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Iain Dale predicts that the LDs will win 30-35 seats at GE2015. Seat by seat these are his forecasts.

February 5th, 2014

It is a brave man who fifteen months before a general election seeks to predict the outcome in all the 57 seats that the Lib Dems will be defending but that is what Ian Dale has done this morning.

It provoked quite a discussion on Twitter and I thought that PBers might like to cast their eyes over it and give their verdicts.

To my mind the element that Iain has not factored in is the organisational state of the local LD parties in all the seats. As we see in local by-election after local by-election the yellows have been doing okay in areas where they have the MP.

Iain also thinks that Eastleigh will be a CON gain. I’m not so sure. What last year’s by-election showed was the weakness of the local Tory party there. UKIP came second and they will be able to present themselves as the challenger. I’ve got them at 6/1 to win.

The full Iain Dale post can be found here

 

 

INVERNESS, NAIRN, BADENOCH & STRATHSPEY
Danny Alexander
Majority: 8,765 over Labour
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD

LEWES
Norman Baker
Maj: 7,647
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
If Labour takes enough votes from the LibDems it could let the Conservative in, and Lewes used to be a safe Tory seat. Baker’s local popularity should see him through but with a much smaller majority.

BERWICK UPON TWEED
Sir Alan Beith (retiring – Julie Pörksen selected)
Maj: 2,690 over the Conservatives
Prediction: PROBABLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
The Conservative candidate Anne Marie Trevelyan stood in 2010 and if her vote holds up, she only needs Labour to take a small proportion of the LibDem vote. Beith’s incumbency will also disappear.

BURNLEY
Gordon Birtwhistle
Maj: 1,818 over Labour
Prediction: LABOUR GAIN
Birtwhistle is a straight talking northerner and speaks out against what he views as wishy washy Liberalism. He’s very popular but it would be a major shock if he held on to the seat he snatched from Labour in 2010.

CARSHALTON & WALLINGTON
Tom Brake
Maj: 5.260 over the Conservatives
Prediction: POSSIBLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
Somewhat charismatically challenged Brake is nevertheless a very good constituency MP and this could seem him through, but the Labour vote here is bound to recover. However, I’d say this was a 50/50 prediction and could easily go the other way. This would be the sixth time Brake has fought the seat and that counts for a lot.

MID DORSET & NORTH POOLE
Annette Brooke (retiring – Vikki Slade selected)
Maj: 269
Prediction: CONSERVATIVE GAIN
It was a shock this seat didn’t go Tory last time. With Annette Brooke standing down the LibDems will have to perform miracles to keep this seat.

TAUNTON DEANE
Jeremy Browne
Maj: 3,993 over the Conservatives
Prediction: POSSIBLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN – 50/50
Boundary changes last time increased Browne’s majority from just over 500. I don’t know how popular he is locally. Seen as a very good minister it was a shock when he was sacked by Clegg. Might he stand down? I’d say this was a 50/50 call.

GORDON
Sir Malcolm Bruce (retiring – Christine Jardine selected
Maj: 6,748 over the SNP
Prediction: 100% LIBDEM HOLD

SUTTON & CHEAM
Paul Burstow
Maj: 1,608
Prediction: PROBABLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
The Labour vote has halved to 7.7% since 1997 and will inevitably rise in 2015. Paul Burstow is standing again and incumbency could play a vital role if he is to retain his seat, but if the Tory vote holds up, he may have a problem.

SOLIHULL
Lorely Burt
Maj: 175
Prediction: CONSERVATIVE GAIN
Lorely Burt did very well to hang onto her seat last time (she won it in 2005 with a majority of 279) and confounded all expectations. The Labour vote has gone down from 25% to 8% and if Labour takes just a thousand votes from the LibDem the Conservatives will win a seat many think they should never have lost.

TWICKENHAM
Vince Cable
Maj: 12,140
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD

NORTH EAST FIFE
Sir Menzies Campbell (retiring)
Maj: 9.348
Prediction: LIBDEM HOLD
The Conservatives will be targeting this seat but it’s a remote hope for them. The new LibDem candidate may suffer a dent in their majority but unless Ming Campbell’s personal vote is more than the norm, this seat should stay Liberal Democrat.

ORKNEY & SHETLAND
Alistair Carmichael
Maj: 9,928
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD
None of the other parties come close, with the LibDems winning 62% of the vote in 2010. Jo Grimond’s legacy is safe!

SHEFFIELD HALLAM
Nick Clegg
Maj: 15,284
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD
This used to be a Tory seat, but it would take a political earthquake for them to take it off Nick Clegg. Interestingly the Labour vote has started to rise, but not enough to cause the LibDems to panic.

EDINBURGH WEST
Michael Crockart
Maj: 3,803
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
This seat went LibDem in 1997 and although the LibDem majority plummeted by 10,000 last time it is difficult to see them losing. Prior to 1997 it was a Tory seat but last time Labour beat the Tories into second place. A Labour victory is not impossible to imagine, but still rather unlikely.

KINGSTON & SURBITON
Edward Davey
Maj: 7,560
Prediction: LIBDEM HOLD
Ed Davey won this seat in 1997 with a wafer thin majority of 56, which rose to more than 15,000 in 2001. But since then the Conservative vote has been on the rise. Davey has only managed to win with such handsome majorities because he has squeezed the Labour vote from 23% down to 9%. If that trend reverses, the Conservatives could squeak it, but it’s highly unlikely.

WESTMORLAND & LONSDALE
Tim Farron
Maj: 12,264
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD
Tim Farron has 60% of the vote and while the Conservatives held this seat as recently as 2001, they have zero chance of winning it back in 2015. Why? Because it’s a two horse race. In 1997 the Labour vote was more than 20%. In 2010 it was 2%.

HORNSEY & WOOD GREEN
Lynne Featherstone
Maj: 6,875
Prediction: POSSIBLE LIBDEM HOLD
Since 1997 Lynne Featherstone has built up the LibDem vote from 5,000 to 25,000 so as a constituency campaigner she is hard to beat. Meanwhile the Labour vote has declined from 31,000 to 18,000. Meanwhile the Conservatives have gone down to 21,000 to 9,000. This is a difficult one to call, but on balance Lynn Featherstone will probably retain the seat.

BATH
Don Foster (retiring)
Maj: 11,883
Prediction: LIBDEM HOLD
The Conservatives have been desperate to win this seat back since Chris Patten lost it in 1992, but it’s extremely unlikely to revert to the fold despite the fact that Don Foster is standing down.

ST IVES
Andrew George
Maj: 1,719
Prediction: POSSIBLE LIBDEM HOLD
The Tories got a 10.39% swing last time and took a huge chuck out of Andrew George’s 11,000 majority. This time George will be hoping UKIP’s vote reduces Tory potency. His incumbency and local popularity should see Andrew George home, but it may be a close call.

ST AUSTELL & NEWQUAY
Stephen Gilbert
Maj: 1,312
Prediction: POSSIBLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
This seat could go either way. Labour are nowhere with only 7% of the vote. If UKIP does well in the South West, the LibDems win here, if they don’t, they won’t.

CHELTENHAM
Martin Horwood
Maj: 4.920
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
A Liberal Democrat seat since 1992, this is one which the Conservatives had expected to take back in both 2005 and 2010, but it wasn’t to be. The Labour vote has been squeezed to just 5%. Martin Horwood is extremely popular and will have built up a high personal vote. On a catastrophic night for the LibDems it’s easy to see Cheltenham falling, but not otherwise.

PORTSMOUTH SOUTH
Mike Hancock (deselected)
Maj: 5.200
Prediction: POSSIBLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
This seat has never had a huge LibDem majority since it was won by Mike Hancock in 1997. It’s always ranged between three and six thousand. It’s difficult to assess the impact of the groping scandal, but on top of their national woes, it could be that the Tories win back what was once for them a safe seat. Hancock has failed to squeeze the Labour vote as much as some of his colleagues, and not so long ago they managed a healthy 25%. If they return to those levels the Tories will win.

NORTH DEVON
Nick Harvey
Maj: 5,821
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
Ever since this seat was wrested back from the Conservatives in 1992 pundits have predicted it would return to the Tories, but astute constituency campaigning by Nick Harvey has prevented this from happening. I don’t see this changing. This seat has a strong UKIP vote which inevitable depresses that of the Conservatives.

SOMERTON & FROME
David Heath (retiring)
Maj: 1,817
PREDICTION: PROBABLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
LibDem HQ must have bee tearing their hair out when David Heath announced his retirement as he stood the best prospect of retaining this seat. His current majority is the larges he has ever enjoyed, but that is largely because at the last election the UKIP vote doubled to nearly 2,000. If they do the same in 2015 they could deny the Conservatives a gain they thought they had in the bag last time.

BIRMINGHAM YARDLEY
John Hemming
Maj: 3,002
Prediction: PROBABLE LABOUR GAIN
Hemming is a maverick and I wouldn’t bet against him pulling off a surprise, but if Labour is to form a government it’s this kind of seat they need to take back.

CHIPPENHAM
Duncan Hames
Maj: 2,470
Prediction: POSSIBLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
Although is majority isn’t big, Duncan Hames has dug himself in since winning the seat in 2010 and will be difficult to shift. But the Tory candidate Michelle Donelan is a good campaigner. Yet again, her success depends on warding off UKIP and encouraging LibDems to vote Labour.

BERMONDSEY & OLD SOUTHWARK
Simon Hughes
Maj: 8,530
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD
No comment needed.

EASTLEIGH
Mike Thornton
Maj: 1,771
Prediction: POSSIBLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
The Conservatives thought they would win this seat back at each of the last two general elections, but each time Chris Huhne pulled through. At the by-election they came third, with UKIP almost pipping the rather monochrome Mike Thornton. It’s highly unlikely UKIP’s vote will hold up so the outcome of this seat may depend on where UKIP’s voters put their cross. If enough of them return to the Conservative fold, it could be enough to see the Conservative home.

CHEADLE
Mark Hunter
Maj: 3,272
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
Apart from a narrow majority in 1997 of 33, the LibDems have had a majority of three or four thousand in this seat ever since. As long as the slightly resurgent Labour vote doesn’t gain too much traction, I think Mark Hunter will be safe.

CAMBRIDGE
Julian Huppert
Maj: 6,792
Prediction: POSSIBLE LIBDEM HOLD
If you look at the size of the LibDem majority here, Julian Huppert ought to be considered very safe, but this is a seat which swings with the wind, and if the wind is blowing towards Labour you can see it returning to them. It obviously has a high student vote and this may determine the outcome. However Huppert has been a strong performer both locally in Parliament and if anyone can hold this seat for the LibDems, he can.

ROSS, SKYE AND LOCHABER
Charles Kennedy
Maj: 13,070
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD
Out on his own, and despite an invisible presence in this Parliament, there would need to be a miracle to shift Charles Kennedy.

NORTH NORFOLK
Norman Lamb
Maj: 11,626
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD
Lamb’s majority was even bigger than the one he had over me in 2005. Although I think it will reduce in 2010 due to the crumbling LibDem local organisation and the resurgent North Norfolk Labour Party, he will still win handsomely.

YEOVIL
David Laws
Maj: 13,036
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD

MANCHESTER WITHINGTON
John Leech
Maj: 1,894
Prediction: LABOUR GAIN
Although John leech trebled his majority last time, I fear the bell tolls for him unless UKIP can take a lot of votes from Labour.

EASTBOURNE
Stephen Lloyd
Maj: 3.435
Prediction: PROBABLE CONSERVATIVE GAIN
Won in 2010 from Nigel Wateson, Steohen Lloyd may hang on, but I’d expect the Labour vote to at least double at the expense of the LibDems, so yet again, a lot depends on how many votes the Tories lose to UKIP.

BERWICKSHIRE, ROXBURGH & SELKIRK
Michael Moore
Maj: 5,675
PREDICTION: LIBDEM HOLD
David Steel’s old seat – never been 100% safe, but it would be a major shock for the Conservatives to take this seat.

LEEDS NORTH WEST
Greg Mulholland
Maj: 9.103
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD
A Labour seat as recently as 2005, Labour has now slipped to third place. With a classic split opposition situation it would be a brave man who would vote against a third term for Greg Mulholland.

WELLS
Tessa Munt
Maj: 800
Prediction: PROBABLY CONSERVATIVE GAIN
The former seat of David Heathcoat-Amory Tessa Munt won Wells in 2010. The Tories will make every effort to regain it and will be devastated if they don’t pull it off.

SOUTHPORT
John Pugh
Maj: 6,024
Prediction: LIBDEM HOLD
It’s difficult to see this as anything other than a LibDem win.

ARGYLL & BUTE
Alan Reid
Maj: 3,431
Prediction: POSSIBLE LIBDEM HOLD
A four way marginal, this could go to any of the main parties. If the LibDems lose my guess is that it would go to Labour, even though they were in third place in 2010.

NORTH CORNWALL
Dan Rogerson
Maj: 2,981
Prediction: PROBABLY CONSERVATIVE GAIN
A seat where the LibDem majority has been on the slide in every election since 1997’s highpoint of more than 13,000. If UKIP hadn’t existed, the Conservatives would have won this seat in 2010. So the key question is whether they will eat further into the Conservative vote in 2015. If so, the LibDems will hang on. Otherwise this is a pretty safe bet for the Tories.

COLCHESTER
Sir Bob Russell
Maj: 6,982
Prediction: LIBDEM HOLD
Difficult to see anything other than another home run for Sir Bob!

TORBAY
Adrian Sanders
Maj: 4,078
Prediction: POSSIBLE LIBDEM HOLD
Regarded as a surefire Tory gain in 2010 it didn’t happen, and in all honesty Adrian Sanders has built up a string personal vote which may carry him through once again.

WEST ABERDEENSHIRE & KINCARDINE
Sir Robert Smith
Maj: 3.684
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
Although the LibDem majority was halved last time, it’s difficult to see anything other than another victory for Sir Robert Smith.

HAZEL GROVE
Andrew Stunell (retiring – Lisa Smart selected)
Maj: 6,371
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
The LibDem majority has fallen in every election since 1997 but the Tories haven’t been able to capitalise. And I don’t see them bucking the trend in 2015.

REDCAR
Ian Swales
Maj: 5,214
Prediction: LABOUR GAIN
This was a very surprise result last time and was in large part to massive job losses on Teesside. On that basis the seat may return to its natural fold.

EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE
Jo Swinson
Maj: 2,184
Prediction: LABOUR GAIN
Jo Swinson is popular but all the political portents are against her. She will be a major loss to the LibDems.

BRENT CENTRAL
Sarah Teather (retiring)
Maj: 1,345
Prediction: DEAD CERT LABOUR GAIN
If the LibDems retain this seat it will be miracle of all miracles.

CAITHNESS, SUTHERLAND & EASTER ROSS
John Thurso
Maj: 4,828
Prediction: LIBDEM HOLD
A small electorate, Thurso should hold the seat he won in 2001.

BRADFORD EAST
David Ward
Maj: 365
Prediction: DEAD CERT LABOUR GAIN
One of the nastier LibDem MPs, few will shed tears at his demise.

THORNBURY & YATE
Steve Webb
Maj: 7,116
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD

NORWICH SOUTH
Simon Wright
Maj: 310
Prediction: DEAD CERT LABOUR WIN
Student fees will do for Simon Wright due to the large university vote. Of all the seats the LibDems are slated to lose, this is the deadest certs of dead certs.

CEREDIGION
Mark Williams
Maj: 8,324
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD

BRECON & RADNORSHIRE
Roger Williams
Maj: 3,747
Prediction: LIBDEM HOLD
A Conservative gain here is not out of the question but it is difficult to work out where their extra votes are going to come from.

BRISTOL WEST
Stephen Williams
Maj: 11.336
Prediction: DEAD CERT LIBDEM HOLD

CARDIFF CENTRAL
Jenny Willott
Maj: 4,576
Prediction: PROBABLE LIBDEM HOLD
Labour have their sights in this one. It may prove out of their reach.