Would a Progressive Alliance Defeat the Tories

There’s a lot of talk about a progressive alliance and its ability to defeat the Conservatives, well at least in my timelines, so I decided to take the last election results and see if there’s actually any truth in such an assertion.

There are 650 seats, of which the Conservatives have 363, Labour 199, SNP 45 and the Liberal Democrats 12 with the remaining 31 seats shared amongst a smattering of minor parties except for one seat which is reserved for the speaker currently the Chorley constituency which the major parties don’t contest so if you live in Chorley you’re effectively disenfranchised.

But as far as voting in Parliament is concerned the make up is a little different the Speaker Lindsay Hoyle formerly a labour MP but now an independent and his three deputies,  Eleanor Lang (Conservative), Rosie Winterton (Labour) and  Nigel Evans  (Conservative) don’t vote.  This means the Tories have two less actual votes and Labour one less.

Added to those non-voting MPs is the seven Sinn Féin’s MPs who reject British political institutions and do not take up their seats in the House of Commons.

This brings the total of voting MPs to 639 which means a party needs 320 MPs to have a secure majority. So with 361 voting MPs and 278 voting opposition MPs, the Conservatives have an effective majority of 83.

In tables I-III below I’ve analysed the votes that each of the Progressive Alliance would gain if the coalition parties withdrew and their voters all voted for the remaining party, something I suspect is unlikely but let’s run with it as a best-case scenario and see what happens.  Table I looks at the seats Labour would need to take from the Tories for a majority of just one, Table II looks at the Liberal Democrats top 45 target seats and Table III looks at the SNP target seats. There’s really nothing for Plaid Cymru or the Greens other than the prospect of electoral reform.

As we can see from the tables even in the best case scenario the voting parliament would look like this:

Conservative 307 down from 361, Labour 231 up from 198, SNP 50 up from 45 and Liberal Democrats 28 up from 12. I’ve left the remaining parties unchanged this would mean the opposition voting MPs would total 332 enough to deny the Conservatives a majority.

So a Progressive Alliance could deny the Conservatives a majority, but not command a majority the Conservatives would remain by far the largest party and the Progressive Alliance parties would at best have a total of 312 voting MPs eight short of a majority.

Johnson’s brand of populism has given the Conservatives a commanding majority one that’s going to be difficult to overturn.

TABLE I

Rank Constituency Tory Majority Maximum Tactical Votes for Labour Maximum Tactical Votes for Tories Tory Majority Labour Majority
1 Bury North 105 2,386 1,240 1,041
2 Kensington 150 9,847 384 9,313
3 Bury South 402 4,529 1,672 2,455
4 Bolton North East 378 2,536 1,880 278
5 High Peak 590 3,898 1,177 2,131
6 Gedling 679 3,376 1,820 877
7 Heywood and Middleton 663 3,293 3,952 1,322
8 Blyth Valley 712 3,297 3,394 809
9 Stoke-on-Trent Central 670 1,935 1,691 426
10 Chipping Barnet 1,212 7,220 6,008
11 Delyn 865 3,752 1,971 916
12 Durham North West 1,144 4,004 3,193 333
13 Chingford and Woodford Green 1,262 2,744 1,482
15 Bridgend 1,157 5,196 1,811 2,228
16 Dewsbury 1,561 3,466 1,874 31
17 Warrington South 2,010 5,732 1,635 2,087
18 Clwyd South 1,239 3,633 1,468 926
19 Burnley 1,352 4,240 3,362 474
20 Birmingham Northfield 1,640 2,915 1,909 634
21 Wolverhampton South West 1,661 2,041 1,028 648
22 Leigh 1,965 2,252 3,609 3,322
23 Keighley 2,218 3240 850 172
24 West Bromwich East 1,593 1,940 1,475 1,128
25 Vale of Clwyd 1,827 3,023 1,477 281
26 Ynys Mon* 1,968 10,418 2,184 6,266
27 Peterborough 2,580 3,062 2,127 1,645
28 Derby North 2,540 5,131 1,908 683
29 Stroud 3,840 4,954 1,652 538
30 Wrexham 2,131 4,043 1,222 690
31 Aberconwy 2,034 4,525 2,491
32 Pudsey 3,517 4,826 1,309
33 Vale of Glamorgan 3,562 10,527 1,765 5,200
35 Lincoln 3,514 3,921 1.079 672
36 Hyndburn 2,951 2,071 2,156 3,036
37 Hastings and Rye 4,043 3,960 83
38 Wakefield 3,358 2,590 2,725 3,493
40 Darlington 3,294 3,154 1,544 1,684
41 Watford 4,433 9,323 4,890
42 Hendon 4,230 5,549 1,319
43 Wycombe 4,214 7,997 324 3,459
44 Turo and Falmouth 4,561 9,277 4716
45 Don Valley 3,630 3,602 6,247 6,275
46 Reading West 4,117 5,723 1,606
47 Colne Valley 5,103 5,431 1,498 1,170
48 Southport 4,147 6,499 2,352
49 Redcar 3,527 2,509 2,915 3,933
50 Southampton Itchen 4,498 3,543 472 1,427
52 Stockton South 5,260 2,338 2,196 5,118
53 Broxtowe 5,331 6,474 432 711
55 Calder Valley 5,774 3,605 2,169
56 Milton Keynes North 6,255 6,922 667
57 Workington 4,176 2,121 1,749 3,804
58 Norwich North 4,738 3,741 488 1,485
59 Filton and Bradley Stoke 5,646 6,555 257 652
60 Milton Keynes South 6,944 6,183 207 968
61 Sedgefield 4,513 2,949 3,518 5,082
62 West Bromwich West 3,799 1,579 1,841 4,061
63 Ipswich 5,479 3,722 1,432 3,189
64 Altrincham and Sale West 6,139 8.,056 1,917
65 Blackpool South 3,690 1,571 2,009 4,128
66 Northampton South 4,697 3,704 993
67 Bolsover 5,299 2,517 4,151 6,933
68 Shipley 6,242 5,372 870
71 Wolverhampton North East 4,080 1,563 1,354 3,871
72 Preseli Pembrokeshire 5,062 9,413 906 3,445
73 Barrow and Furness 5,789 2,728 1,355 4,416
74 Rushcliffe 7,643 9,600 591 1,366
75 Cities of London and Westminster+ 3,953 13,925 125 9,847
76 Rother Valley 6,318 3,722 6,264 8,860
77 Swindon South 6,625 4,299 2,326
79 Loughborough 7,169 5,657 1,512
80 Worcester 6,758 5,360 1,398
82 Copeland 5,842 2,653 3,189
83 Pendle 6,186 2,226 3,960
84 Northampton North 5,507 2,984 2,523
85 Morecambe and Lunesdale 6,354 3,266 3,088
86 Worthing East and Shoreham 7,474 6,133 1,341
89 Penistone and Stocksbridge 7,210 5,054 4,300 6,456
90 Ashfield 7,260 1,779 2,501 7,928
91 Uxbridge and Ruislip South 7,210 4,116 283 3,377
93 Stoke-on-Trent North 6,286 1,776 2,374 6,884
94 Crewe and Nantwich 8,508 3,593 1,539 6,454
96 Harrow East 8,170 3,791 4,379
97 Newcastle-under-Lyme 7,446 3,294 1,921 6,073
98 Crawley 8,360 4,179 4,181
99 Clwyd West 6,747 6,144 603
101 Corby 10,268 3,923 6,345
102 Scunthorpe 6,451 1,5645 2,044 6,950
103 Camborne and Redruth 8,700 5,539 3,161
104 Colchester 9,423 8.962 461
105 Bishop Auckland 7,962 2,133 2,500 8,329
106 Bournemouth East 8,806 7,477 1,329
107 Stevenage 8,562 5,589 2,973
108 Bolton West 8,855 3,643 5,212
109 York Outer 9,985 9,992 7
110 Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire South  7,745 5,493 2,252
113 Shrewsbury and Atcham 11,217 7,668 3,549
114 Gloucester 10,277 5,723 4,554
115 Carlisle 8,319 2,829 1,045 6,535
116 Rossendale and Darwen 9,522 3.204 6,318
117 Finchley and Golders Green ^ 10,815 17,600 6,785
118 Monmouth 9,982 7,444 2,538
119 Macclesfield 10,711 7,994 2,717
121 Scarborough and Whitby 10,270 4,808 5,462
122 Croydon South 12,339 9,285 442 3,496
123 South Ribble 11,199 4,927 6,272
125 Welwyn Hatfield 10,955 8,220 2,735
128 Morley and Outwood 11,267 4,349 6.918
129 Erewash 10,606 3,602 7,004
131 Thanet South 10,587 4,676 5,911
132 Bournemouth West 10,150 7,027 3,123
133 Blackpool North and Cleveleys 8,596 2,229 6,367
134 Great Grimsby 7,331 1,584 2,378 8,125
136 Kingswood 11,220 5,110 6,110
137 Hexham 10,549 6,395 4,154
140 Bromley and Chislehurst 10,891 8,286 255 2,860
142 Thurrock 11,482 2,317 9,165
143 Dover 12,278 4,403 7,875
144 Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East 11,626 3,173 8,453
147 Telford 10,941 2,674 8.267
148 Basingstoke 14,198 8,979 5,219
150 Somerset North East 14,729 13,845 884
151 Derbyshire North East 12,876 4,299 8,577
152 Rugby 13,447 5,741 7,696
153 Rochford and Southend East 12,286 3,929 8,357
154 Chelsea and Fulham~ 12,473 12,104 369
155 Banbury 16,813 11,483 5,375
157 Worthing West 14,823 8,032 6.791
158 Wimbeldon± 7,830 19,745 11,915
159 Bassetlaw 14,013 3,332 5,366 16,047
160 Stafford 14,377 5,542 8,835
161 Beckenham 14,258 10,249 4,009

*  Ynys Mon ranked 26 the difference between Labour and Plaid Cymru is just 573 votes so Plaid Cymru stepping aside isn’t quite so clear cut.

+ This seat is incorrectly listed as a target Labour seat the Liberal Democrats actually came second 3,953 short of Tories.

^ Labour came third to Liberal Democrats.

~ Labour came third to Liberal Democrats.

± Labour came third to Liberal Democrats.

This mean that for a majority the Labour party would need to take its 161st target seat

TABLE II

Rank Constituency Tory Majority Maximum Tactical Votes for Lib Dems Maximum Tactical Votes for Tories Tory Majority Lib Dem Majority
2 Wimbeldon 628 12,543 11,915
4 Carshalton and Wallington 629 6,840 1,243 4,968
5 Cheltenham 981 2,921 1,940
6 Winchester 985 2,723 292 1,446
7 Cheadle 2,336 6,851 4,515
8 Cambridgeshire South 2,904 7,803 4,899
9 Esher and Walton 2,743 2,890 147
10 Lewes 2,457 4,659 2,202
11 Guildford 3,337 4,998 4,356 2,695
12 Eastbourne 4,331 3,848 1,530 2,013
13 St Ives 4,280 4,831 551
14 Cities of London and Westminster 3,953 12,453 125 8,375
15 Hazel Grove 4,423 5,508 1,085
16 Hitchin and Harpenden 6,895 10,060 268 2,897
17 Finchley and Golders Green 6,562 13,347 6,785
18 Wokingham 7,383 7,912 529
19 Surrey South West 8,817 4,775 4,342
20 Wells 9,991 4,304 5,687
21 Sutton and Cheam 8,351 8,368 17
22 Harrogate and Knaresborough 9,675 6,688 2,987
24 Cambridgeshire South East 11,490 10,492 998
26 Woking 9,767 10,312 600 55
27 Taunton Deane 11,700 4,715 6,985
28 Wantage 12,653 10,181 2,472
29 Chippenham 11,288 6,399 4,889
31 Mole Valley 12,041 4,839 7,202
32 Romsey and Southampton North 10,872 5,898 640 5,614
33 Dorset West 14,106 7,853 6,253
34 Thornbury and Yate 12,369 4,208 8,161
36 Henley 14,053 8,434 5,619
37 Chelsea and Fulham 11,241 11,372 131
38 Totnes 12,724 8,860 3,864
39 Witney 15,177 8,770 6,407
41 Eastleigh 15,607 9,198 6,409
42 Devon North 14,813 6,856 7,957
43 Newbury 16,047 6,858 9,189
44 Tunbridge  Wells 14,645 8,098 6,547
45 Yeovil 16,181 5,576 10,605

There’s no chance of the Liberal Democrats winning so I went to their 45th target seat which has a similar swing to Labour’s 161st target seat which would give Labour a majority of one.

TABLE III

Rank Constituency Tory  Majority Maximum Tactical Votes for SNP Maximum Tactical Votes  for Tories Tory Majority SNP Majority
2 Moray 513 4,701 413 3,775
3 Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine 843 8,684 7,841
5 Dumfries and Galloway 1,805 7,878 6,073
7 Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale 3,781 7,712 3,931
8 Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 5,148 6,800 1,652
9 Banff and Buchan 4,118 4,014 104

For seat rankings, I used Election Polling’s battleground target seats which can be found at http://www.electionpolling.co.uk/battleground#Targets.

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