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You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Tuesday 18 April 2017

My on-a-hiding-to-nothing General Election prediction

What do I want to happen? Lib Dems romp home with a historic 50 seat majority.

What (more prosaically) do I think is the most likely outcome?

1. We will successfully defend our 9 seats. The hardest will ironically be our newest - the home of Ham Common, Richmond Park, where we are defending a seat the Tories won in 2015 with a 20k+ majority, and we wont have the benefit of thousands of activists descending on us every week. Needless to say we will be fighting hard.


2. We will win around half of our target seats - and we'll end up with 30- 40 seats in Parliament.

3. SNP will defend most of theirs and end up with around 50. They'll lose a couple to us and at least one more to the Tories.

4. Many of our wins will come at the expense of the Tories in the South West and London. Let's say the Tories lose around 25 seats this way.

5. This means the Tories need to win at least 42 seats from Labour in order to defend their majority, let alone increase it. This is in fact easier than it sounds. Number 45 on their target list - Chorley - needs a swing of just 4.4% to turn blue. If we say they won't win any of the non Labour seats above that (there are 5), number 50 - Bury South - requires a 5.2% swing, again well within current polling predictions.

But that's just to stand still

6. In order to get say a 100 seat majority, they'd need to take another 50 seats off Labour. That takes us to seats like Swansea West and needing a 10%+ swing - tough.

7. So my prediction looks a little like this

Tories 337
Labour 205 - which I think would  roughly match their performance in 1983
SNP 48
Lib Dems 35
Others 25

A Tory majority of 24. Which leaves things pretty much as you were. And I would guess Theresa May will be in a worse position than she is now. Butterfingers.

Two other things to note - I suspect we may do better than this. A seat by seat examination of our top 50 target seats looks like that.

And I guess its possible that Labour will do worse than 1983. But just how low could they realistically go - not far below 200 I suspect?


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