The planned new boundaries give CON 40 more seats than LAB for the same national vote shares

The planned new boundaries give CON 40 more seats than LAB for the same national vote shares

GB vote split C38/L38/LD10 on new boundaries: CON 40 seats ahead

This makes Corbyn’s task much harder

One of the big political developments that could have a huge impact on the outcome of the next general election will come in the next two or three months when the final report of the Boundaries Commission comes out.

Under what was agreed by Parliament seven years ago the number of MPs will be reduced from 650 to 600 and each constituency will be about the same size in terms of the number of voters.

For this to come into effect there needs to be a simple vote of the House of Commons and given that the DUP are not, as in earlier plans, going to be penalised then there must be a good chance that this will go through.

The above seat projections are by using the excellent calculator in Martin Baxter’s Electoral Calculus. They are based on what could happen if the country voted at the next election with Labour and the Conservatives on 38% each and the Lib Dems on 10%. I chose these numbers because they were the shares in the Ipsos and YouGov polls that came out at the end of last week.

    The critical thing here is that the Tories benefit so much more with a significant bias in its favour.

Even without the changes the Tories now benefit most from the system. Without the new boundaries the Baxter projection is that the Tories would be 21 seats ahead on the same 38% vote share as LAB.

About a month before Mrs May made her ill-fated decision to call the 2017 general election I wrote that there was little chance that she would go early because the benefits of the boundary changes were so favourable to the Conservatives that she would want to wait for these to be in force. Alas my prediction about there not being an early election proved to be wrong.

The big question now is whether Mrs May will seek to push the new boundaries through the Commons in the autumn and whether she will succeed. We cannot assume that all Conservative MPs will be happy with the proposal because of the reduction in the overall number and the fact that some might have to fight with neighbouring MPs in order to retain a place in the Commons.

But the gains for the blue team are so great and provide a very comfortable cushion against the prospect of a Labour victory.

Mike Smithson

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