Why DC is heading for Bedford. From Rob Hayward the GE2015 key seat change milestones on a uniform national swing pic.twitter.com/5iz6cWaLOL
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 20, 2015
One of the electors who won’t be taken for granted
The above slide is from the Rob Hayward presentation and shows, on a uniform swing, the key tipping point seats. Column one is LAB to be on most seats, while the second column is the area for an overall LAB majority and the third for a CON majority.
Events in Scotland have distorted this but, as things currently stand, the named seats, certainly in the first column, will be the key battlegrounds.
One of the regular criticisms of first past the post is that an election is decided by a small number of swing voters in key marginal seats, while the votes of millions of others are taken for granted by the parties because what they do is not going to affect the outcome.
Well I happen to be in the happy situation of being one of those swing voters in Bedford – the key constituency that LAB has to win to notionally be ahead to be top on seats. Whatever my views on the voting system I really relish the fact that my vote matters and we are going to get a lot of attention. Mr. Cameron and Mr. Miliband will be coming here quite few times in the coming months.
One thing that has happened is that on three occasions either my wife or I have been sampled in constituency specific polls. One of those was clearly for Lord Ashcroft while the other two have been private. Only last week my wife did a phone voting poll which named the candidates and then sought to get views on specific issues particularly on the most contentious local matter – the plan to downgrade the town’s hospital.
In the published Ashcroft poll, carried out in the summer, LAB had a lead of 10% and the betting odds point to a LAB gain. Will that have been eroded by recent events?
What this means is that my view of the coming fight will be through the prism of someone whose vote is really being sought after.