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General Election 2010: the day the Tories failed to win their 12th easiest target – Eastleigh

February 18th, 2013

How a huge LAB>LD tactical switch thwarted CON hopes

On May 6th 2010 the Tories made an overall total 100 gains yet still, as we all know, fell short of an overall majority.

A reason for that was what happened in seats like Eastleigh which in terms of the votes required for victory was number 12 on their target list. It had been held by the yellows in 2005 by a majority of just 1.1% and should easily have been swept up by the national LD>CON swing.

It wasn’t and the reason is pretty clear looking at the detailed result above showing changes from GE2005.

Chris Huhne secured his victory there thanks to a collapse in the LAB vote from 21.1% in 2005 to 9.6%. This enabled Huhne to increase the LD share of the vote to secure a relatively comfortable win.

    So a massive question as we look to the by-election a week on Thursday is whether normally LAB voters will once again go yellow to block the blues

The by-election polls where we’ve got published data, the Ashcroft one and the Mail on Sunday survey by Survation, both showed a huge proportion of 2010 LD voters who were undecided. Ashcroft had this at 33% while Survation had 30%.

It’s this segment of the electorate that will play a crucial role.

Looking forward to GE2015 a lot of CON hopes for easy gains are in LD held seats like Eastleigh which the yellows held onto last time as a result of tactical voting.

If trdaitional LAB voters decide to revert to their allegiance then the blues task will be easier. If not then the Tories will need to have an even stronger performance again EdM’s LAB.

Mike Smithson

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