Archive for the 'Boundary Reviews' Category


If the boundary changes had gone through the result of GE15 would be less of a cliff-hanger

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Did old-Etonian Jesse Norman cost his party the election?

On July 11th 2012 David Cameron was seen to be having a furious row with his fellow old-Etonian, Jesse Norman, who had just led the successful backbench revolt against planned House of Lords reform.

Cameron knew very clearly what this meant. The boundary changes, which it was calculated would give the Tories an extra 20 seats over Labour, were almost certainly not going to go through.

Not so long afterwards Nick Clegg confirmed that his party would not vote for the final implementation of the plan thus scuppering something on which the Tories had been placing a lot of hope.

    It had been blindingly obvious that undermining this reform would lead to this outcome yet Mr. Norman had pressed ahead and membership of the upper house continues to be by preferment – as Mr Straw reminded us on TV on Monday night.

Just think how in the current tight political situation what those 20 extra MPs would do to the Tory position?

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The Christmas Game: Part II

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Many thanks to Harry Hayfield, for providing the fun for Christmas Day.

Below are the The Google Earth outline of five UK parliamentary constituencies.

Can you guess what those constituencies are with the only clue being all the maps are aligned North to South,

The answers will be posted later on this evening, the answers to the previous thread are.

Number One: Tyrone West, Number Two: Blaenau Gwent, Number Three: Ogmore, Number Four: Glasgow East, Number Five: Leicestershire North West

Enjoy guessing six to ten.


Constituency Six

Constituency Seven

Constituency Eight

Constituency Nine

Constituency Ten


The Lib Dems are in no mood to change their leader

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Clegg looks safe until GE2015

If there was going to be a threat to Nick Clegg’s leadership at the annual conference in Glasgow it was going to come in this morning’s debate on economic strategy.

There was a very strong move to oppose official policy but in the end the votes went with the leadership. It was an easy victory.

If there was a turning point it was the intervention of party president and favourite for next leader, Tim Farron, that made it certain for Clegg. Farron’s reading, I guess, is that his career prospects would be better served by backing Clegg at his stage and not doing anything that could be portrayed as a rift.

In any case the mood of the party has been cheered by the Ashcroft marginals poll which suggests that because of CON-UKIP seepage the yellows are less vulnerable to the blues than was thought.

Mike Smithson


So far, at least, Clegg and the Lib Dems do not seem to be paying a price for last week’s veto on the boundary changes

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Is it now just a footnote?

Just eight days ago the big political news was the expected rejection by the Commons of plans to reduce the number of MPs to 600 and introduce new boundaries.

There was fury from the blue side with words like “betrayal” coming out – yet this maelstrom doesn’t seem to have had any impact beyond Westminster.

The Lib Dem daily poll figures have continued in double figures and the party is enjoying its best period from YouGov since 2010. For nearly eight weeks they’ve only dropped below 10% once and they’ve been up at 12% three times.

    Could it be that the blocking of CON 20 seat bonus will be pain-free?

It’s said that the Tories will be approaching the fight in Eastleigh with a greater vigour. Revenge is a powerful emotion.

The problem for the blues is that this comes over as a technical matter and so far has not resonated.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news


The boundaries: At least, either way, it will all be over tonight

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Unless there is some remarkably bad management by the LAB and LD whips then the plan to reduce the Commons to 600 seats and bring in new boundaries will be defeated later on today.

Thanks to Anthony Wells for noting that “the government has tabled a counter amendment that would reject the Lords amendment, and adopt the Boundary Commissions final recommendations without the need for further votes in the Commons and Lords”.

THe original plan was for the boundary proposals to come to the House for ratification in October.

What is interesting is that this has never taken off as a big story. Clegg made his announcement during the Olympic and that got over-shadowed.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news


The #GE2010 seats:votes ratio hardly suggests that the electoral system is biased against the Tories

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Other parties have much stronger cases

We are here. The day that the Commons decide on the boundaries issue and no doubt there’ll be lots of moans and groans from Team Blue about how the system is biased against them. But is that the case?

Based on how many voters it required to secure a single MP LAB has a smaller number – but as the chart above shows the gap is very narrow indeed. It took 34,940 for each CON MP against 33,370 for each LAB one.

The LDs figure was 119,944 while for the the Greens it was 285,616.

But just look at Ukip which chalked up nearly a million votes and didn’t win a single seat.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news


The boundary changes are nearly dead

Monday, January 14th, 2013

See full BBC report here.


By May 2015 Cameron’s decision to campaign hard against AV might not look very smart

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Under FPTP LAB is the main winner

The pie chart above is derived from today’s YouGov polling and shows the current voting intentions of those who supported Dave’s party in 2010.

The 2010 data is based on polling carried out by YouGov immediatly after the election and not how polling respondents remember it today.

The big move, as can be seen is that getting on for nearly one in five CON voters at the general election are now saying UKIP.

    No doubt as we get closer to the 2015 election that proportion will get smaller particuarly in the key marginals – but it’s a brave pundit who’ll say that Farage’s party will be down to its 2010 level of just over 3% at the next election.

My guess is that the purples could double their 2010 vote particuarly if it comes off the back of a successful performance by in the 2014 Euro elections.

Given that quite a lot of the Ukip vote comes from ex-Tories then how more robust would the blue team’s position be now if the AV referendum outcome had been a YES? The main beneficiary under first past the post is Labour.

Also it’s likely that the boundary changes would be taking place.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news