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Without Scotland Labour’s future general election challenges would be greater, but not by that much

April 21st, 2014

BBC NEWS   Election 2010   Results   Scotland

Following the weekend’s ICM Scottish poll people have begun to look more closely at what the impact in a general election might be if the 59 Scottish MPs were removed.

    Clearly GE2015 will take place as planned but the above chart has been produced to make a general point – LAB would find it harder to win general elections without Scotland but this can be overestimated.

The table above sets out key numbers. The House of Commons based on the 2010 boundaries would be reduced from 650 MPs to 591 while LAB would see its contingent cut by 41, the LDs by 11, SNP by 6, and the Tories by one.

The overall reduction of seats would reduce the threshold required for an overall majority from 326 to 296. So the GE2010 result without Scotland would have been 306 CON seats to 290 non-CON seats, a Tory majority of 16. No need, therefore, for the coalition.

With Scottish MPs in place Labour would need to make 68 gains in May next year to secure a majority. Without Scotland that would be increased to 80.

That is still a big challenge but the total required is fewer than the 100 gains that the Tories made at GE2010.

A REMINDER. The next Dirty Dicks (opposite Liverpool Street station in London) gathering will be at 6.30pm on Friday May 2. An event for Yorkshire and the north is planned for Ilkley on Monday July 7th

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble