The fevered political climate in the UK at the moment is all about Brexit and possible second referendums and general elections. Jeremy Corbyn made it clear recently that he wanted a General Election now so that he could take over the Brexit negotiations. With that in mind, I decided to take a look at what Labour’s target seat strategy could look like based on the results of the 2017 general election. What I see at the moment is that Labour has many ways of becoming the largest party in Parliament but the road to a working majority is much harder than people realise due to the Brexit realignment in 2016 and the Nationalist realignment in Scotland in 2015.
I published my thoughts in two twitter threads which are linked below.
- Labour’s road to a majority and the roadblocks they face – in a nutshell strategies that focus on marginals, Tory-Remain seats, young voters, non-voters are all capable of gaining the 30+ seats that Labour needs to be the largest party in parliament. But the 60+ seats that Labour needs to get a working majority requires Labour to make major inroads into either Conservative Leave marginals, Safe Conservative Remain seats or the SNP seats in Scotland and to do that without losing seats they already have. I believe that Corbyn is trying to sit on the fence on Brexit for as long as possible and try to have an election instead of a referendum so that other issues can take centre stage.
- Has Labour taken on board the 2015 disaster in Scotland? – One reason why Labour’s road to a majority is now harder is because they no longer have the solid bank of 30+ seats in Scotland which were swept away in the 2015 Nationalist wave. There is no sign this is going to change soon and so I ask where in England can Labour replace these seats?
If you want to check the data I used to arrive at these thoughts, please download this spreadsheet Labour’s road to a Majority for the first thread and the long term electoral trends report from the House of Commons Research library UK Election Trends 1918-2012 for the second thread.
Please note that my seat level estimates of the Leave vote in 2016 are based my own model and not that of Chris Hanretty. For more information on this model, please see the 2nd of the youtube clips listed in this post.