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Even with poll leads there are still two massive hurdles for the Tories: LAB’s inherent electoral advantage and LD stickiness

March 24th, 2014

Far more CON votes are wasted where it doesn’t matter

The “boundaries” has become a misleading shorthand to describe the challenge the Tories face with the way the general election electoral system operates under first past the post.

The above three part interactive chart presents different elements where LAB has an inbuilt advantage.

Firstly, from the GE2010 outcome we see that a much higher proportion of the blue vote gets wasted in seats won by 3rd parties

Secondly we see how the average turnout levels in Labour seats are a fair bit lower than in CON ones.

The final one is on the boundaries. The average number of electors in CON held seats is bigger than LAB ones but not by that much.

The blues shouldn’t count on easy pickings from the yellows

There will be two sorts of LD constituencies at the general election:those where they are organisationally very strong where they’ll be putting in a huge effort and those where they are weak where they will be running little more than token campaigns.

In the former category and where the biggest battles will happen they will fight furious high octane campaigns based on significant databases to try to hold on to what is there’s.

Quite simply the mathematical projections based on uniform national swings apply far less in these seats. If they had done in 2010 the Tories would have won at least ten more seats and probably would not have needed a coalition.

The above chart is based on the Ashcroft marginals polling of last September which was very similar to what appeared two years earlier.

The seats polled were current CON ones but give a clear indication of LD strength and also the readiness of LAB supporters to continue to vote tactically.

Is it any wonder that in just two LD held constituencies the bookies make the Tories the favourites to take the seat?

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble