Will 600+ gains underpin EdM’s leadership?
We are in that silly time that we see every April when the parties try to tell us how badly they are going to do in the May locals while the academic specialists who monitor this closely set out what they think we should expect.
A central figure in this is Professor Colin Rallings (The R of the famous Rallings & Thrasher partnership who do thing like work out the “official general election notionals” whenever boundary changes come in). Next Wednesday I’m due to attend a special briefing with him organised by the Political Studies Association.
Today in the Times he’s quoted in the Times as saying he expects Labour to pick up more than 600 seats, with 200 gains in unitary authorities and at least 120 in Wales.
Everything in this, of course, is based on what happened last time, in most cases 2008, and the number of seats at stake.
After each year’s local elections Rallings & Thrasher compute from results what’s known as the National Equivalent Vote Share. Four years ago it was CON 43: LAB 24: LD 23. In May 2011 the split was CON 38: LAB 37: LD 16.
The Lib Dems will have far fewer losses next month than the 748 of last year simply because there are far fewer of their seats at stake.
NOTE: Yesterday my current health problems prevented me from attending a Political Studies Association briefing on London by Tony Travers and Patrick Dunleavy of the LSE. I’ve got their slides and will be doing a future post on that.