Labour now has all 10 of the safest seats in UK, House of Commons analysis reveals

Briefing from the House of Commons Library also shows 60 potential seats Jeremy Corbyn's party needs to win at next election

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 10 August 2017 17:38
Comments
Labour Party Autumn Conference on September 29, 2015 in Brighton, England.
Labour Party Autumn Conference on September 29, 2015 in Brighton, England.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party now has the 10 of safest seats in the UK, according to a new House of Commons analysis of marginal constituencies.

The briefing shows that the SNP, weakened by the general election, now hold four of the top 10 most marginal seats - with North East Fife having the smallest majority recorded since 1918, amounting to just two votes.

The briefing adds that the number of very safe seats – those won by a margin of over 50 per cent – increased by 21 in 2015 to 37 in June’s election. Labour have all of the top 28.

Liverpool Walton, the former seat of the now Mayor of Liverpool Steve Rotherham, retains its title held in the previous two elections as the safest seat in the UK and is closely followed by five other seats in the North West, including Knowsley, Bootle and Manchester Gorton.

Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, has the 10th most safest seat in the UK after increasing her majority at the election 11,000 despite an onslaught of negative press attention.

The first safest seat for the Conservatives is 37th in the analysis, belonging to Christopher Chope in in the constituency of Christchurch. This is closely followed by another Tory seat – South Holland and Deepings – in 39th position.

The most marginal seat in the England is now Kensington which Labour narrowly won from the Conservatives by 20 votes – or 0.1 per cent. In one of the biggest upsets of the election, Conservative Victoria Borwick saw her majority of over 7,000 overturned in the wealthy central London seat.

The Conservatives most marginal seat is now in the Southampton Itchen constituency, followed by Richmond Park, which Zac Goldsmith narrowly won back in June by 45 from the Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney, who was an MP for just six months.

The analysis adds that four of the 10 most marginal seats are now in Scotland, with North East Fife first – making the country a key battleground at the next election. At the general election Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP beat the Liberal Democrat’s by just two votes in the constituency. The second most marginal is Perth and North Perthshire, held again by the SNP by just 21 votes.

If Labour expects to win the next election – scheduled for 2022 – then the party needs to gain at least 64 seats. The briefing by the House of Commons Library lists 60 potential future targets for Mr Corbyn’s party, including Southport, Crawley, Putney, Copeland, Carlisle and Bolton West.

The Labour leader has already embarked on a whirlwind tour, expecting to visit half of these target seats during the remainder of the parliamentary recess, as he makes the party election-ready if Theresa May’s administration collapses.

For the Conservatives to regain their small majority won by David Cameron in 2015 then it should be expecting to win back the now-marginal seats of Canterbury, Kensington and Peterborough. For a greater majority – one anticipated by Ms May when she called the election – then serious gains need to be made in areas such a Stoke-on-Trent Central, Cardiff North, Blackpool South and Darlington.

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