General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 18: Surrey

27 Apr 2015 at 23:07

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

SURREY

Seats: 11
Current Political Makeup: Con 11
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 11

1. East Surrey

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31007 (56.7%)
Labour: 4925 (9%)
Lib Dem: 14133 (25.9%)
UKIP: 3770 (6.9%)
Independent: 383 (0.7%)
Others: 422 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 16874 (30.9%)

Sitting MP: Sam Gyimah
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

2. Epsom & Ewell

2010 Result:
Conservative: 30868 (56.2%)
Labour: 6538 (11.9%)
Lib Dem: 14734 (26.8%)
UKIP: 2549 (4.6%)
Others: 266 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 16134 (29.4%)

Sitting MP: Chris Grayling (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

3. Esher & Walton

2010 Result:
Conservative: 32134 (58.9%)
Labour: 5829 (10.7%)
Lib Dem: 13541 (24.8%)
UKIP: 1783 (3.3%)
English Dem: 307 (0.6%)
Independent: 378 (0.7%)
Others: 571 (1%)
MAJORITY: 18593 (34.1%)

Sitting MP: Dominic Raab (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

4. Guildford

2010 Result:
Conservative: 29618 (53.3%)
Labour: 2812 (5.1%)
Lib Dem: 21836 (39.3%)
UKIP: 1021 (1.8%)
Others: 280 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 7782 (14%)

Sitting MP: Anne Milton (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Former LibDem seat, Anne Milton has turned this into a safe Tory seat and her majority will increase to more than 10,000 in 2015.

5. Mole Valley

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31263 (57.5%)
Labour: 3804 (7%)
Lib Dem: 15610 (28.7%)
Green: 895 (1.6%)
UKIP: 2752 (5.1%)
MAJORITY: 15653 (28.8%)

Sitting MP: Sir Paul Beresford (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

6. Reigate

2010 Result:
Conservative: 26688 (53.4%)
Labour: 5672 (11.3%)
Lib Dem: 13097 (26.2%)
BNP: 1345 (2.7%)
Green: 1087 (2.2%)
UKIP: 2089 (4.2%)
MAJORITY: 13591 (27.2%)

Sitting MP: Crispin Blunt (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Crispin Blunt has had a troubled time here of late with a deselection attempt souring his relationship with his constituency association. His public ‘coming’ out did not sit well with some of his local members. However, he is likely to increase his majority due to crumbling LibDem support.

7. Runneymede & Weybridge

2010 Result:
Conservative: 26915 (55.9%)
Labour: 6446 (13.4%)
Lib Dem: 10406 (21.6%)
Green: 696 (1.4%)
UKIP: 3146 (6.5%)
Independent: 541 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 16509 (34.3%)

Sitting MP: Philip Hammond (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

8. South West Surrey

2010 Result:
Conservative: 33605 (58.7%)
Labour: 3419 (6%)
Lib Dem: 17287 (30.2%)
BNP: 644 (1.1%)
Green: 690 (1.2%)
UKIP: 1486 (2.6%)
Others: 128 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 16318 (28.5%)

Sitting MP: Jeremy Hunt (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

This seat has always been a LibDem target but first Virginia Bottomley, and now Jeremy Hunt, have seen them off. Their vote declined substantially in 2010 and it’s only going to go one way now.

9. Spelthorne

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22261 (47.1%)
Labour: 7789 (16.5%)
Lib Dem: 12242 (25.9%)
UKIP: 4009 (8.5%)
TUSC: 176 (0.4%)
Independent: 314 (0.7%)
Others: 513 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 10019 (21.2%)

Sitting MP: Kwasi Kwarteng (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat

10. Surrey Heath

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31326 (57.6%)
Labour: 5552 (10.2%)
Lib Dem: 14037 (25.8%)
UKIP: 3432 (6.3%)
MAJORITY: 17289 (31.8%)

Sitting MP: Michael Gove (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

11. Woking

2010 Result:
Conservative: 26551 (50.3%)
Labour: 4246 (8%)
Lib Dem: 19744 (37.4%)
UKIP: 1997 (3.8%)
Others: 248 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 6807 (12.9%)

Sitting MP: Jonathan Lord (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Huge LibDem vote here, which will inevitably reduce, which in turn should mean a bigger majority for Jonathan Lord.

If you’d like to see the rest of my seat by seat predictions, click HERE

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 17: Gloucestershire

27 Apr 2015 at 22:55

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

Seats: 6
Current Political Makeup: Con 5, LibDem 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 3, Lab 2, LibDem 1
Final Prediction: Con 4, Lab 1, LibDem 1

1. Cheltenham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21739 (41.2%)
Labour: 2703 (5.1%)
Lib Dem: 26659 (50.5%)
UKIP: 1192 (2.3%)
Others: 493 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 4920 (9.3%)

Sitting MP: Martin Horwood (LibDem)
Prediction LibDem hold

A Liberal Democrat seat since 1992, this is one which the Conservatives had expected to take back in both 2005 and 2010, but it wasn’t to be. The Labour vote has been squeezed to just 5%. Martin Horwood is extremely popular and will have built up a high personal vote. On a catastrophic night for the LibDems it’s easy to see Cheltenham falling, but not otherwise.

2. Forest of Dean

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22853 (46.9%)
Labour: 11789 (24.2%)
Lib Dem: 10676 (21.9%)
Green: 923 (1.9%)
UKIP: 2522 (5.2%)
MAJORITY: 11064 (22.7%)

Sitting MP: Mark Harper (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Bearing in mind this seat has a large Tory majority it’s astonishing to think that it was a Labour seat in 1997 and 2001. Harper will win again, but with a reduced majority.

3. Gloucester

2010 Result:
Conservative: 20267 (39.9%)
Labour: 17847 (35.2%)
Lib Dem: 9767 (19.2%)
Green: 511 (1%)
UKIP: 1808 (3.6%)
English Dem: 564 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 2420 (4.8%)

Sitting MP: Richard Graham (Con)
Prediction: Labour gain
Updated Prediction: Conservative hold

*A Labour seat between 1997 and 2010 if this isn’t more or less a dead cert Labour gain, I don’t know what is, assuming Ed Miliband is anywhere close to taking power. UPDATE: Well the latest Ashcroft poll in this seat puts the Conservatives four points ahead. This is by no means decisive, but it is a sign that Labour aren’t doing as well here as they should be.

4. Stroud

2010 Result:
Conservative: 23679 (40.8%)
Labour: 22380 (38.6%)
Lib Dem: 8955 (15.4%)
Green: 1542 (2.7%)
UKIP: 1301 (2.2%)
Independent: 116 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 1299 (2.2%)

Sitting MP: Neil Carmichael (Con)
Prediction: Labour gain

I know from personal experience that Neil Carmichael has made the constituency his priority, but it’s doubtful one term is enough to have built up enough of a personal vote to combat the march of Miliband. The former Labour MP for the area David Drew is standing again, which presumably makes Neil Carmichael’s task all the harder. Has to be a definite Labour gain if Miliband is to make it to Number 10.

5. Tewkesbury

2010 Result:
Conservative: 25472 (47.2%)
Labour: 6253 (11.6%)
Lib Dem: 19162 (35.5%)
Green: 525 (1%)
UKIP: 2230 (4.1%)
Others: 319 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 6310 (11.7%)

Sitting MP: Laurence Robertson (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Safe seat. Probably an increased majority if the LibDem vote peels away to Labour.

6. The Cotswolds

2010 Result:
Conservative: 29075 (53%)
Labour: 5886 (10.7%)
Lib Dem: 16211 (29.6%)
Green: 940 (1.7%)
UKIP: 2292 (4.2%)
Independent: 428 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 12864 (23.5%)

Sitting MP: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Same as Tewkesbury.

If you’d like to see the rest of my seat by seat predictions, click HERE

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 16: Dorset

27 Apr 2015 at 22:44

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

DORSET

Seats: 8
Current Political Makeup: Con 7, LibDem 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 8
Final Predicton: Unchanged

1. Bournemouth East

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21320 (48.4%)
Labour: 5836 (13.3%)
Lib Dem: 13592 (30.9%)
UKIP: 3027 (6.9%)
Independent: 249 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 7728 (17.6%)

Sitting MP: Tobias Ellwood (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Safe seat.

2. Bournemouth West

2010 Result:
Conservative: 18808 (45.1%)
Labour: 6171 (14.8%)
Lib Dem: 13225 (31.7%)
UKIP: 2999 (7.2%)
Independent: 456 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 5583 (13.4%)

Sitting MP: Conor Burns (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

The LibDem vote may be stronger here than elsewhere but I expect Conor Burns to increase his majority.

3. Christchurch

2010 Result:
Conservative: 27888 (56.4%)
Labour: 4849 (9.8%)
Lib Dem: 12478 (25.3%)
UKIP: 4201 (8.5%)
MAJORITY: 15410 (31.2%)

Sitting MP: Christopher Chope (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Safe seat. Lots of LibDem votes to be attacked by both Conservative and Labour here. Hence an increased majority.

4. Mid Dorset & North Poole

2010 Result:
Conservative: 20831 (44.5%)
Labour: 2748 (5.9%)
Lib Dem: 21100 (45.1%)
UKIP: 2109 (4.5%)
MAJORITY: 269 (0.6%)

Sitting MP: Annette Brooke (LibDem)
Prediction: Conservative gain

Any chance the LibDems had of retaining this seat came with the news that Annette Brooke is retiring. It would take a minor miracle for them to retain it.

5. North Dorset

2010 Result:
Conservative: 27640 (51.1%)
Labour: 2910 (5.4%)
Lib Dem: 20015 (37%)
Green: 546 (1%)
UKIP: 2812 (5.2%)
Others: 218 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 7625 (14.1%)

Sitting MP: Robert Walter (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative

Robert Walter is retiring (he is one of the most Europhile of Conservative MPs), but the Tory majority is likely to increase as the LibDem vote crumbles to other parties.

6. Poole

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22532 (47.5%)
Labour: 6041 (12.7%)
Lib Dem: 14991 (31.6%)
BNP: 1188 (2.5%)
UKIP: 2507 (5.3%)
Independent: 177 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 7541 (15.9%)

Sitting MP: Robert Syms (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.Possible increased majority for Robert Syms.

7. South Dorset

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22667 (45.1%)
Labour: 15224 (30.3%)
Lib Dem: 9557 (19%)
Green: 595 (1.2%)
UKIP: 2034 (4%)
Others: 233 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 7443 (14.8%)

Sitting MP: Richard Drax (Con)
Prediction: Narrow Conservative hold

This is an unpredictable seat. It had been a Tory seat in the 1980s and 90s but went Labour in 2001. Drax won it back in 2010 with a healthy majority. Labour has some hope of winning here and may well do so if UKIP eat into the Tory vote and not their own, and the LibDem vote goes to Labour. But there are a lot of ‘ifs’ there. Drax was a form opponent of gay marriage, saying it would undermine the sanctity of marriage. Drax is a great fan of marriages. He has had three of them.

8. West Dorset

2010 Result:
Conservative: 27287 (47.6%)
Labour: 3815 (6.7%)
Lib Dem: 23364 (40.7%)
Green: 675 (1.2%)
UKIP: 2196 (3.8%)
MAJORITY: 3923 (6.8%)

Sitting MP: Oliver Letwin (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

The LibDems have had this seat on their hit list for the last four elections but they have never been able to break through. Letwin got his biggest majority since 1992 in 2010 and the only conceivable result in 2015 is an increased Tory majority.

If you’d like to see the rest of my seat by seat predictions, click HERE

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 15: Wiltshire

27 Apr 2015 at 22:33

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

WILTSHIRE

Seats: 7
Current Political Makeup: Con 6, LibDem 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 6, Lab 1
Final Prediction: Con 7

1. Chippenham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21500 (41%)
Labour: 3620 (6.9%)
Lib Dem: 23970 (45.8%)
BNP: 641 (1.2%)
Green: 446 (0.9%)
UKIP: 1783 (3.4%)
English Dem: 307 (0.6%)
Christian: 118 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 2470 (4.7%)

Sitting MP: Duncan Hames (LibDem)
Prediction: Conservative gain

Although is majority isn’t big, Duncan Hames has dug himself in since winning the seat in 2010 and will be difficult to shift. But the Tory candidate Michelle Donelan is a good campaigner. Yet again, her success depends on warding off UKIP and encouraging LibDems to vote Labour.

2. Devizes

2010 Result:
Conservative: 25519 (55.1%)
Labour: 4711 (10.2%)
Lib Dem: 12514 (27%)
Green: 813 (1.8%)
UKIP: 2076 (4.5%)
Independent: 566 (1.2%)
Others: 141 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 13005 (28.1%)

Sitting MP: Claire Perry (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

3. North Swindon

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22408 (44.6%)
Labour: 15348 (30.5%)
Lib Dem: 8668 (17.2%)
BNP: 1542 (3.1%)
Green: 487 (1%)
UKIP: 1842 (3.7%)
MAJORITY: 7060 (14%)

Sitting MP: Justin Tomlinson (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

The Swindon seats are traditionally bellweather seats. Boundary changes before the last election certainly aided a Tory win and may continue to protect Justin Tomlinson here. It’s worth pointing out he got the biggest swing in the South-West in 2005 (cutting the Lab majority from 8,500 to 2,500) and then again in 2010 (winning with a 7,060 majority). In the recent local elections the Tories made gains off Labour in North Swindon (but slipped back in South). Six of the 10 wards were also record results and the Tories have won two Council by-elections with stonking majorities in what were marginal seats. Local election results are not necessarily good guides as to what a general election may portent, but I predict Tomlinson will hold his seat but only very narrowly. If Ed Miliband is heading for Number 10 he will need to prove me wrong in seats like this.

4. North Wiltshire

2010 Result:
Conservative: 25114 (51.6%)
Labour: 3239 (6.7%)
Lib Dem: 17631 (36.2%)
Green: 599 (1.2%)
UKIP: 1908 (3.9%)
Independent: 208 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 7483 (15.4%)

Sitting MP: James Gray (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Safe seat and a lot of LibDem votes to go elsewhere.

5. Salisbury

2010 Result:
Conservative: 23859 (49.2%)
Labour: 3690 (7.6%)
Lib Dem: 17893 (36.9%)
BNP: 765 (1.6%)
Green: 506 (1%)
UKIP: 1392 (2.9%)
Independent: 257 (0.5%)
Others: 119 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 5966 (12.3%

Sitting MP: John Glen (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

The LibDems have always held hopes of taking Salisbury, even back in the 1980s and 1990s. But it’s never quite happened. It won’t happen in May either but i expect them to retain more of their vote here than in other seats where they are a good second.

6. South Swindon

2010 Result:
Conservative: 19687 (41.8%)
Labour: 16143 (34.3%)
Lib Dem: 8305 (17.6%)
Green: 619 (1.3%)
UKIP: 2029 (4.3%)
Christian: 176 (0.4%)
Independent: 160 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 3544 (7.5%)

Sitting MP: Robert Buckland (Con)
Prediction: Narrow Labour gain
Final Prediction: Conservative hold

Very difficult one to predict and anythings could happen here, but on balance I feel Labour may well just snatch it. UPDATE: I’ve changed my mind on this one. An Ashcroft poll produced a dead heat in March. What might determine the result is Robert Buckland’s ability to squeeze the UKIP vote.

7. South West Wiltshire

2010 Result:
Conservative: 25321 (51.7%)
Labour: 5613 (11.5%)
Lib Dem: 14954 (30.5%)
UKIP: 2684 (5.5%)
Independent: 446 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 10367 (21.1%)

Sitting MP: Andrew Murrison (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

To see previous predictions, click HERE

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 14: Hampshire (Part 2)

27 Apr 2015 at 22:24

in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

HAMPSHIRE (Part 2)

You can see Hampshire Part 1 HERE

Seats: 10
Current Political Makeup: Con 7, Lab 2, LibDem 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 8, Lab 2
Final Prediction: Unchanged

9. New Forest East

2010 Result:
Conservative: 26443 (52.8%)
Labour: 4915 (9.8%)
Lib Dem: 15136 (30.3%)
Green: 1024 (2%)
UKIP: 2518 (5%)
MAJORITY: 11307 (22.6%)

Sitting MP: Julian Lewis (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Safe seat.

10. New Forest West

2010 Result:
Conservative: 27980 (58.8%)
Labour: 4666 (9.8%)
Lib Dem: 11084 (23.3%)
Green: 1059 (2.2%)
UKIP: 2783 (5.9%)
MAJORITY: 16896 (35.5%)

Sitting MP: Desmond Swayne (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Safe seat.

11. North East Hampshire

2010 Result:
Conservative: 32075 (60.6%)
Labour: 5173 (9.8%)
Lib Dem: 13478 (25.5%)
UKIP: 2213 (4.2%)
MAJORITY: 18597 (35.1%)

Sitting MP: Sir James Arbuthnot (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Sir James Arbuthnot is standing down and his successor Ranil Jaywardena should maintain if not increase the Tory majority here.

12. North West Hampshire

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31072 (58.3%)
Labour: 6980 (13.1%)
Lib Dem: 12489 (23.4%)
UKIP: 2751 (5.2%)
MAJORITY: 18583 (34.9%)

Sitting MP: Sir George Young (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Safe seat. Sir George Young is standing down and replaced by Kit Malthouse.

13. Portsmouth North

2010 Result:
Conservative: 19533 (44.3%)
Labour: 12244 (27.8%)
Lib Dem: 8874 (20.1%)
Green: 461 (1%)
UKIP: 1812 (4.1%)
English Dem: 1040 (2.4%)
TUSC: 154 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 7289 (16.5%)

Sitting MP: Penny Mordaunt (Con)
Prediction: Probably Conservative hold

A Labour seat during the Blair/Brown years, Labour has high hopes of retaking this, but overturning this size of majority will take some doing. Even if the LibDems lost half the vote they have built up since 1997 it would still leave Mordaunt with a majority, assuming she can hold on to her vote. She will be hoping the LibDem vote goes at least in part to the Greens. I expect a Tory majority of 1-3,000 here.

14. Portsmouth South

2010 Result:
Conservative: 13721 (33.3%)
Labour: 5640 (13.7%)
Lib Dem: 18921 (45.9%)
BNP: 873 (2.1%)
Green: 716 (1.7%)
UKIP: 876 (2.1%)
English Dem: 400 (1%)
Others: 117 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 5200 (12.6%)

Sitting MP: Mike Hancock (LibDem)
Prediction: Conservative gain

This seat is now a genuine three way marginal. The LibDems are confident of retaining it despite the Hancock scandal. His successor is the former LibDem leader of the local council. That is a double edged sword as council leaders generally have a lot of enemies.This seat has never had a huge LibDem majority since it was won by Mike Hancock in 1997. It’s always ranged between three and six thousand. It’s difficult to assess the impact of the groping scandal, but on top of their national woes, it could be that the Tories win back what was once for them a safe seat. Hancock has failed to squeeze the Labour vote as much as some of his colleagues, and not so long ago they managed a healthy 25%. If they return to those levels the Tories will win, unless Labour do incredibly well nationally. In that case a Labour gain isn’t out of the question.

15. Romsey & Southampton North

2010 Result:
Conservative: 24345 (49.7%)
Labour: 3116 (6.4%)
Lib Dem: 20189 (41.3%)
UKIP: 1289 (2.6%)
MAJORITY: 4156 (8.5%)

Sitting MP: Caroline Nokes (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

This was a LibDem seat from 2001 to 2010 but it’s unlikely to revert to the LibDems in May. Expect Caroline Nokes to increase her majority.

16. Southampton Itchen

2010 Result:
Conservative: 16134 (36.3%)
Labour: 16326 (36.8%)
Lib Dem: 9256 (20.8%)
Green: 600 (1.4%)
UKIP: 1928 (4.3%)
TUSC: 168 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 192 (0.4%)

Sitting MP: John Denham (Lab)
Prediction: Increased Labour majority

John Denham held onto this seat by his fingertips. The Labour vote has been on the decline here since 1997 and it may be that there is some kind of demographic change going on. If the Tories are to win a majority they need to win seats like this. Labour have en enthusiastic candidate in Rowenna Davis, but she has no connections to the area and the Tory candidate Royston Smith, a former leader of Southampton Council will no doubt be forever pointing this out.

17. Southampton Test

2010 Result:
Conservative: 14588 (33%)
Labour: 17001 (38.5%)
Lib Dem: 9865 (22.3%)
Green: 881 (2%)
UKIP: 1726 (3.9%)
Independent: 126 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 2413 (5.5%)

Sitting MP: Alan Whitehead (Lab)
Prediction: Labour hold

This seat was held by the Tories up until 1997, but has been relatively solidly Labour ever since. However, as in Itchen, its vote has been on the decline and Labour will be a little worried about losing it if the Tories do better than expected in May. The Tory candidate is a local councillor and a good campaigner. One to watch on election night.

18. Winchester

2010 Result:
Conservative: 27155 (48.5%)
Labour: 3051 (5.5%)
Lib Dem: 24107 (43.1%)
UKIP: 1139 (2%)
English Dem: 503 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 3048 (5.4%)

Sitting MP: Steve Brine (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

This was partly Mark Oaten’s seat. The LibDems were disappointed not to hold onto this seat in 2010 but it would be no surprise to anyone if Steve Brine’s majority doubled or trebled in May, assuming a large part of the LibDem vote shifts to Labour.

19. Isle of Wight

2010 Result:
Conservative: 32810 (46.7%)
Labour: 8169 (11.6%)
Lib Dem: 22283 (31.7%)
BNP: 1457 (2.1%)
Green: 931 (1.3%)
UKIP: 2435 (3.5%)
English Dem: 1233 (1.8%)
Independent: 175 (0.2%)
Others: 771 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 10527 (15%)

Sitting MP: Andrew Turner (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Has been a LibDem seat in the past, but they have little chance or no chance of winning it back in 2015.

To see previous predictions. click HERE

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 13: Hampshire (Part 1)

27 Apr 2015 at 15:01

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

HAMPSHIRE (Part 1)

Seats: 8
Current Political Makeup: Con 7, LibDem 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 8
*Final Prediction:

1. Aldershot

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21203 (46.7%)
Labour: 5489 (12.1%)
Lib Dem: 15617 (34.4%)
UKIP: 2041 (4.5%)
Christian: 231 (0.5%)
Others: 803 (1.8%)
MAJORITY: 5586 (12.3%)

Sitting MP: Sir Gerald Howarth
Prediction: Conservative hold

Had the LibDems not been in coalition they might have made some headway here. Expect Sir Gerald’s majority to double.

2. Basingstoke

2010 Result:
Conservative: 25590 (50.5%)
Labour: 10327 (20.4%)
Lib Dem: 12414 (24.5%)
UKIP: 2076 (4.1%)
Others: 247 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 13176 (26%)

Sitting MP: Maria Miller (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Labour came within a whisker of winning Basingstoke in 2001, and Maria Miller’s expenses experience won’t have helped her. But boundary changes have helped make this a safe Tory seat now, even though Miller’s expenses scandal may mean a reduced majority.

3. East Hampshire

2010 Result:
Conservative: 29137 (56.8%)
Labour: 4043 (7.9%)
Lib Dem: 15640 (30.5%)
UKIP: 1477 (2.9%)
English Dem: 710 (1.4%)
Others: 310 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 13497 (26.3%)

Sitting MP: Damian Hinds (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Safe seat.

4. Eastleigh

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21102 (39.3%)
Labour: 5153 (9.6%)
Lib Dem: 24966 (46.5%)
UKIP: 1933 (3.6%)
English Dem: 249 (0.5%)
Independent: 154 (0.3%)
Others: 93 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 3864 (7.2%)

2013 BY ELECTION Result:
Conservative: 10,559 (25.4%)
Labour: 3088 (9.8%)
Lib Dem: 13,342 (32.1%)
UKIP: 11,571 (27.8%)
Others: 2,194 (4.8%)
MAJORITY: 1,771 (4.3%)

Sitting MP: Mike Thornton (LibDem)
Prediction: Conservative gain
Final Prediction: LibDem hold

The Conservatives thought they would win this seat back at each of the last two general elections, but each time Chris Huhne pulled through. At the by-election they came third, with UKIP almost pipping the rather monochrome Mike Thornton. It’s highly unlikely UKIP’s vote will hold up so the outcome of this seat may depend on where UKIP’s voters put their cross. If enough of them return to the Conservative fold, it could be enough to see the Conservative home. Having said that, the LibDems remain strong in local government and have a good infrastructure there. This could prove to be the difference, but on balance I think their national woes may count against Thornton holding the seat. I realise I may be in the minority in making this particular prediction. UPDATE: I had thought Diane James was standing here for UKIP, but that’s not the case. In addition, feedback from those who are more in the know than I am suggest that the LibDems will be OK here. I’m still not wholly convinced, but we’ll see.

5. Fareham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 30037 (55.3%)
Labour: 7719 (14.2%)
Lib Dem: 12945 (23.8%)
Green: 791 (1.5%)
UKIP: 2235 (4.1%)
English Dem: 618 (1.1%)
MAJORITY: 17092 (31.5%)

Sitting MP: Mark Hoban (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

6. Gosport

2010 Result:
Conservative: 24300 (51.8%)
Labour: 7944 (16.9%)
Lib Dem: 9887 (21.1%)
BNP: 1004 (2.1%)
Green: 573 (1.2%)
UKIP: 1496 (3.2%)
English Dem: 622 (1.3%)
Independent: 493 (1.1%)
Others: 620 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 14413 (30.7%)

Sitting MP: Caroline Dinenage (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

7. Havant

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22433 (51.1%)
Labour: 7777 (17.7%)
Lib Dem: 10273 (23.4%)
UKIP: 2611 (5.9%)
English Dem: 809 (1.8%)
MAJORITY: 12160 (27.7%)

Sitting MP: David Willetts (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

David Willetts is standing down, but his successor, Alan Mak, will have little trouble in holding this seat.

8. Meon Valley

2010 Result:
Conservative: 28818 (56.2%)
Labour: 3266 (6.4%)
Lib Dem: 16693 (32.6%)
UKIP: 1490 (2.9%)
English Dem: 582 (1.1%)
Independent: 134 (0.3%)
Others: 255 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 12125 (23.7%)

Sitting MP: George Hollingbery (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe seat.

To see my predictions for areas, click HERE

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 12: Buckinghamshire

27 Apr 2015 at 14:48

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

Seats: 7
Current Political Makeup: Con 6, Speaker 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 5, Labour 1, Speaker 1
Final Prediction: Unchanged

1. Aylesbury

2010 Result:
Conservative: 27736 (52.2%)
Labour: 6695 (12.6%)
Lib Dem: 15118 (28.4%)
UKIP: 3613 (6.8%)
MAJORITY: 12618 (23.7%)

Sitting MP: David Lidington (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Easy win for David Lidington.

2. Beaconsfield

2010 Result:
Conservative: 32053 (61.1%)
Labour: 6135 (11.7%)
Lib Dem: 10271 (19.6%)
Green: 768 (1.5%)
UKIP: 2597 (4.9%)
Independent: 191 (0.4%)
Others: 475 (0.9%)
MAJORITY: 21782 (41.5%)

Sitting MP: Dominic Grieve (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

With 61% of the vote it’s safe to say Dominic Grieve can be confident of victory!

3. Buckingham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 0 (0%)
Labour: 0 (0%)
Lib Dem: 0 (0%)
BNP: 980 (2%)
UKIP: 8401 (17.4%)
Speaker: 22860 (47.3%)
Christian: 369 (0.8%)
Independent: 10331 (21.4%)
Others: 5394 (11.2%)
MAJORITY: 12529 (25.9%)

Sitting MP: John Bercow (Speaker)
Prediction: Bercow to win

No comment needed.

4. Chesham & Amersham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31658 (60.4%)
Labour: 2942 (5.6%)
Lib Dem: 14948 (28.5%)
Green: 767 (1.5%)
UKIP: 2129 (4.1%)
MAJORITY: 16710 (31.9%)

Sitting MP: Cheryl Gillan (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Another 60% vote share. This might reduce, although the fracturing of the LibDem vote should see Cheryl Gillan increase her majority.

5. Milton Keynes North
2010 Result:
Conservative: 23419 (43.5%)
Labour: 14458 (26.8%)
Lib Dem: 11894 (22.1%)
BNP: 1154 (2.1%)
Green: 733 (1.4%)
UKIP: 1772 (3.3%)
Independent: 95 (0.2%)
Others: 363 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 8961 (16.6%)

Sitting MP: Mark Lancaster (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

A Labour seat in 1997 and 2005, the boundaries were redrawn for 2010 and although a Labour gain is possible, it is far from probable. The LibDem vote would need to halve and all those votes would need to go to Labour? Unlikely? I’d have thought so.

6. Milton Keynes South

2010 Result:
Conservative: 23034 (41.6%)
Labour: 17833 (32.2%)
Lib Dem: 9787 (17.7%)
BNP: 1502 (2.7%)
Green: 774 (1.4%)
UKIP: 2074 (3.7%)
Others: 329 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 5201 (9.4%)

Sitting MP: Iain Stewart (Con)
Prediction: Narrow Labour gain

Very difficult to call, but it was a Labour seat for 13 years under Blair and Brown and there is a substantial LibDem vote for Labour to win over. I think they may well just do it. UPDATE The latest Ashcroft poll only puts Labour ahead by two points, which is statistically insignificant. The result here will be a good sign of how other more affluent Tory/Lab marginals might go.

7. Wycombe

2010 Result:
Conservative: 23423 (48.6%)
Labour: 8326 (17.3%)
Lib Dem: 13863 (28.8%)
UKIP: 2123 (4.4%)
Independent: 228 (0.5%)
Others: 188 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 9560 (19.9%)

Sitting MP: Steve Baker (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

The Tory majority here has increased at each of the last three general elections but some demographic changes might suggest this trend may go into reverse in 2015. I’m not suggesting that the seat is at risk of being lose by the Tories, but they would do well to court the increasing Asian vote here.

To see the complete list of predictions click HERE

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 10: West Sussex

27 Apr 2015 at 13:51

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

WEST SUSSEX

Seats: 8
Current Political Makeup: Con 8
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 8
FInal Prediction: No Change

1. Arundel & South Downs

2010 Result:
Conservative: 32333 (57.8%)
Labour: 4835 (8.6%)
Lib Dem: 15642 (27.9%)
UKIP: 3172 (5.7%)
MAJORITY: 16691 (29.8%)

Sitting MP: Nick Herbert (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Nick Herbert already has a huge majority. It’s likely to get bigger.

2. Bognor Regis & Littlehampton

2010 Result:
Conservative: 24087 (51.4%)
Labour: 6580 (14%)
Lib Dem: 11024 (23.5%)
BNP: 1890 (4%)
UKIP: 3036 (6.5%)
Independent: 235 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 13063 (27.9%)

Sitting MP: Nick Gibb (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

Safe seat. Another increased Tory majority is likely here.

3. Chichester

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31427 (55.3%)
Labour: 5937 (10.5%)
Lib Dem: 15550 (27.4%)
UKIP: 3873 (6.8%)
MAJORITY: 15877 (28%)

Sitting MP: Andrew Tyrie (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Yet another increased Tory majority is likely here.

4. Crawley

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21264 (44.8%)
Labour: 15336 (32.3%)
Lib Dem: 6844 (14.4%)
BNP: 1672 (3.5%)
Green: 598 (1.3%)
UKIP: 1382 (2.9%)
Independent: 143 (0.3%)
Others: 265 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 5928 (12.5%)

Sitting MP: Henry Smith (Con)
Prediction: Narrow Conservative hold

Genuinely difficult to call. Labour throughout the Blair years, Crawley moved decisively towards the Tories in 2010, although the swing here wasn’t as large as the North Kent seats.

5. East Worthing & Shoreham

Conservative: 23458 (48.5%)
Labour: 8087 (16.7%)
Lib Dem: 12353 (25.5%)
Green: 1126 (2.3%)
UKIP: 2984 (6.2%)
English Dem: 389 (0.8%)
MAJORITY: 11105 (22.9%)

Sitting MP: Tim Loughton (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Tim Loughton is safe as houses here.

6. Horsham

2010 Result:
Conservative: 29447 (52.7%)
Labour: 4189 (7.5%)
Lib Dem: 17987 (32.2%)
Green: 570 (1%)
UKIP: 2839 (5.1%)
Christian: 469 (0.8%)
Independent: 87 (0.2%)
Others: 253 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 11460 (20.5%)

Sitting MP: Francis Maude (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Usual story. Collapsing LibDem vote to Labour leads to bigger Tory majority.

7. Mid Sussex

2010 Result:
Conservative: 29447 (52.7%)
Labour: 4189 (7.5%)
Lib Dem: 17987 (32.2%)
Green: 570 (1%)
UKIP: 2839 (5.1%)
Christian: 469 (0.8%)
Independent: 87 (0.2%)
Others: 253 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 11460 (20.5%)

Sitting MP: Sir Nicholas Soames (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Ditto above.

8. Worthing West

2010 Result:
Conservative: 25416 (51.7%)
Labour: 5800 (11.8%)
Lib Dem: 13687 (27.9%)
Green: 996 (2%)
UKIP: 2924 (6%)
Christian: 300 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 11729 (23.9%)

Sitting MP: Sir Peter Bottomley (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

To see the complete list of predictions click HERE

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale Clashes With Jim in Eltham

During a phone in on gay marriage Jim is rather anti. But he says he is not homophobic. Never let it be said. Let the fireworks begin.

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 10: East Sussex

27 Apr 2015 at 12:11

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

EAST SUSSEX

Seats: 8
Current Political Makeup: Con 5, LibDem 2, Green 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 3, Lab 3, LibDem 1, Green 1
*Final Prediction: Con 2, Lab 3, LibDem 2, Green 1

1. Bexhill & Battle

2010 Result:
Conservative: 28147 (51.6%)
Labour: 6524 (12%)
Lib Dem: 15267 (28%)
BNP: 1950 (3.6%)
Others: 2699 (4.9%)
MAJORITY: 12880 (23.6%)

Sitting MP: Greg Barker (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Safe as houses, and with the LibDem vote crumbling to Labour, the Tory majority should increase here.

2. Brighton Kemptown

2010 Result:
Conservative: 16217 (38%)
Labour: 14889 (34.9%)
Lib Dem: 7691 (18%)
Green: 2330 (5.5%)
UKIP: 1384 (3.2%)
TUSC: 194 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 1328 (3.1%)

Sitting MP: Simon Kirby (Con)
Prediction: Probable Labour gain

Simon Kirby defied predictions and took this seat in 2010. He’s unlikely to hold it despite performing well as a constituency MP. The Green council’s record may well mean some of the Green vote goes to Labour and at least a good proportion of the LibDem vote is likely head in the same direction. If Labour don’t win this seat, it will be symptomatic that they are in for a terrible evening. A good majority, on the other hand will be an indication that Ed Miliband is heading for Downing Street.

3. Brighton Pavilion

2010 Result:
Conservative: 12275 (23.7%)
Labour: 14986 (28.9%)
Lib Dem: 7159 (13.8%)
Green: 16238 (31.3%)
UKIP: 948 (1.8%)
Others: 228 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 1252 (2.4%)

Sitting MP: Caroline Lucas (Green)
Prediction: Narrow Green hold

They don’t come much more hardworking than Caroline Lucas, and if work rate counted for anything she’d waltz home in 2015. However, the disastrous record of the Green controlled council in Brighton may scupper her chances of holding the seat. This is an incredibly difficult seat to call. Opinion is split on whether Lucas will not only hold the seat but increase her majority or whether Labour could squeak it. There’s a LibDem vote to squeeze and the Greens may be able to do this more easily than Labour, and there are also several areas of the constituency where UKIP are said to making inroads into the Labour vote. I’ve called this for Labour, but it’s not a prediction I’d bet any money on. UPDATE 15/1/14 I’ve changed my mind on this bearing in mind the Green surge. However, it really is still too close to make a confident prediction.

4. Eastbourne

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21223 (40.7%)
Labour: 2497 (4.8%)
Lib Dem: 24658 (47.3%)
BNP: 939 (1.8%)
UKIP: 1305 (2.5%)
Independent: 1327 (2.5%)
Others: 175 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 3435 (6.6%)

Sitting MP: Stephen Lloyd (LibDem)
Prediction: Probable Conservative gain
Final Prediction: LibDem hold

Won in 2010 from Nigel Waterson, Stephen Lloyd may hang on, but I’d expect the Labour vote to at least double at the expense of the LibDems, so yet again, a lot depends on how many votes the Tories lose to UKIP. Lloyd has been a hardworking MP but rather preposterously resigned as a government PPS as his constituency didn’t get enough ‘pork’ in the autumn statement. UPDATE: Since I predicted this I have had a lot of representations from people who reckon I’ve got this wrong. In addition, I had missed the Ashcroft poll which had put the LibDems way ahead 47-25. So when the facts change, I change my mind.

5. Hastings & Rye

2010 Result:
Conservative: 20468 (41.1%)
Labour: 18475 (37.1%)
Lib Dem: 7825 (15.7%)
BNP: 1310 (2.6%)
UKIP: 1397 (2.8%)
English Dem: 339 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 1993 (4%)

Sitting MP: Amber Rudd (Con)
Prediction: Labour gain

Amber Rudd has been a vocal MP and is now a DECC minister. This was a Labour seat under Blair and Brown and it would be a brave punter who bet any money against it returning to the Labour fold. If it doesn’t, Labour needs to prepare for a very dark election night indeed.

6. Hove

2010 Result:
Conservative: 18294 (36.7%)
Labour: 16426 (33%)
Lib Dem: 11240 (22.6%)
Green: 2568 (5.2%)
UKIP: 1206 (2.4%)
Independent: 85 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 1868 (3.7%)

Sitting MP: Mike Weatherley (Con)
Prediction: Labour gain

The Tories’ best hope of retaining this seat was if Mike Weatherley re-fought it but he’s decided to retire after only one term. The reason I expect Labour to gain it is because I think they will sweep up a good proportion of the existing LibDem vote.

7. Lewes

2010 Result:
Conservative: 18401 (36.7%)
Labour: 2508 (5%)
Lib Dem: 26048 (52%)
BNP: 594 (1.2%)
Green: 729 (1.5%)
UKIP: 1728 (3.4%)
Independent: 80 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 7647 (15.3%)

Sitting MP: Norman Baker (LibDem)
Prediction: Narrow LibDem hold

2010 was a high watermark for the LibDems in this once very safe Tory seat. The Tories are putting a lot of effort into unseating Norman Baker but it’s rather out of control. It all depends on how much of his vote seeps to Labour. Like Stephen Lloyd in Eastbourne and Norman Lamb in North Norfolk, Norman Baker has squeezed the Labour vote to virtually nothing. His continued success depends almost entirely whether he can supress it enough on 7 May to pull through. UPDATE: An Ashcroft poll shows Norman Baker’s vote has dipped sharply from 52% in 2010 to 37%. Sadly for the Tories, their vote has shattered to UKIP and they can only muster 28%. If they can get the UKIP vote back to some extent, this could be more marginal than it may look.

8. Wealden

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31090 (56.6%)
Labour: 5266 (9.6%)
Lib Dem: 13911 (25.3%)
Green: 1383 (2.5%)
UKIP: 3319 (6%)
MAJORITY: 17179 (31.3%)

Sitting MP: Charles Hendry (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

The decline in the LibDem vote should mean an increased majority for Nusrat Ghani, the new Tory candidate chosen to succeed Charles Hendry.

To see the complete list of predictions click HERE

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Simon Callow & Jane Ridley

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General Election Predictions

Final General Election Predictions 9: Kent (Part 2)

27 Apr 2015 at 12:04

Back in January I predicted the outcome of the General Election, seat by seat. Since then, I have done more research and altered some of the predictions taking into account various issues including new updated constituency polls by Lord Ashcroft. Over the next ten days I will be revisiting each county and region giving my final predictions. I’d still welcome feedback, even at this late stage.

KENT (Part 2)
This is the second half of my Kent predictions. Read the first part HERE

Seats: 8
Current Political Makeup: Con 7, UKIP 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 7, UKIP 1

10. Maidstone & The Weald

2010 Result:
Conservative: 23491 (48%)
Labour: 4769 (9.7%)
Lib Dem: 17602 (36%)
Green: 655 (1.3%)
UKIP: 1637 (3.3%)
Christian: 131 (0.3%)
Others: 643 (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 5889 (12%)

Sitting MP: Helen Grant (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

As in Folkestone & Hythe, the LibDems have always had high hopes in this seat. Ann Widdecombe kept them at bay even though they have consistently done well in local elections. In parliamentary elections in this seat they’ve never managed to break through. If they couldn’t do it in 2010 it’s difficult to see how they will now. Having said that, they have a hard working candidate in Jasper Gerard and Widdecombe’s successor Helen Grant is said to be unpopular with her local party as well as being a rather invisible sports minister. Despite that, it would be unbelievable if she contrived to lose this seat. The truth is that if this seat behaves like others, her majority could actually increase.

11. Rochester & Strood

2010 Result:
Conservative: 23604 (49.2%)
Labour: 13651 (28.5%)
Lib Dem: 7800 (16.3%)
Green: 734 (1.5%)
English Dem: 2182 (4.5%)
MAJORITY: 9953 (20.7%)

BY ELECTION NOV 2014
UKIP: 16,867 (42.1%)
Conservative: 13,947 (34.8%)
Labour 6,713: (16.8%)
Green 1,692: (4.2%)
LibDem 349: (0.9%
Others 497: (1.3%)
MAJORITY: 2,920 (7.3%)

Sitting MP: Mark Reckless (UKIP)
Prediction: Conservative gain

It was a fantastic achievement for UKIP to win this seat in the by-election. The question is, can they retain it at the general election? This depends on a number of factors, not least whether the voters UKIP took from Labour will return to their natural home. If they do, Mark Reckless is stuffed. Much may depend on turnout too. A high turnout will help Reckless. The Conservatives will put in a lot of effort into this seat and if they win it back the cheers will be heard far beyond Rochester or Strood. My guess is that there will be a lot of cheering.

12. North Thanet

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22826 (52.7%)
Labour: 9298 (21.5%)
Lib Dem: 8400 (19.4%)
UKIP: 2819 (6.5%)
MAJORITY: 13528 (31.2%)

Sitting MP: Sir Roger Gale (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

Safe as safe can be, with a split opposition. Even a north Kent UKIP surge is unlikely to affect the result in any serious way.

13. Sevenoaks

2010 Result:
Conservative: 28076 (56.8%)
Labour: 6541 (13.2%)
Lib Dem: 10561 (21.4%)
BNP: 1384 (2.8%)
UKIP: 1782 (3.6%)
English Dem: 806 (1.6%)
Independent: 258 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 17515 (35.4%)

Sitting MP: Michael Fallon (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

An increased majority for Michael Fallon, methinks.

14. Sittingbourne & Sheppey

2010 Result:
Conservative: 24313 (50%)
Labour: 11930 (24.6%)
Lib Dem: 7943 (16.4%)
BNP: 1305 (2.7%)
UKIP: 2610 (5.4%)
Independent: 158 (0.3%)
Others: 319 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 12383 (25.5%)

Sitting MP: Gordon Henderson (Con)
Prediction: Conservative hold

A Labour seat throughout the Blair/Brown years, Gordon Henderson won it in 2010 with a massive swing, akin to those in neighbouring seats. I can’t see any of these Medway and North Kent seats returning to the Labour fold unless Ed Miliband wins a substantial majority throughout the country.

15. South Thanet

2010 Result:
Conservative: 22043 (48%)
Labour: 14426 (31.4%)
Lib Dem: 6935 (15.1%)
UKIP: 2529 (5.5%)
MAJORITY: 7617 (16.6%)

Sitting MP: Laura Sandys (Con)
Prediction: UKIP gain

Laura Sandys is standing down after only one term. People interpreted this move as being ‘frit’ by Nigel Farage’s UKIP candidacy. Not true. However, as a popular local MP, it’s certainly not helped the Conservative cause. She has been replaced by Craig Mackinlay, a former UKIP deputy leader, but better known for his failure to beat the hapless Ann Barnes in the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner election. Constituency polling, which is notoriously unreliable, puts Nigel Farage behind, but the UKIP campaigning machine will be deployed. The question is whether the candidate, Nigel Farage himself, is able to put in the time needed to win the seat. He’ll have to. Even then, victory won’t be assured. This is the seat that every single media organisation will be represented at on election night. It has the potential to change the very nature of British politics. No one can be sure what will happen here, and I openly admit that my prediction is based on nothing more than thirty years of observing these things and my own political instinct. And that’s been wrong before, as those who heard me threatening to run down Whitehall naked if the LibDems got 57 seats in 2010 will testify to!

16. Tonbridge & Malling

2010 Result:
Conservative: 29723 (57.9%)
Labour: 6476 (12.6%)
Lib Dem: 11545 (22.5%)
Green: 764 (1.5%)
UKIP: 1911 (3.7%)
English Dem: 390 (0.8%)
Others: 505 (1%)
MAJORITY: 18178 (35.4%)

Sitting MP: Sir John Stanley (Con)
Prediction: Definite Conservative hold

One of the safest seats in the country. And this won’t be changed by the fact that Sir John Stanley is standing down.

17. Tunbridge Wells

2010 Result:
Conservative: 28302 (56.2%)
Labour: 5448 (10.8%)
Lib Dem: 12726 (25.3%)
BNP: 704 (1.4%)
Green: 914 (1.8%)
UKIP: 2054 (4.1%)
Independent: 172 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 15576 (31%)

Sitting MP: Greg Clark (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

A decline in the LibDem vote should see Greg Clark home with a majority of not far short of 20,000. This is assuming UKIP don’t filch votes from the Tories. They had made a breakthrough here on the local council, but the 2014 results were a disappointment for Nigel Farage.

To see the complete list of predictions click HERE

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Iain interviews Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Author of The Pike

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