Opinion Pieces

Izzy Stars’ 2017 General Election Prediction (UK)

I’m going to try, before the 2017 election, to predict the outcome of all the seats in the UK general election because I’m a huge political hound (as well as being an entertainment fan and history lover) and have been campaigning a lot throughout this election. If I can, I will deliver a prediction for every seat in the UK, I’m not holding myself to that yet, but I’ll certainly deliver a prediction for the seats I know most about. We’ll start from the bottom of the UK and work our way upwards.

Final update: I have petered out at the Midlands. Too many seats that I know absolutely nothing about and I’m just starting to make blind guesses. Expect good knowledge from the bottom of the UK, nothing about anything beyond that. I’m not even going to try Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland in depth, I will only give base seat predictions based on a quick eye over their seats and the margins. Basically for Northern England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland, I wouldn’t trust my predictions that much. However, at the bottom I will give my overall prediction.

So, CORNWALL. Six constituencies and currently all blue but a good history of Lib Dem representation making it more marginal than most solidly blue counties. I predict most of them will stay that way but St Ives, with a majority of just 2000 and the target of some major local campaigning will go back to Andrew George. In the meantime, Truro (where Lab/Lib will be split), Camborne (for Labour), St Austell and North Cornwall (both for Lib Dems) will all be a lot closer run or have an increased Labour/Lib Dem share, but won’t overturn the Tories in any of them. The 6th seat, South East Cornwall, will stay solidly Tory, although with Sheryll Murray’s controversy, she’ll have her majority cut a little. Conservative: 5, Lib Dem: 1

DEVON. All blue aside from Exeter, where Ben Bradshaw for Labour will probably hold, his local team is fantastic. I don’t expect any of the rural constituencies to change away from Conservative, although the three where Lib Dems were 2nd in 2015, North Devon, Torbay and Newton Abbot are worth watching for close runs and North Devon having a long-standing Lib Dem could switch on a good night, but Plymouth is more interesting, both constituencies there are fairly close and could go to Labour potentially. I’m going to say one of them will (hard to say which, Mercer is further ahead but had an investigation against him, but Colvile has one of the most marginal Conservative constituencies going, but it’d be a good night for Labour if they got both) but the rest will not. Conservative: 10, Labour: 2

SOMERSET. All Conservative again (this is a really depressing notable pattern for the South West). Only 5 constituencies, confusingly not including Rees-Mogg’s seat of North East Somerset, that’s in Avon for Parliamentary purposes. It was once solidly Lib Dem but I doubt that’ll be the case this time, certainly not Bridgewater & West Somerset. Taunton Deane and Somerton Froome will also probably be Tory. As will Wells, though that may be a bit closer. The only one in question at all is probably Yeovil, once Paddy Ashdown’s seat and probably the seat with the strongest residual Liberal presence. Still don’t think it’ll switch though. Conservative: 5

DORSET. Very easy, all Conservative seats with 10k + majorities, I don’t think they’ll have any problems with romping home here, the only seat that’s been inhabited by a non-Tory recently was the Lib Dem seat of Mid Dorset and North Poole that was only ever a narrow win for them when they were more popular. Conservative: 8

AVON. An interesting place as it has Bristol, an unusual city for voting at the best of times, just look at Bristol West which had a top 3 of Labour, Greens and Lib Dems with right wing parties nowhere to be seen and a solidly remain beacon in the south west. I think the three Bristol seats will stay Labour though, while the fourth, Bristol North will stay Conservative due to the lack of a UKIP candidate. If the Lib Dems were more popular, I’d say Bath, the second-most marginal place here, would be lost to them but it’ll stay Con. The five ‘provincials’ of Kingswood, Filton, NE Somerset, Weston-Super-Mare and N Somerset will be fine as Tory, while Thornbury and Yate, the most marginal, may give a scare but will remain Tory. Basically no changes, I’m good at this, aren’t I? Conservative: 8 Labour: 3

HAMPSHIRE. 18 and all bar Southampton Test currently Tory. I feel that one will fall to the Tories while the other Southampton Itchen, will go back to Labour. Portsmouth South and Eastleigh have a solid history of Lib Dem and they could be run close but that does depend on how well LDs recover locally, hard to say at this moment, but one of them could go. The rest will all be safe Conservative romps home. Conservative: 16 Labour: 1 Lib Dem: 1

ISLE OF WIGHT stays Tory. Conservatives: 1

SURREY. Do I need to bother with those 18k + majorities? Conservative: 11

WEST SUSSEX. 8 for this Home County, all unsurprisingly Tory. It contains my favourite constituency name for a stereotypical Conservative stronghold, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, which is actually the second most marginal in this county with ‘merely’ a 13k lead. That and the other six below it are without question Tory returns, particularly as most have currently UKIP in second place. The one slightly interesting seat is Crawley. Safe Labour at the turn of the century, it turned marginal and then Tory. I don’t think it’s likely to turn back but it’ll probably remain interesting. Conservative: 8

EAST SUSSEX. Much less safe for the Tories than its western sibling, but that’s largely because it contains Brighton. The outer constituencies of Wealden and Bexhill & Battle are still very safe Tory holds, I know, because my grandparents live out there, as do yours. For Brighton, Hove will have a tough time not falling to the Tories but should scrape through, while Brighton Kemptown will be just marginal enough to get a Labour shift. Eastbourne to remain Tory while Lewes will switch to Lib Dem based on that place voting Remain with a Brexit-favouring MP. Meanwhile the most safe seat in Brighton will remain Green as Caroline Lucas has a virtually unopposed run to continue being the sole MP of her party. Finally, Amber Rudd in Hastings and Rye is a high-profile figure and I expect her to remain fine but the UKIP vote, her lacklustre stand-in appearance at the debate and a recent controversy from her Hustings will put this surprisingly marginal seat for a high profile Tory MP closer than she’d like. Conservative: 5 Green: 1 Labour: 2 Lib Dem: 1

KENT. A fully Tory county since 2010, South Thanet is the only ‘marginal’ and that’s because of the anomaly of Nigel Farage standing there in 2015. Because of Craig Mackinlay’s national shaming, that could be a Tory loss but unless the diminishing UKIP support swings behind Labour (an unlikely situation at the best of times), I think he’s unlikely to be punished in the end. The Labour gains in Kent in the mid-00s were never strong wins and they’re unlikely to do anything here in the rest of the seats, with the most likely close calls Gravesham and Rochester and Strood. 17 straight Tory victories. Conservatives: 17

ESSEX. A fully Tory county again, with the exception of Clacton, which is going to be a fun one to predict. Carswell having gone from Conservatives to UKIP to an independent in the space of a few years, he is now stepping down. What’s most likely however is that the Conservatives are waiting to pounce and take it back into the fold, with the UKIP collapse, that vote was nearly all for Carswell himself. The other marginal is Thurrock, which had a sub-1000 majority for Doyle-Price with a strong UKIP vote. She backed Remain which may put the Conservatives and UKIP at loggerheads to make it a close run thing again (as is normal with that place, it’s often changed hands and sometimes against popular opinion) but enough UKIP voters will head back to the Conservatives or not vote for it not to matter. Colchester is also interesting, long-time MP Bob Russell is standing again after losing it in 2015, he could be on course to gain it but has 5000 to make up. Everywhere else should be a pretty safe Tory hold. Conservative: 18

LONDON. The big one, and a very interesting set of 73 constituencies, that should be fairly strong for Labour, although with a good amount of Tory leaning constituencies as well. Let’s start with the safest eleven, all in the central North East and all Labour, with Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn’s haunts of Hackney and Islington North among them. All will stay Labour no doubt with majorities of over 20,000, it would be a really horrendous night if any of those flipped. Safe Conservative seats at the fringes are also safely going to stay the way they are, like Orpington. Going down the list, there’s then more central Labour, including shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer safe in Holborn, an exception to the Conservative fringe with a safe seat for them in Chelsea and Fulham (not really surprisingly even though I know little enough about London), technically the safest ‘urban’ Conservative seat in the country. More Labour then again with highlights including John McDonnell defending a majority of 13000 in Hayes and the same for Chuka Umunna in Streatham. The far north-east, pretty much Wessex sees a couple of Conservative seats with UKIP in second place, again, no flip. The first couple of interesting seats come from Kate Hoey in Vauxhall for Labour and Emily Thornberry in Islington South. Thornberry has had a few shaky moments but it should be enough to see her returned with not that much opposition. Meanwhile, more notably, Hoey is a Labour politician who doesn’t really act like one and has been endorsed by UKIP for wanting out of the EU. In a 77% Remain place, this could see her downfall in favour of the Liberal Democrat candidate but there’s still a lot to overcome for it to go that far.

Beyond this, Boris is defending a majority of 10k in Uxbridge, which should be fine, same for Justine Greening, Iain Duncan Smith is in Chingford with less than 10,000 but has never been ousted before so I don’t think we’ll be as lucky this time. The first marginal I think that has a real chance of flipping is Dagenham and Rainham, with a strong UKIP and Conservative vote in 2015, Jon Cruddas should be looking over his shoulder and winning the falling purple as hard as he can. Sutton, Kingston and Twickenham held on pretty well for Lib Dem votes as Con-Lib marginals so any could go back to the Lib Dems, while Bermondsey could see Simon Hughes reinstated, I think Vince Cable is certainly very likely with perhaps one of the others. Eltham could be a loss for Labour if they’re not careful but I think they’ll hold on. The two remaining Lib Dem seats, one is Tom Brake who may suffer a close run thing but will probably increase his share, but Zac Goldsmith could stand a chance of getting back in to government after a few months, dislodging Sarah Olney and giving her a very short parliamentary career. The last 6 seats are naturally hard to call, all with majorities of under 1,200. The Greens have withdrawn in Brentford which will let that stay Labour, I see Ilford North and Enfield North returning to the Conservatives, Croydon as the narrowest will fall to Labour, while I want to say the Bengali duo of Tulip Siddiq and Rupa Huq will both hold on in Ealing Central and Hampstead but I could see one or even both of them falling.

Final tally: Conservatives: 29 Labour: 41 Lib Dem: 3

BERKSHIRE. Currently Conservative fully except for Slough, including the seat of our dear leader in Maidenhead. I would say that nothing changes here, even though Reading is a bit more marginal than the rest and may draw closer. Conservative: 7 Labour: 1

WILTSHIRE. All Tory etc. South Swindon is a lot closer than the rest and could be a bit closer run but should remain all blue. Conservative: 7

GLOUCESTERSHIRE. All Conservative now but two seats are of interest. Cheltenham was a fairly safe Lib Dem seat and Martin Horwood is fighting for it back, while the decades long duel between Neil Carmichael and David Drew continues for its latest round in Stroud. I wouldn’t say either will switch but if there’s anything to watch, it’ll be those. Conservatives: 6

OXFORDSHIRE. The red island of Oxford East stands out defiantly but it doesn’t look like any seat is due to change hands, the new boy in Witney should increase his majority away from the by-election and everywhere else is 10,000 ahead or more. Conservatives: 5, Labour: 1

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. The headline is the Speaker, and more otherwise safe blue. Milton Keynes has the closest run thing, its old two seats were closer to Labour but since the boundary changes have returned Tories. I wouldn’t expect them to change but they might cut down the majority. Conservatives: 6, Speaker: 1

HERTFORDSHIRE. Anyone else starting to feel the Middle England fatigue? 9 more safe Tory seats, Stevanage and Watford as towns are slightly more interesting, particularly the former in terms of actually switching, the latter is unusual as being strong for all three of the big parties but will probably stay blue too. Conservatives: 11

BEDFORDSHIRE. I would say Bedford would switch to Labour were it not for the fact that the long-running Labour candidate and former MP is not running this time, an unknown is instead. Luton in the south will remain Labour while the three rural seats are beyond hope. Conservatives: 4 Labour: 2

CAMBRIDGESHIRE. Or just Cambridge, once you disgard the rural Tory seats. Cambridge itself is a really interesting Labour Lib Dem fight and I think it’ll actually fall back to the Liberal ways given Huppert was defeated by just 500 last time. Conservatives: 6 Lib Dem: 1

SUFFOLK. All holds, with Waveney being a bit closer than the average. Ipswich not so. Conservative: 7

NORFOLK. Norman Lamb holds in North Norfolk, Clive Lewis in Norwich South and slightly out there prediction, Great Yarmouth falls to Labour. What can I say, I need something to break this monotony up and a town like Yarmouth might be fertile ground for provincial Corbyn support. Conservatives: 6 Labour: 2 Lib Dem: 1

WORCESTERSHIRE/HEREFORDSHIRE: Erm. Eight Tories. What more do you want me to say? Conservatives: 8

WARWICKSHIRE. Nuneaton was one of the biggest ‘oh shit’ moments of 2015 election night I seem to recall so if Labour are to have a good night then they shall want it back. North Warwickshire is also probably a good call for a close run but I’d say that’s about it. In the end, probably all blue again. Conservatives: 6

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE. I have a friend in South Northamptonshire who I feel quite sorry for suffering under a 26k majority for Andrea Leadsom. Northampton North and South could switch on a good night but they’re not anything that’s being counted on. Corby is close but I don’t think that’ll go anywhere either. Conservatives: 7

LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND. In my dreams Nicky Morgan, as the most marginal Con in Loughborough would get outed but I don’t see that happening. Leicester itself will hold on for Labour, rural places for Tories. Carry on. Conservatives: 7 Labour: 3

WEST MIDLANDS. I think I’m going to predict that a lot of the Labour seats, particularly the close ones, will fall to the Tories. Wolverhampton SW, whose Labour incumbent isn’t standing and previous Conservative incumbent is, seems almost certain to go with its low majority. Birmingham Northfield and Walsall North have long-standing Labour MPs but they were both close at the last election and surely the Tories will be targeting both and the lack of Gisela Stuart will see Edgbaston fall too. At one point during this campaign I heard that seats as safe as Tom Watson’s 9000 majority could be under threat but I don’t think it’ll go that far. In fact I think, from a glance, though I don’t know Birmingham too well, that those 4 will be all that will flip, potentially Jack Dromey’s place as well due to lack of a UKIP candidate and a fairly strong showing for them there in 2015. Conservatives: 12 Labour: 16

SHROPSHIRE. Telford will fall to Labour but the other four, rural seats will remain Conservative rather strongly. Conservatives: 4, Labour: 1 

STAFFORDSHIRE. The Tory seats here are safe and this means that the Tory activists will have been moving into Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme to oust the four Labour MPs daring to sit in such a rural county. A couple of them, Stoke-on-Trent Central and Newcastle I’d say, feel like they’re going to fall. Conservatives: 10 Labour: 2

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE. Conservatives: 3 Labour: 7

LINCOLNSHIRE. Conservatives: 5 Labour: 1 UKIP: 1

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE. Conservatives: 5 Labour: 6

HUMBERSIDE. Conservatives: 7 Labour: 3

CHESHIRE. Conservatives: 6 Labour: 5

DERBYSHIRE. Conservatives: 7 Labour: 4

MERSEYSIDE. Conservatives: 1 Labour: 14 (Lib Dem seat goes blue)

GREATER MANCHESTER. Conservatives: 6 Labour: 21 

SOUTH YORKSHIRE. Labour: 13 Lib Dem: 1

NORTH YORKSHIRE. Conservatives: 7

LANCASHIRE. Conservatives: 10 Labour: 6

CLEVELAND. Conservatives: 2 Labour: 4 

CUMBRIA. Conservatives: 4 Labour: 1 Lib Dem: 1

TYNE AND WEAR. Labour: 12

DURHAM. Conservatives: 1 Labour: 6

NORTHUMBERLAND. Conservatives: 2 Labour: 2

SCOTLAND (sorry for doing all of Scotland as one, blame Wiki not me). Conservatives: 10 (mainly from SNP seats where they or the Lib Dems are the second opposition) Labour: 2 Lib Dem: 2 SNP: 45

NORTHERN IRELAND. (seriously, get someone who knows a thing or two, I don’t, I’m blind guessing and the only serious thing I’m predicting is UU to lose their seats) SF: 5 DUP: 10 SDLP: 3

WALES. Clwyd I’m going for 4 Con, 3 Lab, Dyfed for 1 Con 2 Plaid 2 Lab, Gwent for 6 Lab 1 Con, Gwynedd for 3 Plaid, 2 Con for Powys, 5 Lab 1 Con for Mid Glamorgan, 4 Lab 1 Con for South Glamorgan, and 5 Lab for West Glamorgan, which altogether makes Conservatives: 10 Labour: 21 Plaid Cymru: 5

In my tally I’ve lost 5 seats somewhere and I can’t find them, some rural county here or there I’m sure. I’m going to be fair and give 3 extra to Labour and 2 extra to the Conservatives to balance it out, because although I believe the Conservatives will win with a majority, I don’t think it’ll be quite as emphatic as the tallies I’m showing, giving my final prediction of

Conservatives: 351

Labour: 215

SNP: 45

Liberal Democrats: 13

Others: 26 (incl. NI’s 18)

Personally, I hope I’m wrong and that we’re waking up to a lesser majority or even, in my wildest dreams, a hung parliament or a Labour majority, but this is how I see the country voting right now based on skimming over the seats and checking for local MP scandals and brief constituency profiles. Will probably be more accurate the closer you are to the south, where I am.


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