithson


Tories are aping DTrump when they claim the electoral system’s rigged against them

Friday, December 29th, 2017

The Telegraph’s making a fool of itself

I know it is the holiday season and all that with political news thin on the ground but the Telegraph should have looked at the basic numbers from GE2017 before inferring that somehow the electoral system is rigged against the Tories and for Labour.

This might have been true after GE2005 when Blair’s LAB won 55% of the seats with 35.2% of the votes but things have moved on since then. The basic fact from June 8th is that the Tories won 48.9% of MPs with 42.4% vote while LAB won 40.3% of MPs with 40% of vote. The LDs secured 1.8% of MPs with 7.4% of vote.

    Under the current boundaries the Tories would win 13 more seats (out of 650) than Labour if they both get 42% and there is a uniform swing. Under the proposed new boundaries, the gap increases to 37 seats out of 600.

Those basic numbers point to the opposite of what CON ministers and the paper is suggesting.

One of the political problems the Tories have got with this is that under the current proposal the DUP looks set to lose three seats to Sinn Fein becoming the second party in Northern Ireland.

TMay’s “supply and confidence” partners are not going to do anything that supports a plan that would negatively affect them. Without the DUP’s votes it will be a struggle getting this through the Commons.

So please no whinging. This is naked political self interest by the Tories.

Mike Smithson


DUP lose 3 seats in new boundary proposals to put it behind SF

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

This isn’t going to be popular with TMay’s supply & confidence partners

Well done to Martin Baxter for getting his boundaries projection out so fast. His figures showing what would happen if they’d been in force on June 8th have the Tories just into majority territory but with the DUP suffering in Northern Ireland.

It is for this reason perhaps more than any why this plan is unlikely to happen.

But the law reducing the size of the Commons from 650 to 600 is still in place and would require primary legislation to change it. Whether the Tories will do that is hard to say.

There are other big legislative fish that need to be fried at Westminster before the boundaries need to be dealt with.

Mike Smithson


To add to the febrile political mix – next week’s boundary changes cutting 50 MPs

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

One thing I think is for sure – there’ll be no move to remove the diminished TMay next week. MPs will be mostly focused on the position their own seats and the impact of revised boundary plans.

Although not implemented in 2015 the law reducing the size of the House of Commons from 650 to 600 MPs is still in force and the Boundary Commission has been going through the process of redrawing the boundaries with the aim of bringing them up to date and implementing the reduction in the size of the Commons.

The plans drawn up for the 2015 election and not used have been outdated.

Inevitably there will be some winners – sitting MPs who’ll see their patch becoming even safer and some losers – those who could see their time in Parliament being terminated.

In these matters MPs tend to look first at their own individual situation rather than what’s best for their party or even the country.

A danger for Mrs.May is that it could create a group of disgruntled Tory MPs who might feel they have nothing to lose in helping to curtail her political career.

    An even bigger danger for the government is what is proposed for Northern Ireland. The earlier proposals had it that the DUP would end up with fewer MPs than Sinn Fein – something that might change their view of their support for the minority Tory government.

Wales is particularly hard hit by the changes losing a quarter of its 40 MPs.

The reduction in the number of MPs was enacted six years ago during the coalition but the original boundary changes were not implemented. The LDs blocked the move in retaliation for the backbench Tory rebellion on the progress of the House of Lords reform Bill that would have made it into an elected chamber.

It is possible that the final plans don’t get through the Commons or that the law is changed to keep the House at it current size.

Mike Smithson


As the DUP prepare to back CON on the Queen’s speech here’s the implied GE17 result under new boundaries

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Electoral Calculus

Will Team Arlene vote to make them Northern Ireland’s 2nd party

One of the issues likely to come up next year is the boundary review and the reduction of Commons seats from 650 to 600 MPs. Martibn Baxter of the Electoral Calculus has produced the above projection of the implied GE17 based on the latest proposals. I thought it timely to publish this given that the DUP will be voting with the Tories this evening ensuring the successful passage of the Queen’s Speech.

As can be seen Baxter’s implied result has the current top dogs in NI politics, the DUP slipping back to seven seats while Sinn Fein see an increase to nine.

Given the contentious nature of the boundary review which has to be approved by the Commons I wonder what the DUP will do.

Can’t see the DUP being very happy.

Mike Smithson


On top of LAB polling woes first analysis of the new boundaries suggests LAB will need vote lead of 13.5% to get a majority

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Bling 2

The Tories only need a 1.9% margin

YouGov’s Anthony Wells who runs UK Polling Report had produced his first analysis of the planned new boundary changes and the outcome is excellent for the Tories and terrible for Labour.

The analysis also has the LDs down to just four MPs.

I’m just on my way home from the Political Studies Association Awards in London and I’ll do more on this when I’ve had time to look at this in greater detail.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn and the boundary review: not the disaster for LAB that it is but an opportunity for the hard left

Thursday, September 15th, 2016


Joff Wild is puzzled by the half-hearted response of Corbyn’s team. It’s as if they don’t care

The only question from a Labour perspective about the result of the Parliamentary constituency review for England and Wales is just how bad it will be for the party. The most optimistic prognosis I saw was from Paul Waugh in the Huffington Post, who reported that under the new boundaries the Tories would lose 17 seats and Labour would lose 23. But probably more realistic is the assessment provided by Anthony Wells, who put losses at 28 for Labour, 10 for the Tories, four for the Liberal Democrats and one for the Greens. Either way, though, the Conservatives – elected on just under 37% of the vote last year – would have won an even larger overall majority on the new boundaries than they actually managed to.

As a supporter of PR for all my adult life – who believes that the Commons is not there to reflect the results of a series of one-off, winner takes all contests, but the votes of the electorate – the boundary review was always going to be depressing. As a Labour supporter, it fills me with despair. One estimate I saw yesterday was that with Scotland lost to the SNP, to win an overall majority of one at the next general election, the party would need to make 92 gains in England and Wales – something that would involve gaining Tory seats with notional five figure majorities.

Given this, you would expect a full-on assault from the Labour leadership on what has been announced and a detailed strategy to challenge the outcome. There is plenty of raw meat to play with: the review focused on registered voter numbers, not on overall populations; even then, two million additional people who registered to vote in the EU referendum have not been included; as a result of the review the Prime Minister gets the largest notional majority of any MP in the country, while the Leader of the Opposition’s seat is abolished; and, because of first past the post, it will be even easier for the Tories to win overall majorities on even lower percentages of the vote. Of course, there are cases to be built against all of these claims, but for a determined, motivated, well-led organisation there is a lot to get its teeth into and to galvanise concerted opposition. That brings me to Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leadership knew that the review results were due to be announced on 13th September, it knew that the outcome was not going to be good for Labour and it knew that yesterday was a major opportunity to begin to frame the consultation period debate. The Leader of the Opposition, the shadow Chancellor and the rest of the Labour front bench could and should have been ready with a powerful message of defiance and a detailed plan to do everything possible to ensure that the final outcome is as positive for Labour as possible. But what we got was a brief statement from Jon Ashworth – who almost no ordinary voter has heard of – and individual reactions from some MPs.

For his part, Jeremy Corbyn pretty much confined himself to expressing disappointment and anger that his own constituency is set to go. Instead of outrage, a prominent Corbyn supporter and newly-elected member of the NEC went onto Radio 4 to say that the review is a chance to get rid of MPs who have not shown sufficient loyalty to the leader; Corbyn has made similar noises in the recent past, of course. In reality, Labour rules (unless changed) mean that mass deselection is highly unlikely; but the very strong impression given was that for many of those around Jeremy Corbyn, and by implication for the man himself, the boundary review is not a disaster for Labour, but a great opportunity to eliminate difficult customers and to consolidate control of what remains of the PLP after the next general election.

In my last Political Betting article I said that although Jeremy Corbyn is set to win the Labour leadership election comfortably, in the end his manifest inability to do the job and to unify will lead to his downfall. A lot of Labour members still giving him the benefit of the doubt, I said, will see how he performs over the coming couple of years and will reach the same conclusion that the majority of Labour’s pre-September 2015 membership already have: Corbyn is a disaster with an agenda that does not include leading Labour to victory at the next general election. That will become clear in the way he interacts with the PLP, in his handling of the Brexit debate, in his non-compliance with party policy on issues such as Trident, in his opposition to NATO and in his ongoing refusal to engage with the millions of voters who do not see the world in the way he does, not to mention his past support for the IRA, Hamas et al and his paid work for the Iranian theocracy. We can now add to that list his reaction to the boundary review.

Owen Jones – an influential though not uncritical supporter of Jeremy Corbyn – wrote an impassioned piece for the Guardian denouncing the boundary review. “Our ancestors fought for our democratic rights and freedoms. It would be an insult to this great British tradition if we now remained silent while a political party stitched up the rules in an attempt to keep itself in power forever,” he concluded. Jones, like hundreds of thousands of other Labour members, is about to discover that Jeremy Corbyn is much less bothered about this issue than he is. That will have consequences.

Joff Wild posts on Political Betting as SouthamObserver. Follow him on Twitter at @SpaJW