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Remember when the Tories “won” England at GE2005: Ahead on the popular vote but 92 behind on seats

August 5th, 2014

Labour’s other crutch: First past the post

Britain’s leading political scientist, Professor John Curtice, has taken to describing the phenomenon of the 2010 LD to LAB switchers as Labour’s “crutch” for without this massive influx of support EdM’s party would be in a sorry state.

I’d suggest that there’s another crutch that is equally if not more valuable – the way the electoral system works. Nothing, I think, better illustrates this than the GE2005 results for England’s 529 seats.

The popular vote split CON 35.7%, LAB 35.5% and the LDs on 22.9%. In terms of seats the split was LAB 286, CON 194, LD 47, OTH 2. Thus LAB secured 54.1% of the English MPs with 35.5% of the English vote.

Of course the boundaries were a factor but not as big a one as many Tories believe as I’ll explore in a further post. What’s relevant looking at at GE2005 in England is that the areas covered by Labour’s 92 vote surplus very much make up the battlegrounds for GE2015.

It was the English seat split that made a huge contribution to LAB 2005 and there’s a possibility that the same a similar dynamic could happen again.

My best GE2015 bet is still LAB most seats – CON most votes.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble for more than a decade