Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Opinion: With all constituencies declared, Labour has an overall majority

August 8, 2012 11:33 AM
By Charles Beaumont in Liberal Democrat Voice
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Three years may be long enough for anything to happen. But consider this: it is hard to see the Conservative vote in 2015 being an increase on their 2010 showing. Since 2010 we've had the Euro crisis, George Osborne's U-turn fest, a healthy reminder of the symbiotic relationship between the Murdoch empire and the Tory party and the longest recession in more than 50 years. Even the IMF is losing patience. Hard to see the Tories storming to victory. Also, governments in power hardly ever increase their share of the vote. As Andrew Rawnsley has noted: "[f]or Mr Cameron to better his last general election result in the contest of 2015, he must do something that no Conservative prime minister has achieved for nearly six decades."

No matter, we can make a coalition with Labour. Er, not really. Even after the proposed boundary changes, Labour still has an in-built electoral advantage. This is a function of the way Labour's vote is spread around the country and the lower turnout in their safe constituencies. The UK Polling Report website explains this issue in detail.

So, if boundary reform is out the window (as a trade for the House of Lords debacle), Labour has won in 2015. If Labour fights an election on the existing boundaries and gets 37% of the vote (the Tories' 'winning' score in 2010), it can expect a 60-seat majority (it will get much more if, as expected, the Liberal Democrat vote collapses). If Labour maintains its current poll lead it gets a hundred-seat majority (all of these projections from the UK Polling report swingometer).

Getting a hung parliament in 2010 required a perfect storm: a very unpopular Labour party, a relatively untrusted Tory party and a healthy, if mostly wasted, Liberal Democrat vote in the middle. With Labour able to secure a comfortable parliamentary majority on less than 40% of the vote, we can expect neither offers of coalition nor electoral reform. The classic conservative mistake is to fear change more than the threat that forces that change. Killing off Lords reform just killed off the Tories' re-election chances.

Comments

What would you like to do next?

  • Subscribe for updates

    Read updates from this website in your desktop or online news reader

    • On a news reader website

      •  
      •  
      •  

      In a desktop news reader or a website not listed above

      •  
    • Example monthly digest email
      •  
      •  
      •  
    • If you submit your contact details, the Liberal Democrats and their elected representatives may use the information you provide to contact you about issues you may find of interest. Some of the contacts may be automated. You can opt out of these contacts at any time by contacting us.


    • Generate different image

    Join our email list

    • If you submit your contact details, the Liberal Democrats and their elected representatives may use the information you provide to contact you about issues you may find of interest. Some of the contacts may be automated. You can opt out of these contacts at any time by contacting us.


    • Generate different image

    Follow the party's activity on...

    • YouTube:
  • Share this page

    Share this page on another website

    Email this page to a friend


    • Generate different image
  • Help out or donate

    Help out in your local area

      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
      •  
    • If you submit your contact details, the Liberal Democrats and their elected representatives may use the information you provide to contact you about issues you may find of interest. Some of the contacts may be automated. You can opt out of these contacts at any time by contacting us.


    • Generate different image
  • Tell us what you think

    Send us your views

    • If you agree, the Liberal Democrats and their elected representatives may use the information you provide to contact you about issues you may find of interest. Some of the contacts may be automated. You can opt out of these contacts at any time by contacting us.


    • Generate different image