Labour’s 106 battleground target seats for 2015

8th January, 2013 3:12 pm

Today the Labour Party unveiled the target seat list for the 2015 election campaign, which is “entirely offensive” – containing no Labour held seats.

Update: We’re told that the target seat list was developed using national swing + demographic and regional vote share models + local govt election results.  4 out of every five seats are Tory Held. 88 are seats Labour lost in 2010. 15 are seats Labour last won in 2001 – and 3 of the seats weren’t held at any point between 1997 and 2010.

The list is published below in order of uniform national swing required to take the seat (for those who can’t open the pdf, a plain text version of the list is below):

1 North Warwickshire
2 Thurrock
3 Hendon
4 Cardiff North
5 Sherwood
6 Norwich South
7 Stockton South
8 Broxtowe
9 Lancaster & Fleetwood
10 Bradford East
11 Amber Valley
12 Waveney
13 Wolverhampton SW
14 Morcambe & Lunesdale
15 Carlisle
16 Stroud
17 Weaver Vale
18 Lincoln
19 Brighton Pavillion
20 Plymouth Sutton & Devonport
21 Dewsbury
22 Warrington South
23 Brent Central
24 Bedford
25 Brighton Kemptown
26 Pudsey
27 Brentford & Isleworth
28 Hove
29 Enfield North
30 Hastings & Rye
31 Manchester Withington
32 Burnley
33 Ipswich
34 Dundee East
35 East Dunbartonshire
36 Halesowen & Rowley Regis
37 Nuneaton
38 Gloucester
39 Northampton North
40 Bury North
41 Kingswood
42 Erewash
43 Blackpool North & Cleveleys
44 City of Chester
45 Arfon
46 Croydon Central
47 Worcester
48 Keighley
49 Wirral West
50 Cannock Chase
51 Loughborough
52 Harrow East
53 Warwick & Leamington
54 Birmingham Yardley
55 South Swindon
56 Ealing Central & Acton
57 Pendle
58 Stevenage
59 Elmet & Rothwell
60 Edinburgh West
61 Watford
62 Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire
63 Vale of Glamorgan
64 Argyll & Bute
65 Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale
66 Carmarthen East & Dinefwr
67 Norwich North
68 High Peak
69 Milton Keynes South
70 Rossendale & Darwen
71 Cleethorpes
72 North East Somerset
73 Great Yarmouth
74 Dudley South
75 Dover
76 Colne Valley
77 South Ribble
78 Peterborough
79 Stafford
80 Stourbridge
81 Harlow
82 Aberconwy
83 Ilford North
84 Preseli Pembrokeshire
85 Brigg & Goole
86 Crewe & Nantwich
87 Bristol NW
88 Battersea
89 Finchley & Golders Green
90 Calder Valley
91 Redcar
92 Crawley
93 Hornsey & Wood Green
94 Reading West
95 Rugby
96 Burton
97 Cardiff Central
98 South Basildon & East Thurrock
99 Tamworth
100 Redditch
101 Chatham & Aylesford
102 North Swindon
103 Cambridge
104 Bermondsey & Old Southwark
105 Bristol West
106 Leeds NW

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  • NT86

    On paper it seems doable to regain seeing as how so many became marginal Tory or Lib Dem seats rather than safe ones given the small majorities. It shouldn’t be too difficult to regain seats from Lib Dems or those in the north or London. The challenge is winning ground in those regions which Labour was destroyed in, in 2010. Namely the east and both southern regions. Potential gains in Essex, Kent, Sussex, Hertfordshire aren’t numerous for Labour, but campaigning on the ground needs to be as effective as anywhere.

    It’s easy to infer that the Lib Dem vote (which acted as a spoiler for Labour) will transfer to Labour, but there’s still no room for complacency.

    • aracataca

      Good analysis NT. Biggest issue for me is getting back in the East and the South Coast seats. Both these areas were disastrous last time and IMHO it is here where we need to do the most work. One does kind of wonder sometimes how the hell are Bedford, Great Yarmouth and Hastings Tory seats.

      • MALCPOL

        It needs to be understood that a constituency like Hastings is in fact HASTINGS AND RYE. Also the last boundary changes included villages to the north of Hastings which tipped the 2010 result to the Conservatives. In the last council elections just for Hastings Labour made significant gains.

    • Redshift1

      You have to admit though looking at this list that the marginals aren’t all in the south, like some always seem to insist.

  • uglyfatbloke

    A lot of glib-dumbs will vote labour next time, but many won’t, especially in Scotland where the libs have effectively abandoned the federalism policy that has protected them against the gnats. Just as important as targeting gains is preventing losses. With the best will in the world there is no realistic chance of gaining – for example – Dundee East, but there is a very strong possibility that the gnats will take a sizeable chunk of seats from Labour at the same time as pretty much wiping out the glib-dumbs north of the border. It’s not all bleak in Scotland; ‘Fluffy’ – Scotland’s only Tory – will lose his seat to Labour and there is a good chance of picking up one of the Scottish liberal seats, but failure to bring in a democratic electoral system mean that the next GE will almost certainly see the gnats get the benefit of FPTP that Labour has enjoyed since the 1960s. Even if they slip back to 40% – and if the Tories are doing well they might do rather better than that – they ,ay well end up with more MPs than the Glib-Dumbs. That would have implications for all sorts of things like committee memberships and broadcasting time. Also, if Ed needs to make a deal with the gnats to keep the Tories out he’ll have a hell of a time selling that to the Scottish backbenchers.

    • Amber_Star

      I don’t agree with much of your analysis regarding Scotland. The Nats are always vulnerable at Westminster elections. Dundee East is a winnable seat for Labour provided we have a good candidate.

    • Chilbaldi

      I sort of agree with you but think you are also being a tad pessimistic. I agree that seat like Dundee East, while appearing winnable to people outside Scotland, are in reality quite a hard task. It’s surrounded by a sea of SNP yellow for one.
      I’m not too worried about SNP getting any more of a foothold than they already have. If they do then they will just be replacing the current Lib Dems position in Scotland in my opinion. And any SNP growth wont have independence implications – that question will be resolved for the next generation in 2014.

  • Charlie_Mansell

    The interesting thing will be what is the voter contact rate for each of them. For example for the London marginals listed it varies from 25% to 53%. I suspect outside London we will see a similar variance in each region, but perhaps a little lower on average. If the party is going to be more organised as to its priorities it should set targets for contact rates and the seats that don’t rach them by late 2014 should be downgraded as battlegrounds

    • Redshift1

      I’d argue that they’re going to be slightly higher outside London on the basis that London is more transient than everywhere else.

      Also, I’d use promise targets over contact rates when setting a target of this nature.

      • Charlie_Mansell

        You could be right, though in London in 2011/12 there was a lot of voter id for the London Mayoral elections. Would agree with your point on promise targets as a useful measurement

        • Redshift1

          I might be wrong if you did a straight forward regional average because some rural seats where not much happens ever will bring down the average, but I think in terms of marginal seats it’ll probably be higher elsewhere. I know two CLPs in my region with contact rates over 75% (obviously almost impossible in some parts of London) and that’s just the ones I know other members in.

          • Charlie_Mansell

            That’s very impressive and better than almost any ward in London would now have. Turnover in London has increased more rapidly and the housing benefit changes could see it get even worse. I am proud to say though, that by 1998 under Elpack – because of keeping comprehensive records from 1981 onwards – I did get my old ward of St Helier South in Sutton up to a 92% contact rate! Croydon Organiser of the time Byron Taylor (now of TULO) said it was the best figure he had ever seen. Turnover would be much higher now in such a former LCC estate due to more private renting and less people would open the door compared to the early 80’s when I knew from leafleting that over 5% of people still had keys on string!

  • I have thought for a while now that while it wont be an easy task, and there is no room for complacency, there are 50-80 marginal seats with majorities from 40-2500 vote from Berwick-on-Tweed over to Carlisle, down to Bristol/Exeter and over again to Southend. and these seats are winnable for Labour .

  • valleyboy

    Yep,living in West Wales it has become a desert for us reds the last number of years.Hopefully the powers that be in Cardiff and London will put decent resources in down here to combat the large sums that the Tories have spent to get their MP’s in.

  • uglyfatbloke

    Yup, Chilibaldi, Dundee East IS exactly the sort of seat that looks winnable from outside, but really, really is n’t., however I don’t think I’m being pessimistic at all about prospects in Scotland for the next GE. In the past there has been a pattern of more people voting for the gnats in Holyrood elections than in UK elections by a big margin and also there has been the massive benefit of FPTP which has regularly delivered a result out of all proportion to the popular vote, which has produced unrealistic expectations. I think you are right about the gnats taking out the glib-dumbs though I think Labour will gain one of their seats. The rest of the picture is complicated by various factors. One is that the traditional support of the BBC may be on the slide – check out the BBC Alba documentary ‘Domhair’ and give some thought to how that would affect the situation if it were to be broadcast in English on BBC Scotland during peak viewing and you’ll see what I mean. Also, there is the a UK dimension. If it looks like the Tories are going to win, it may well be the gnats who will benefit from then ‘keep the Tories out’ sentiment which has helped Labour so much in the past. The gnats are vulnerable on various issues, but Labour has failed entirely to hit them where they are weakest, which is on personal liberty, though admittedly there would have to be a fairly radical change in Labour policies to reap any real benefit from that. At the same time, Labour is vulnerable on issues as well. Trident replacement has no military value – not a shred – so it’s just a gigantic waste of money quite apart from the moral questions. It is still feasible to undermine the gnats totally by adopting an outright, no-quibbles policy, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

    The referendum campaign…even if the gnats lose, the campaign may well expose a range of weaknesses that may not have been enough to hand the gnats a victory but could help them confirm their general position with the electorate; we should expect the transfer of seabed (even off St. Andrews for pity’s sake) from Scottish to English jurisdiction to come up as a referendum issue that cannot be defended.simply because it is indefensible – same applies to the suppression of McCrone.

    I don’t think the gnats will get a majority of the seats, but as things stand they will do for the glib-dumbs (is n’t that sad….) and they are very likely to make serious, though not critical, gains from Labour, including a few that superficially look like fairly safe seats…Glenrothes and Govan for example…but have very poor candidates.

    it’s not all bleak – the GE campaign will not feature Johann Lamont or Jackie Baillie very much and that will help, OTH it will feature Jim Murphy, Margaret Curran and Alistair Darling .which will not.Equally, if it looks like Labour will win the GE outright with gains in England and Wales that will undermine the ‘keep out the Tories by voting Labour’ mantra which has been so advantageous in other GEs. Even so, I don’t think the Scottish result will be that bad for Labour directly. I very much doubt that the gnats will become the biggest Scottish party, but I also think the glib-dumbs are going to be battered much more than even they expect. Unless they adopt some radical and popular policies (such as scrapping Trident and/or tapping in to the 3 million or more dope-smokers or abolishing sectarian education or the house of lords) I think they will be very lucky to end up with 20 seats, whereas the gnats will pretty surely pick up about 8 from the glib-dumbs and a fair whack from Labour and might well end up with 2 dozen seats. Obviously that will not be enough to change the independence picture, but it would be an issue for Commons number-crunching especially if the result is very close – which it may well be.

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  • All well and good, but I wonder how many of these constituencies have actually nominated and have in place Labour PPC’s?

    My constituency is Gloucester and there’s currently little sign of any movement towards settling a candidate in which is, to me at least, a bloody disaster. We lost a strong constituency Labour MP at the last election to an archtypal foppish Old Etonian, Richard Graham, who was in place within the city and being lauded by local Tory activists from not just from the Gloucester business community, but as far afield as west Oxfordshire years ahead of the last election.

    He has, however, turned out to be just as useless as a constituency MP as was expected, but the point is he had a very long time to bed in, while we are still, apparently, unable to formally appoint a PPC until the boundary commission has completed whatever it’s planning to do.
    To have a chance of swinging Graham’s relatively small majority the work needs to have started already, and not waiting for something remote to bloody happen – get on with it, for goodness sake…

  • happyfeet48

    Hastings includes Rye which may explain Tory win. But we in Hastings (and St. Leonards) live in hope next time round!

  • Michael Eddy

    shame Camborne / Redruth isn’t on there – Labour seat until 2005, worth a try surely? Please don’t let George Eustice continue as an MP!!!

  • Why are they not going for all the Liberal seats in Scotland? They are up for grabs except the northern isles

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  • Very surprised to see on the list that the Libdem seats are spread out…I thought in regards to Labour’s outright hatred towards the LD’s, all 57 of their seats would be on Labour’s target list.

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  • rem

    I’m surprised Hampstead and Kilburn isn’t on here. The seat is currently held by Labour but only by a majority of 42 so could easily swing to Tory’s if not enough attention is given

    • Fugstar

      The Labour PPC for kilburn seat is the scion of a Bangladsh’s ruling party dynasty, backed to the hilt by the establishment, and is running against an Ex-Islamist turned deradicaliser and a Tory that nobody knows

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  • althejazz

    Here in West Somerset, the Labour Party has always come second to the tories with the fib-dems third. The combined vote of both is always greater that that of the tories so if we can get the dumbclucks who voted fib-dem last time to transfer their votes to Labour we could rid of our utterly useless MP. I will point out that this constituency (Bridgwater & West Somerset) is not even on the list of winnable seats. I do know that a number of Labour voters transferred their votes to the fib-dems iin the general election before last in the hope of unseating the tory but I can’t see them doing that again, given the fiasco since 2010. We have a great candidate and it would be a triumph to see him in parliament helping to undo some of the damage that the current incumbent has help to foist upon us. It would help if Tony Blair was taken out of the equation by expelling him from the party for bringing it into disrepute as many see him as tory in all but name.

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