It’s a mistake to think of the election as just LAB vs CON – politicalbetting.com

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It’s a mistake to think of the election as just LAB vs CON – politicalbetting.com

So much of the current electoral analysis is based on the premise that the battle will just be LAB vs CON.

This is part, but only a part of the story, because to stay in power the Tories have to ensure that they keep their seat losses down to 46 and they will be fighting to defend in three main areas.

Firstly there is Scotland where the Tories will be defending 6 seats and where their opponent will be the SNP. In the current context is hard to see all six remaining blue.

Secondly there is the battleground in a group of seats that voted Remain, where there are a high proportion of graduates in the electorate, and generally, the main fight will be against the LDs. In many of these seats, Ed Davey’s party will have far stronger organisation and have good local government presence. Quite a few of them will have had a LD MP in the past.

Thirdly there will be the LAB-CON battlegrounds including, in particular, the so-called “Red Wall” – the seats in traditional Labour areas in the Midlands and the North that went CON at GE2019. What polling there has been in these seats has been positive for SKS.

One feature that is set to figure strongly next time will be tactical voting as we saw at GE1997. One of the freak statistics of that election was that the LDs had a lower national vote share than at GE1992 but jumped from 20 MPs to 46. At the same time LAB secured 30 more seats than the uniform national swing suggested.

Can the Tories keep their seat losses below 46? At the moment it looks very difficult but there are nearly 2 years left on the electoral timetable and things can happen.

Mike Smithson

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