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The impact of reverting to the 2010 electoral map

August 7th, 2012

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Election outcome New boundaries

Old boundaries
LAB MAJORITY LAB LEAD 4.3% LAB LEAD 3%
LAB MOST SEATS CON LEAD below 2.2% CON LEAD below 4%
CON MOST SEATS CON LEAD above 2.2% CON LEAD 4%
CON MAJORITY CON LEAD above 7.4% CON LEAD 11%

How the Lords reform rebellion has cost the Tories

Following yesterday’s statement from Nick Clegg on the abandonment of Lords reform the working assumption must now be that the next general election will be fought on the 2010 boundaries with a total of 650 seats.

The table above shows in very simplified terms the broad vote share targets based on a uniform national swing across the England, Scotland and Wales of what the new boundaries would have given and compares them with the status quo.

It’s based on work by YouGov’s Anthony Wells who in January revised set of notional outcomes following the publication of the proposed new boundaries for England, Wales and Scotland.

    We all know the big picture. In 2005 Tony Blair won a comfortable LAB majority with 36.2% of the GB vote and a lead over CON of 3%.

    In 2010 Cameron’s party secured 37% of the vote with a lead over LAB of 6.3% and were 19 seats short of an overall majority.

The big number for the blues from the changes was the reduction from an 11% lead requirement for an overall majority to 7.4%.

Even if the new boundaries go ahead Labour is still favoured. This is because of the average lower turnouts in its heartlands and in seats where the party is not competitive. There’s also the impact of tactical voting.

    My reading is that the new boundaries could still be introduced. The 91 Tory rebels on Lords reform thought that there’d be no price to pay. Now they know there is it might be that compromise is possible.

The Lib Dem and Tory party conferences could be critical.

Mike Smithson @MikeSmithsonOGH