Sunday, 30 May 2010

Turkey: post-race analysis

Well, that was one hell of a race for one reason: the Red Bull duel that left Vettel out of the race, Webber relegated to third and Hamilton leading home a McLaren 1-2 finish.

Betting-wise, my Button tip at 2.7 came off, but it was pure luck on my part (not that I’m complaining). I misjudged how serious the dirty side of the track is in Turkey, with Vettel passing Hamilton initially and Schumacher passing Button. Something to try and remember for next year.

Before I come to the important part of the race and its implications, a word on the also-rans. It seems to me that Mercedes is now a step ahead of Ferrari, who are not doing anywhere near as well as they should be. In addition, Renault are doing very well indeed.

Also worth mentioning that nobody saw rain coming, and whilst there were a few (inconsequential) spots, it does show that unpredictable events live up to their name.

On lap 41, Webber was leading Vettel, Hamilton and Button. The top 4 were miles clear of 5th-placed Schumacher. Vettel had been gaining on his team mate for several laps, and tried overtaking. I think the move itself was sound, until he was slightly ahead and seemed to suddenly turn right. Webber was, I think, moving gradually in Vettel’s direction, but the German moved suddenly. They collided, Vettel’s race was over and Webber’s car was damaged, necessitating a pit stop that let the McLarens through and put Webber back to 3rd.

In my view, Vettel deserves most of the blame, but Webber was very, very close to him and could have perhaps been a little further off. Still, Vettel’s fault.

In addition, Vettel was quicker than Webber during the race, and (but for reliability failure) would have probably gotten the pole. Given Webber’s had three poles in a row and two victories from the last three races it’s worth remembering Vettel is very quick indeed.

Later we saw the Englishmen show Johnny Foreigner just how to do serious racing. Having been told to conserve fuel, Button decided the best way to do this was to reach the finishing line as quickly as possible. He surprised Hamilton with an excellent pass, but to his great credit the 2008 champion very quickly took top spot back. From then on it was formation flying.

So, Turkey marks the first weekend I got both qualifying and race day right (admittedly due to a huge slice of luck). Hurrah!

Even more importantly, it marks McLaren really getting parity with Red Bull. Ferrari are a bit rubbish and Mercedes are far back, but the Red Bulls and McLarens are in a real tussle for supremacy.

Before I have a go at guessing how the season will pan out, here are the stats on the two title races:

McLaren 172
Red Bull 171
Ferrari 146
Mercedes 100

Webber 93
Button 88
Hamilton 84
Alonso 79
Vettel 78

Worth recalling that the excellent new scoring system gives 25, 18, 15 for the three podium spots, and gives points all the way down to 10th.

Last season we saw just how much development McLaren can achieve over the course of a season. They went from having a dog of a car to a race-winning machine, with Hamilton being the top points scorer in the latter half of the 2009 season. Given the drivers and the state of the teams now, I can only see Red Bull or McLaren, at this stage, picking up titles.

Hamilton is much shorter than Button (3.85 to 9.8). He shouldn’t be. Here’s my thinking: in raw pace terms, Hamilton has a serious challenge from the Red Bull, but when tactics and brain power is required, Button has beaten him both times (the tyre calls which gave Button a pair of victories). If you haven’t backed Button yet, 9 or over are good odds. Hamilton is perhaps a shade short, certainly not value in my book. I wonder if this is a hangover from the pre-season consensus (which I bought into) that Hamilton would just destroy Button.

Webber is 3.65. Not short enough for me to lay him, as yet, but if you backed him at 10 (or thereabouts) as suggested a few races ago you could consider laying him. Vettel’s at 4. I’d back him now, except that the next race, Canada, looks like it might be a McLaren playground. If that is the case, it’d be best to wait until after Canada and then backing Vettel (depending on the state of play, obviously).

I think Button stands a real chance of retaining his title, though it’s by no means certain. I also think the Constructors’ is too close to call (presently Red Bull are favourite, with McLaren 2.5).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the race and didn’t keel over with the shock of being green for both qualifying and race day. The race in Canada takes place in a fortnight.

Morris Dancer

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Turkey: pre-race

A combination of good fortune (Vettel cocking up his last lap) and good sense paid off, with Webber getting yet another pole position. [For those laying, I got 1.5 matched for Webber, and 2.5 for my silly Hamilton bet which meant I finished all square for Hamilton and ahead overall].

Turkey typically sees the pole sitter getting the win, with the notable exception of last year. It will be interesting to see if the McLarens can pass the Red Bulls on the straights during the race.

Also worth mentioning that Alonso is continuing his mission to lose his reputation for consistent excellence by failing to reach Q3 and starting 12th. After the Monaco practice crash and Chinese false start the grumpy Spaniard isn’t looking quite as good as he ought to be.

Forecast for tomorrow is sunny, so no rainy interludes. However, it does raise an interesting point. During either practice or qualifying, I forget which, the commentators suggested that Red Bull’s problems with reliability tend to come up in hotter weather. Turkey’s warm but not crazily hot, and we’ve already seen problems with both cars. A sunny day may exacerbate the Red Bull’s reliability issues, and is something to keep an eye out for.

The even side of the track (ie the side cars starting 2nd, 4th, 6th etc line up on) is dirtier than the odd side. Hard to say how significant that will prove, but may give a slight edge to the odd-numbered cars.

So, all that considered, I’m backing Button at 2.7 for a podium. There are a number of ways this could occur, through passing a Red Bull on a straight, Red Bull exploding or a Red Bull driver making an error. Button never challenged for pole, but he has also made fewer mistakes than his title rivals over the course of the weekend.

I also looked at the winner’s market, but did not see any value. Webber’s on a roll, he did well at Turkey last time and after Vettel’s shenanigans off the line earlier this season he shouldn’t be caught napping.

So, a single tip to back Button for a podium at 2.7. [Unlike a pole position or winner type bet I don’t lay this kind of bet, unless at veeeery low odds].

Morris Dancer

Turkey: pre-qualifying

Turkey is a new track, and weird because it’s one of the few (along with awesome Interlagos) that goes anti-clockwise.

Last year Vettel did less well at Turkey, with Button winning and Webber coming second. In earlier years, the Ferrari team had a good run.

I said on the main site that I thought it could be a good race. Ferrari have had a good history there, the McLaren should be nicely suited to the track but Red Bull are so dominant they must be in the mix.

P1 saw McLaren get a 1-2 (Hamilton first) followed by the Mercedes (Schumacher first), then Vettel, Kubica and Petrov, Webber, Alonso and Sutil.

P2 had Button fastest, ahead of Webber, Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Schumacher, Kubica, Petrov and Massa. However, it was more notable for the fact that both Red Bulls had problems, with Vettel losing water pressure and Webber’s engine dying.

In P3 Vettel came top with a stonking lap, followed by Rosberg, then Hamilton, Kubica, Alonso, Schumacher, Button, Massa, Petrov.

The session was remarkable for a number of spins and errors, from the likes of Hamilton, Vettel, and Webber, the favourites for pole. Webber could’ve been higher but he stuffed up an otherwise promising lap.

Vettel’s evens for pole, Webber 3.75, Hamilton between 9 and 10. Hard to say whether Hamilton or Webber represents better value, and, of course, Vettel’s seriously fast.

Having taken a little while to consider, I think Webber represents better value. His odds may be overstated because he had a great lap wrecked due to an error (something that happened to his rivals also, but earlier in the session) and he outpaced Vettel here last year. [I did also back Hamilton, but that was speculative and before P3. Vettel was about 0.3s faster than Hamilton in the session, a very large gap to overcome, I feel].

So, I’m tipping Webber at 3.75. I’ve also set up some in-game lays (as per Kubica at Monaco) and would advocate doing the same here.

Morris Dancer

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

PB Diplomacy - who's interested?

Now that the excitement has subsided and the debris has been brushed away, it's time to look to look at having fun together:

- Plot with all sides of the political spectrum!

- Lie, deceive and stab each other in the back and all have a laugh about it afterwards!

- Band together and stamp on me before I even get out of my own peninsula! Again ...

- Play against a former World Champion! (Nick, you said you'd play :) )

Yes - time for PB Diplomacy Game #7. If you're interested, comment below. We'll use the site again (it's free; alternative address for the same site is and if there's enough interest, I'll get the game set up and post the password here. If anyone's got any preferences other than the default of random country selection and deadlines of 48 hours for moves and 24 hours for retreats and 24 hours for builds, shout out.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Seat Calculators, UNS and the 2010 General election

Yep - summary up front. This post has grown hugely 'cause I wanted to cover the details of what I'm summarising, which are:

- UNS performed slightly worse (for Tory seat share) than in 2005 and 2001 but better than 1997.

- Regional effects were minimal (about 2 seats difference to the totals)

- "Unwind" occurred to about 50% and was dented by a surprisingly high incumbency boost

- Demographic and ethnic differences between seats had a large effect

- UNS calculators beforehand all predicted heavily hung Parliament, no minority governments feasible, both Con/LD and Lab/LD coalitions possible

- Alternative calculators varied greatly but almost all had Tories over 300 but short of 326 - Tory minority or Con/LD coalitions as the realistic alternatives. Lab/LD total close but overpredicted LD at Lab expense.

- My spreadsheet had more inputs that had to be estimated (a weakness); with the suggested figures I gave just before the poll of 66% unwind, sd's of 4, 4.5, 4, it gave Con 312 (+/-6), Lab 235 (+/-6), LD 70 (+/-4). LD underperformance in hitting possible/probable targets and defending possible/probable holds and strong Labour defences (incumbency) are suggested.

- "Electoral geography" has improved the Tory vs Labour position - the gap between them at level polling has reduced from 89 seats to 54. Labour majority threshold has moved from 0.2% Con lead to 2.5% Labour lead, equal seats from 6.8% Con lead to 3.9% Con lead. The Tory majority threshold hasn't twitched, though, due to a low density of seats between the current point and 2% swing - 10 seats per point against the 20 seats/point reached to here. Accordingly, the hung parliament zone has widened from 10 points to 13 points.

- Without the Clegg surge, the Tories would have achieved more than 320 seats on the 7 point lead they got and the Lib Dems been heavily squeezed.


So, how did the forecast models do? One additional headache has always been the reliability of the input data – if the polls over- or under-represent any party, there’s a problem even if the model is right. So we’ve got to look at what the outcome should have been with perfect knowledge.

Sleazy broken UNS on the slide?

The simplest model is to use additive UNS – add the national swing to every constituency and count which ones change hands.It’s invariably carried out without provisos by the media and has been subject to considerable questioning here on pb. Before this election, we were well aware that the errors could, for the first time since 1992, result in a wrong prediction for the overall result: in 1997, 2001 and 2005, the only error would have been in misjudging the size of the Labour majority. However, virtually every poll in the week or so before the election, put through UNS, resulted in a hugely hung Parliament, with the Tories around the 280 mark and Labour plus the Lib Dems together with a comfortable majority – if they so chose to ally themselves. Mitchell Stirling had an excellent series of posts comparing the UNS predictions to the “alternative” predictions. The final table was here.

Interestingly, the final averaged UNS prediction (based on the polls) had Labour spot on, but the Tories under by 25 seats and the Lib Dems over by a similar amount. Lib Dem kingmakers, who could go almost equally easily with the Tories or Labour.

The final averaged alternative predictions had the Tories over by 8, Labour well under at 40 below and the Lib Dems over by about 25 seats. Either a Tory minority Government, or Lib Dem/Tory Coalition.

Why the surprise, then?

So why were we on so surprised at the result? The UNS calculators were pointing at a far worse Tory result, the non-UNS ones were pretty close to the mark for the Tory seat total (and were correctly pointing to a hung parliament with potential of Tory minority or Con/LD coalition). We were really knocked off target because we expected both that the UNS calculators would fall short and that the polls would noticeably understate the Conservative lead. To be fair, the Golden Rule had worked for so long that it did appear to be exposing a suspected methodological flaw in British opinion polling. As it turned out, the best triumph of the night (to my mind) was the long-delayed vindication by Nick Sparrow of his method of estimating the "spiral of silence". In 1997, it was inconclusive, in 2001 and 2005 it didn't change the final scores - but this time around it did, and seems to have exposed a very real tendency of voters to be attracted to their last voting choice.

The above table glosses over the variability between the non-standard predictors, ranging from 292 to 363 Tory seats (but with 15 of 18 predicting Tories short and one of the other 3 a razor thin majority prediction of 0). Labour, on the other hand, were clustered in a far lower range, from 199-235 seats. The Lib Dems ranged from 57 seats to 114. To be fair to all methods, if you put in the wrong inputs, you cannot expect to get the right outputs, and the polls failed with respect to the Labour/Lib Dem vote split. In computer programming they call it "GIGO": Garbage In, Garbage Out.

What should the models have predicted?

Many people (including journalists) went straight to Anthony Wells’s excellent UKPollingReport site, which included a weighted poll average and UNS calculation. Now Wells highlighted that UNS is an estimate, not a rule of law, but the final estimate was Con 274, Lab 264, LD 81 with vote shares of Con 35, Lab 28, LD 27 (Con 7 point lead). Almost a dead heat (Conservatives 52 short), with Lib Dem kingmakers (Con/LD majority of 50; Lab/LD majority of 40) – a minority government would be definitely impractical on these figures.

With correct data in (GB shares of Con 36.9%, Lab 29.7%, LD 23.6%, giving Lab-Con swing of 5.1%, Lab-LD of 3.7%, LD-Con of 1.4%) UNS would predict that:

- The Tories would (on the Wells figures) pick up 66 Labour seats (Overtaking Labour in Edinburgh South, but losing to the Lib Dems), 7 Lib Dem seats and maybe the IKHH seat (up by 74 seats from 214).

- The Lib Dems should pick up 6 seats from Labour and lose 7 to the Tories (down one from 63).

- Labour should lose 66 seats to the Tories and 6 to the Lib Dems, down by 72 from 344.

So final scores of Con 288, Lab 272, LD 62.

Conservatives 38 short, Con/LD majority 50 or Lab/LD majority 18.

Lib Dem kingmakers again, with Labour not too far behind the Tories. Con minority government not really feasible. Errors of 19 seats underpredicted for the Conservatives, 14 overpredicted for Labour and 8 overpredicted for the Lib Dems.

Regional UNS wouldn’t do much better – Conservatives would have won 71 seats from Labour, and 5 from the Lib Dems, with the Lib Dems exactly making up their losses from Labour: ending with Con 290, Lab 268, LD 63.So the effects of the regional swing variations pretty much cancelled out - the source of error wasn't the non-uniformity regionally.

How close could that 7% lead have taken them to a majority?

While we’re on UNS and the “11% lead needed for a majority” question, Peter Kellner wrote a piece on the election recently. He pointed out that although Lib Dems were disappointed that the Clegg surge hadn’t fully materialised, their position was far better than it had been before the surge, and estimated that the House of Commons would have been (on 19% Lib Dem score) 321 Con, 264 Lab, 37 Lib Dems.Looking at the YouGov polls of 9th-15th April, the Lib Dems are on an average of 19.7%, with Con and Lab on 38.9 and 31.9 respectively – so it seems as though the surge that did occur damaged both parties relatively equally and a 7 point Con lead before the Clegg surge would have put the Tories right on the very edge of an effective majority. Arguably, the Clegg surge did end up putting the Lib Dems into Government, as it turned out.

"A rule of thumb, not a rule of law"

Overall, UNS didn’t do much better or worse than recently. I've had a glance back and it seems that antifrank was the first to put it in these words “It’s a rule of thumb, not a rule of law” in reply to my series of articles on UNS and how it can err (saving about 3,130 words from how I put it ...). It was worse than in 2005 or 2001, but better than 1997. The Labour “seat advantage” (their lead in seats on level pegging in the polls with Lib Dems unchanged) continued to drop. The 2001 peak was 144 seats. In 2005 it was 89 seats (so UNS claimed that a dead heat would see a narrow Labour majority, 89 seats ahead of the Tories). Today it’s 54 seats (so after seeing how things changed during the election, we can say that a dead heat would have been a hung Parliament with the Tories 54 seats behind Labour – not the 89 that UNS from 2005 would have predicted). The Tory damage since 1997 continues to unwind – in 97 they fell behind UNS by 41 seats and in 2001 by a further 15, being 56 seats behind UNS (measured from 1992) at the peak. In 2005 they pulled back by 13 seats and this time by a further 19-20, so pulling back about 32 seats of their disadvantage. Still behind the 1992 relative position, but with the distortion unwinding considerably.

Running it backwards - a 25 seat advantage

It’s also sometimes educational to run an election in reverse – what should the 2005 notional figures have been if created by UNS from the current position? Feed 33.2, 36.2, 22.6 into the (commendably swiftly) updated.additive UNS calculator on Anthony’s site: Con 239, Lab 330, LD 55. So zero swing from the 2005 position would have obtained quite a difference, illustrating how the electoral landscape shifted (again) during the election.

Alternative calculators

On the “what would the answer be with the right question” front, the only alternative calculator I can easily use is my own. This adds another level of challenge with the input parameters – it allows the adjustment of the level of “unwind” of the accumulated tactical voting/marginal boost that progressively damaged the Conservatives from 1992 to 2001, pushing them way below the levels that UNS would expect. Some partial unwind occurred in 2005, but much was still locked up in the electoral landscape.

One way to estimate it would be to try to measure the relative unpopularity (the straight poll figures give us popularity; unpopularity is governed by who the electorate would most like to deny). Through 2009, the second choice of Lib Dem voters was preferentially Conservative. This advantage declined as 2009 slid into 2010 and became about level by February. From then, Labour built up an advantage, although never to the degree of their advantage in 2005. I’d estimate then that the unwind would have been greater than 100% through most of 2009 (giving the Conservatives an advantage to the extent that the political landscape would have possibly looked biased towards them), declining to about 100% around February and lower as the election neared. Had Labour built up their advantage to an equivalent level of 2005, they’d have reduced the unwind to 0%. An even greater advantage would actually produce a negative unwind. As it was, it appears to have been about 50%. On the eve of election, I estimated 66%. I also stated that I reckoned there would be a higher than normal variability (giving higher standard deviations of swing) of 4, 4.5 and 4. These input variables with the correct poll shares gave:

Con 312 (+/-6), Lab 235 (+/-6), LD 70 (+/-4). So Tory minority or Con/LD coalition.


The Tory share was within the error margins (5 seats off), but the Labour and Lib Dem shares were out by 23 and 16 seats respectively (although the total of them was within a few seats). The Lib Dems were over-forecast with respect to Labour – the anticipated Lib Dem targeting/defensive boost never materialised. Breaking down further, they undershot specifically in England against the forecast – seats that should have turned yellow like the City of Durham, Hampstead & Kilburn, York Outer and Oxford East simply didn’t.

Losses like Newton Abbot, Oxford West and Abingdon, Camborne and Redruth, Richmond, Cornwall South East, Harrogate, Rochdale, and Winchester further damaged the Lib Dem picture. Wins like Redcar and Wells helped, but very few of the “Lib Dem possibles” (like Watford, Guildford, Meon Valley, Ealing Central & Acton, Derby North, Blaydon, Romsey, Birmingham Hall Green and Leicester South were held by or taken by the Lib Dems – they significantly underperformed on the probabilistic front (Lib Dems – what happened? Failure of targeting? Third party squeeze?).

Labour defended well, overperforming slightly in Wales against their poll share – they should have lost three or four more (holding Ynys Mon against the odds and not losing any of Vale of Clwyd, Newport West, Gower, Bridgend, Swansea West, Clwyd South or Delyn. Most of these would have needed above-average swings (in some cases, well above-average), but the high level of variance in swing didn’t materialise in these seats where it would have been very bad for Labour. In England as a whole, they defended very well, getting a noticeable incumbency boost (especially in places like Broxstowe, where the odds of Nick holding on were down around 7% and he very nearly pulled it off, and Birmingham Edgbaston, where the model gave Gisela Stuart only an 11% chance of holding on) as well as an ethnic vote which swung their way. It looks as though there were class based swings as well, with C2s swinging far more to the Tories than ABs (on the whole – with some significant local variations).

I’ve been rather down on my model for the Lab/LD inaccuracies, but I am going to be pleased that the Tory seat share was far closer than most other models and – unlike UNS – the actual result (Choice between Con minority or Con/LD coalition on my model versus no chance of a minority for either and equal feasibility of Con/LD or Lab/LD coalition) was correct. However, with the “GIGO” problem that we were faced with, the fact that there are additional parameters that need to be estimated (primarily the unwind percentage) is a problem – a way of calculating this factor rather than estimating it was needed.

Actually, what may have happened with the Labour seats might be well explained by Martin Baxter – when the Lib Dem vote share during the middle of the last Parliament was plumbing depths and his model started predicting zero Lib Dem seats, he adjusted his “Transition Model” (based upon Proportional Loss) to allow for core and floating voters – the “Strong Transition Model”. I believe that his predictor did very well – with the correct vote shares, he got 299, 255, 65. Maybe the Additive UNS versus Proportional Loss debate needs to be reopened? Certainly his method of adjusting for “strong” and “weak” voters seems to have done very well.

The Future

Interestingly, the regional swings don’t seem to have had a very large effect, changing the result by two or three seats at most. Definitely demographic swing is more important than regional swing. Ethnic factors and incumbency are also necessary.

So – in order to predict reliably, we need:

- Reliable poll data to input

- A way of judging whether or not to adjust for incumbency

- Reliable ethnic breakdowns and a way of highlighting affected constituencies

- Reliable class-based breakdowns and a way of highlighting effective constituencies

Unfortunately, with extra inputs we have the problem of judging what they should be – one significant issue with my model. My estimate of 66% unwind with those particular swing standard deviations was pretty good for Tory seats and the overall outcome, but having to estimate the inputs like that is a weakness. Unfortunately, UNS again had significant problems (the area of hung parliament predicted being rather different to the reality, with Tory minority closed off and Lab/LD coalition very much on the cards). However, as a rule of thumb, it’s a general guideline, but we do need to estimate how far it will be out and in which direction.

And all of this may well be redundant - a change to AV with heavily redrawn constituencies to reduce MP numbers will be a total step change.

The First Coalition Test Emerges

It's time to get the betting slips out again as another election's in the offing. Where? In Norwich of course!

Today's Sunday Telegraph revelations introduce the tantalising prospect that there'll be elections in Norwich and Exeter City Council areas as a result of the unwinding of the Unitary Council legislation.

So, who's gonna win? Because it's Norwich, it's a lottery but could a Yellow/Blue coalition come up the middle in the first test of The Coalition Government? Read on...

There's a clue in today's Sunday Telegraph scoop on the Queen's Speech, where my eye was caught by the very second piece of legislation planned by the incoming Coalition Government.

Local Government (Revocation of Structural Change) Bill. (Dept for Communities and Local Govt).
This will stop the planned creation of single-tier councils serving Exeter and Norwich. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, brands the restructuring plans "wasteful and unnecessary" and claims scrapping them will save £40 million.

Now there's a thing! With the country in dire straits and a million problems to sort-out, new SoS 'hungry' Eric Pickles will be slipping-in a quick bit of primary legislation as a first manifesto pledge enacted as a hors d'oeuvre to stop the creation of Unitary Councils in Norwich & Exeter. At least this will stop him from feeling the need to reach for his famed pearl handled revolver.

But why does this piece of legislation mean that there might be an early electoral test of The Coalition?

The answer's hidden away in a Bunnco post from 10th February

As exclusively revealed [on PB] this morning, Labour has cancelled the elections in Norwich this May. Everyone expected the Greens to depose Labour, who were only 2 seats ahead. When the electorate realise that they’ve been cheated of their chance to give a verdict for the shambolic way Labour has run their city, there’ll be hell to pay.

No chance of Charles Clarke holding on. It's the greatest gerrymander since rotten boroughs were abolished in 1832.

Ministerial statement
"In particular the draft orders are providing for the 2010 elections to Exeter and Norwich city councils to be cancelled and for subsequent whole council elections to the new unitary councils to take place in 2011."

by bunnco February 10th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

That 'gerrymander' line caught on and was subsequently picked-up by Iain Dale, who scooped the news that the PermSec required written Direction from the Minister to proceed.

Subsequently The House of Lords Statutory Instruments Committee savaged the Unitary plans yet to the chagrin of local Tories, Conservative Lords did not vote down the orders when they came before the House on 'conventional' grounds unlike the LibDem Peers, who were Not Content. The legislation passed.

So you'd have thought it was Game Over. But what's not widely appreciated is that in the days running up to the General Election the Norfolk & Devon County Councils, in a last throw of the dice, had a 2 day hearing on 29/30th April at The Royal Courts of Justice with the aim of finding the entire process unlawful on the grounds that the Ministers changed the rules at the last moment to suit themselves and to 'fix' the result. No wonder Sir Humphrey objected.

The judge presiding over the judicial review of the government's decision to grant unitary status to Exeter and Norwich councils reserved judgment in the case until after the general election. That judgement is now due.

Now that Pickles has said the whole enterprise is to be scrapped, to a certain extent it's a bit academic but if the Judge rules that the Labour's decision to proceed was unlawful, then one option could be to run the cancelled elections for the City Council after all.

Now, what a delicious prospect that would be. The first 'proper' set of elections since The Coalition was formed.

And with the spotlight having been on Norwich for the last 12 months with firstly the Norwich North by-election and then the brutal 4-way fight in Norwich South with the LibDems ultimately successful on 29% of the vote, Norwich politics are likely to play centre stage. And it's by no means certain how a city-wide District election would pan-out.

Let's have a look at the vote shares from May 5th in Norwich South

Liberal Democrat 29.4
Labour 28.7
Conservative 22.9
Green 14.9

Note: We do have to remember that the Norwich South constituency did contain Costessey in the South Norfolk district, which is overwhelmingly LibDem and this Yellow boost would not apply in the Norwich City Council election.

Chloe Smith on Norwich Market

Similarly Chloe Smith's Norwich North result is too contaminated by the presence of Broadland district council to be a useful predictor of a City Council poll apart from showing the LibDems have a limited infrastructure in north of Norwich. Cons 40.6%; Lab 31.4%; LD 18.3%

On the basis that Pickles will not be able to resist poking Labour in the eye and allowing his coalition partners the chance to rebuild their shattered base in Norwich, I'm going to predict that the cancelled elections will be fought again, either by the order of The Judge or by a clause in the Bill.

So if this happens, let's have a look at the runners and riders in more detail.

Norwich City Council is a 39 member council with 13 three-member wards elected on 'Thirds'. It's currently run by a Labour Minority administration and when you look at the Maths, you can see how precarious the Red position is. The seats are split Lab 15; Grn 13; LibDem 6; Cons 5;

And, if the election is to be run in 13 wards, Labour has 6 seats on-risk, the Greens 4, the LibDems 2 and Tories 1. Here are the celebrities

Ward Party Name Group Leader
Bowthorpe Conservative Anthony Little Group Leader
Crome Labour Jenny Lay
Lakenham Labour Mary Cannell
Mile Cross Labour Linda Blakeaway
Sewell Labour Susan Sands
Toen Close Green Janet Bearman
Wensum Green Tom Llewellyn
Catton Grove Labour Brian Morrey
Eaton LibDem Brian Watkins Group Leader
Mancroft Green Howard Jago
Nelson Green Claire Stephenson Group Leader
Thorpe Hamlet LibDem Joyce Divers
University Labour Bert' Bremner

Interestingly three of the Group Leaders are up for grabs but bunnco understands that Labour's deputy leader [Catton Grove] is now ineligible to stand having moved into neighbouring South Norfolk district so some changes are inevitable.

Labour's record in the City is mixed, to put it politely. They inherited a bit of a mess from the LibDems but haven't made the progress they should have done having been completely distracted by the Unitary vanity project. They allowed a £8m budget black hole to develop and scandalised the area by evicting old-dears from sheltered accomodation before moving-in the Head of Housing at a cheaper rent. They hoped the Unitary Council would save their bacon. It's actually destroyed them.

And with the ultimate failure of the Unitary dream upon which millions of pounds have been wasted, the recriminations amongst local Labour activists are now breaking out into the open. A verdict of misadventure should surely be recorded with the City Labour party blaming the parliamentary party for the serial foul-ups in the unitary process. And vice-versa. With defeat at a national level and the local party split, they're bound to lose ground.

But to whom?

The Tories have never featured in City Council politics outside the leafy streets of Catton Grove and Bowthorpe so I'll skip over these. Conservative Anthony Little [Bowthorpe] was the defeated Parliamentary candidate in Norwich South but benefits from good name-recognition and he'll hang-on.

The Greens power-base is in Norwich South rather than the northern part of the City. They shrewdly built-up good canvassing records in last year's Norwich North by-election but a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then. The University area is where they are strong on pavement politics. They are only behind The Reds by two seats in total so they only need to take a single seat of Labour to tie. Bert Bremner [a double-hatter] in the University [of East Anglia] ward and Mary Cannell should be favourites to yield to The Greens in which case the Greens could take control in a minority administration.

So, everything is set fair for the Greens to take control by nicking a seat from Labour. Isn't it?

But what's this? Could a resurgent LibDem vote eat the Greens in turn and see Labour hang-on?

The leafy streets in the South which are now held by the Greens used to be LibDem Central until the Greens out-LibDem'd the LibDems with their own brand of pavement politics. But things change.

With Simon Wright installed in Westminster for the LibDems and their Libertarian-Idealist policies being implemented in Government, we might expect the LibDems to push the Greens back in their heartland. The LibDems do well in one-off by-elections and can bus-in supporters from elsewhere. This is an infrastructure the Greens lack. And the 29.4 to 14.8 percent bar-charts from May 5th will see an unflattering 'Greens Can't Win Here' message on Focus leaflets.

Hmmmmm. There's quite a lot of interplay here.

They start at Lab 15; Grn 13; LibDem 6; Cons 5. But with a third of the seats up for grabs if Reds lose to the Greens, who in turn leak to the Yellows, whilst the Blues mark time, then there could be an L11 - G12 - LD11 - C5 split, in which case a Coalition of the Yellows and Blue would trump the lot! Stranger things have happened.

The attitude of The Electorate to the Coalition will be the deciding factor and one which will have repercussions far outside the City boundaries, not least the tactics to be employed in the District Council elections in 2011, where the Tories have 5000 councillors up for election.

Come on Eric! Make it exciting for us. I could do with another election! But as for the betting? It's a lottery. Norwich does it again.

Bunnco - Your Man on the Spot.

PS - The same issues apply in Exeter but I don't have enough local knowledge of that scene.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Monaco: post-race analysis

Apologies for the lateness of this post. My connection was wonky earlier, but appears to be straightened out now.

Bad tip from me. Massa had a pretty good start, but couldn’t make a very slight third place stick. From then on, the race was mostly a procession (notable that 11 cars didn’t finish).

Alonso’s strategy (do a lap on softs, pit whilst last and then do the whole race on hard tyres) worked brilliantly, propelling him all the way from 24th to 6th. Not what he’d hoped for, back when he was blitzing free practice, but a solid result from the worst possible starting position.

Red Bull, annoyingly, went a whole race with neither car exploding even a little bit. Webber did fantastically well and now leads the title race (Vettel is his equal on 78 points but has won a single race to Webber’s two). Following them is Alonso on 73, and Button on 70, whose car had an argument with a crash barrier and burst into flames.

Massa is on 61, with Hamilton and Kubica tied on 59 each. That’s a counter-intuitive tie, but a strong sign of how well (I feel) the new scoring system is working. I also think it’s great that the Red Bull’s early reliability issues mean they’re ahead, but not by a huge margin.

In the Constructor’s race Red Bull are on 156, with Ferrari on 134 and McLaren on 129.

Last time in my post-race piece I suggested Button and Webber (both around 10) were too long. I think it might well be worth laying Webber, if you can get something like 3.

Vettel’s odds are stubbornly short. He is a class act, and a cut above Webber. Now, you may ask, why doesn’t he have more points or wins? Simple. His car kept breaking (denying him a huge tally of points) and Monaco is a track he’s not very good at. For the same reason of differential reliability, Webber was briefly ahead of Vettel in the 2009 season. In the end, Vettel’s class made the difference. I can’t decide whether to back Vettel or not. He’s 3, but I wish his odds were longer.

It seems that, right now, the Red Bull is simply too good for the rest.

Button’s odds have, perhaps obviously, lengthened to 15 or so. May well be worth backing a little, if you haven’t yet. I think he may be the biggest threat to the Red Bull duo. He’s made excellent tyre calls, and won races. Unlike Hamilton he seems to be able to keep a cool head instead of succumbing to stress so easily.

Disappointing to have two tips and neither come off. Still, that’s why I advocate in-race laying, if possible. Hopefully I’ll do better at the non-processional circuits.

The next race is at Turkey in a fortnight. Last season Vettel started on pole but slipped to 3rd, behind Button and Webber.

Morris Dancer

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Monaco: pre-race

So close and yet so far. Kubica came very close, but was beaten, from nowhere, by Webber turning in a great effort. However, there was indeed ample laying opportunity (I got my lay at 1.5 matched).

Should’ve laid Vettel, but it’s not hard to be tip events that have already occurred.

The much spoken of traffic issues didn’t particularly emerge, and qualifying didn’t become exciting until the end, when the Aussie annoyingly knocked Kubica off pole.

So, how’s the race shaping up? First and foremost we have Alonso, who was excellent in P1 and P2 but made an error in P3 which wrecked his car for qualifying. Assuming it’s ready for the race he’ll start last, from the pit lane. Not brilliant, though it does give him more technical freedom.

At the front we have Webber and Kubica, followed by Vettel and Massa, who was pretty good in P3 and throughout qualifying and could prove a dark horse. Then we have Hamilton, Rosberg, Schumacher and Button. Barrichello defied poor practice to come in a good 9th.

As I said in the pre-qualifying post, Monaco is a very difficult place to try overtaking other cars. Rain is not expected, so that won’t throw a spanner into the works. Timing of stops will be critical, as will the start.

Struggled to find value because, like Spain, it’s rather a procession type circuit. I looked at a few possibilities, but the only one I’ve backed is Massa for a podium at 3. He starts 4th, he’s run well through much of the weekend and has had some good starts. Plus, if he stands still and either Red Bull explodes he’d come through.

Other ones I considered were laying Webber at 1.75 (decided against because his car seems bullet-proof compared to Vettel’s), backing Kubica to lead the first lap (if you fancy the Pole I’d consider this instead of the winner market because the odds are longer and if he doesn’t pass at the start he’s unlikely to win) and Massa to win at 27. I do think Massa could have a good start, hence my bet for him to score a podium, but he’d have to pass three chaps, and in the ultra-narrow confines of Monaco that’s unlikely. Also, although his season’s not been that good since the early races, Massa’s finished equal to or ahead of his qualifying position at every race save China.

Anyway, there we have. Disappointed not to see more value, but I suspect I have a tendency to look too hard and see what isn’t there. 3 for a chap to make a single pass at the start or for one of the cars ahead to breakdown is reasonable.

Morris Dancer

Monaco: pre-qualifying

And so to Monaco, best-known of the F1 tracks. It’s also quite quirky and distinct in a number of important ways. Believing that run-off areas are for girls, the circuit owners have made it almost entirely run-off free (I can think of one, off a corner, and another which cuts a corner and rejoins the race track). If you make a mistake, your car has a fight with a big metal barrier.

As well as near certain doom awaiting those who make such an error, it’s also very narrow and very difficult to overtake another car. Not to say it’s impossible, but it’s highly unlikely someone starting middle of the grid will do well. The circuit was also a real tyre-shredder last year, to the great advantage of Button, whose smooth driving style made it quite easy for him. Apparently the tyres stand up much better this time, and Button isn’t in the best car this race, but he may still do well.

Finally, in relative terms, the driver matters more and the car less at Monaco. Naturally, most top drivers have top cars. However, if a top class chap is in a slightly underperforming car then this is a good track for them. Kubica, Sutil and Barrichello (most especially Kubica) may have value.

In P1 Alonso topped the timesheets, followed by Vettel, Kubica, Webber, Massa, Schumacher, Hamilton and Button. Notable how far down the McLarens are and that Schumacher outpaced Rosberg, a feat he did not repeat in P2). Also interesting is Kubica’s 3rd in the Renault and Ferrari getting top slot.

P2 again saw Alonso fastest, followed by Rosberg, Vettel, Massa, Schumacher, Kubica, Hamilton and Sutil. Button was in 9th. On both occasions Schumacher and Kubica were faster than both McLarens and Alonso was fastest. Sutil came in the top 10 (9th and 8th respectively) both times as well.

In P3 Alonso crashed, and it’s unclear at the time of writing whether he’ll be out for qualifying and if he is whether he’ll have a serious chance. Button complained about lack of grip, and didn’t do so well, coming 10th. Kubica was fastest, then Massa, Webber, Hamilton, Vettel, Schumacher and Rosberg.

In the last moments of P3 we saw the type of traffic issue that may bedevil qualifying. I doubt this will affect Q1, because 7 cars drop out and the bottom 6 (HRT, Virgin and Lotus) are so much slower they’re almost certain to drop. The issue may play out in Q2, when there’ll be 17 cars on track, and traffic may cause some to drop out due to traffic.

For me, value most lies with Kubica at 9 for pole position. I’m also tempted to lay Vettel at 3. He’s not had a great record at Monaco, did well in P1 and P2 but poorly in P3. However, he’s too often defied practice sessions, traffic could play into events and I tend to dislike short odds, so I’m only going to bet on Kubica. There may well be ample opportunity to lay in the last 5 minutes of Q3 (which I brilliantly did last time to dilute my Webber winnings).

Will a Pole be on pole? Let’s hope so.

Morris Dancer

Sunday, 9 May 2010

So, is this constituency size thing for real?

Updated 10th May 08:00
This is an updated post from the one I first published last night because it takes into account comments on the main site about re-working the data on total constituency size rather than total votes cast.

They say a day's a long time in politics. Well I'm just catching up on '24' on Sky whilst fiddling around with the turnout figures from 6th May 2010 General Election.

I just wanted to test whether it was really true that the Tory Constituencies are larger than the Labour ones.

We're being told that Labour Seats are about 8% smaller than Tory ones meaning that the value of a Labour-vote is, in aggregate, worth about 8% more than a Tory one.

If proved, that's clearly wrong and explains why a 7-point lead for the Tories denies them power whereas a 7-point lead for Labour gives them a comfortable majority.

These stories can grow with the telling so I fiddled around on Access and Excel to generate some crosstabs to test the relationship between total votes cast and the winning party.

The picture below speaks for itself. [click for a hi-res version]

And here's the Full Raw Data incl Minor Parties

And here's the link to the Full 2010 General election Results Spreadsheet derived from The Guardian's helpful tables.

It's clear that the Tory seats really do have much higher votes cast. If all constituencies were of an equal size you'd see the red/blue/yellow bars all muddled up. But they aren't. The Tory Blue ones are clustered around the larger constituencies. And the Labour wins in the smaller ones.

But following publishing the post, WorriedVoter and others asked whether there would be a different result if I used the total electorate rather than votes cast to neutralise the effect of differential turnout. I didn't have the total electorate size but WorriedVoter explained it could be calculated from the Total Votes and %Turnout figures, which I did have. Doh! Why didn't I think of that.

If you have the figure for total votes cast and the turnout in each constituency then you can compute the constituency size. Can you not do this and then put the results through your crosstab again to see if a different picture emerges?
by Worried Voter May 9th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

In truth the picture isn't quite so clear and that's because it looks like turnout was higher in the seats that voted Tory but it's still significant and you can see visually that Tory MPs are disproportionately returned in the larger constituencies and Labour MPs in the smaller ones, inferring that it's easier to elect a Labour member with fewer votes.. There's no clear pattern for the LibDems, which are evenly distributed.
So, when you consider the effect of total-votes-cast in a constituency, the Tories are clearly clustered in those constituencies with larger turnout. When you consider the total electorate, the picture isn't quite so clear but still shows a preponderance of Tory seats in the larger constituencies and Labour in the smaller ones. There doesn't seem to be a pattern with the LibDems, which indicates that constituency size isn't as important, which in turn suggests that they have nothing to fear from constituency equalisation.

But whatever you feel about this analysis, it has to be right in a democracy that each vote carries equal weight. That isn't the case at the moment and that's something that has to be fixed.

Bunnco - Your Man on The Spot

Spain: post-race analysis

Bugger. After a good qualifying, the race was dire. In entertainment terms, it was rubbish until the last few laps when there were a few interesting bits (Hamilton getting yet another puncture, Vettel coming third despite having no brakes). Betting-wise, all bad. Annoying that, as forecast, a Red Bull had a reliability problem, but it was late enough in the race that Vettel got away with it.

Although it’s galling to miss out on an all-green weekend so narrowly, it is at least a reasonable sign that my thinking was on decent lines.

The title race remains very close. My early season view backing Massa looks more and more wrong (although he did seem to benefit from breaking his front wing). Button remains in a good position, (backed him at 14 or so, and tipped at 8).

Red Bull clearly have the fastest car, and Vettel is the best driver on the grid, yet neither team nor driver tops a table. For the Constructors, McLaren lead on 119, followed by Ferrari on 116 and Red Bull on 113. Button’s still top of the driver standings at 70, with Alonso on 67, Vettel on 60 and Webber on 53.

Hamilton’s at 7. He is in the running, but has been outraced by Button and suffered some bad luck. I think he’s too short. Vettel is 2.64. He should be favourite, but I think that’s too short, given his dire luck. Fastest car though. Alonso’s also too short on 3.85. The Ferrari just isn’t quick enough. Yes, he got second today, but that was because Hamilton’s car exploded and Vettel drove 6 laps without brakes. For me, Button and Webber are too long (9.6 and 10) respectively. I’ve already backed Button, so won’t again, but I may well put a little on Webber. He’s a competent but not spectacular driver, but the Red Bull is absolutely brilliant. He also has good (or just normal) luck, unlike team-mate Vettel who seems cursed (bit like Raikonnen at McLaren).

Next week, the sport goes to Monaco. The circuit is unique. Very, very narrow, shreds tyres like nowhere else and has almost no run off areas. Qualifying may see an upset, simply due to traffic obstructing frontrunners. For those who watch practice, the first two sessions are on Thursday, as usual for Monaco. Hopefully I’ll manage to tip winners in both qualifying and practice next time.

Morris Dancer

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Spain: pre-race

Surprised but pleased the Webber tip came off. A nice start to the Spanish race weekend.

As expected, Red Bull locked out the front row of the grid, followed by Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Schumacher.

Apparently Spain tends towards processions, suggesting the race may be more like Bahrain than the other, far more exciting and unpredictable, races this season.

According to Wunderground there’s a 20% chance of trace amounts of rain, has rain showers in the afternoon and the BBC is forecasting light showers. So, a small amount of rain is possible but not likely.

Over the last few years 6, 8 and 9 cars respectively have failed to finish the Spanish Grand Prix. This race also has the 6 newbie team cars, including one with a fuel tank too small to allow it to finish the race. This is handy info both when considering a classified bet, and as something to factor into other bets. Barcelona is a car-breaker of a circuit.

So, that’s the picture. A processional, dry circuit that has a tendency to break cars. No refuelling removes that strategic aspect, but one or two do remain. The start will be crucial. This season we’ve seen Vettel pass Webber to go first and the rivalry betwixt the two Red Bull drivers must be fierce. Also, Hamilton is in third in the car with the fastest straight line speed. In addition, a restart due to a safety car could well occur. It seems that the start proper and possible restarts may present the best opportunities for drama and passing.

This makes Red Bull a difficult call. Their car is clearly faster than all others, but it did prove rather unreliable in the previous races, and Spain, as stated above, does have a habit of wrecking cars.

So, I’ve opted for some unusual markets I don’t often consider. I’ve laid both Vettel and Webber to be classified, at 1.19 and 1.21 respectively. Their cars are amongst the least reliable, and they’re too fast not to get podiums, so I went for the lower odds of classification.

I’ve also backed the appearance of a safety car at 2.24. The track’s narrow and with the odds on a fair number of cars not finishing due to accident or breakdown there’s a reasonable chance of a safety car. If you lay the Red Bulls with half the stake you back the safety car you’ll be green if any one bet comes off.

Let’s hope Webber and Vettel collide in the first few laps, necessitating a safety car.

Morris Dancer

Spain: pre-qualifying

Well, it’s been a long three weeks, during which we’ve seen volcanic disruption of British airspace, the first Hung Parliament since before I was born and a long time for car development for every F1 team.

Spain is a circuit which should be Red Bull’s. The biggest challenge to the likes of Vettel and Webber has come from the McLarens, but the McLaren’s big strength is great straight line speed. Unfortunately for Hamilton and Button, Spain has just one straight, unlike previous races where there were two close together in Malaysia and a couple in the circuit in China.

We’ll see whether developments have meant an improvement for the other teams, or whether Red Bull’s only real problem remains the fact that Vettel’s car explodes every time he’s due to make 25 points.

Practice 1 saw a McLaren one two in the 1:21s, with Schumacher closely behind Button in third. He was followed by Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Kubica and Alonso.

Practice 2 had the Red Bulls topping the timesheets, Vettel first, but Schumacher managed to come third again (albeit half a second behind Webber). It’s only practice, but it is a clear improvement. The German seems happy with the new wheelbase and chassis, whereas Rosberg seems less pleased. Alonso came 4th, followed by Hamilton, Kubica, Rosberg, Massa and Button.

Spain tends to be a procession in the dry. But will the qualifying be dry?

The BBC reckons it’ll have light showers, Wunderground’s hourly forecast reckons it’ll be dry and clear and has it dry and clear.

So, it seems likely to be dry. The Red Bulls seem a street ahead of their rivals. Vettel’s P3 time was fastest, and 0.7s ahead of Webber, but that may be due to fuel/Webber not completing his final lap due to yellow flags. Hamilton and Button were close behind and Schumacher was 5th, followed by Massa, Rosberg and Alonso.

Vettel’s 1.59, but I’m unconvinced of the value there. Webber’s longer, and I think worth backing for pole position at 5.5 or more. Traffic issues, precise timing of the final lap and luck mean that although Vettel is right to be favourite, Webber’s got a reasonable chance of snagging pole. I doubt anyone else will do it because the Red Bull is just too fast.

I’m keeping these pre-qualifying posts under review.

Morris Dancer

Is there a Poll out tonight?

Back in 1992, John Major’s led a Government with a c20 seat majority. But the cumulative majority of those 20 seats was just 2000 votes.

Two Thousand votes in the right places out of 45 million cast determined the fate of the Government. Of course, you can never predict such narrow margins, which is why we were all probably nuts to even try to predict seat numbers.

The narrowness of the majorities in the top 50 seats means that, despite polling 2,207,400 votes more than Labour and 3,980,917 votes more than the LibDems, on Thursday night the Tories [10,808,749 votes] just missed-out by a whisker. 10,000 votes in the right place would have swung-it for them.

Just 1000 votes in the right place take us to seat 11 - Solihull
Just 2000 votes in the right place take us to seat 16 - Mid Dorset & Poole
Just 5000 votes in the right place take us to seat 24 - Swansea West
Just 10000 votes in the right place take us to seat 33 - Great Grimsby
Just 20000 votes in the right place take us to seat 44 - Morely & Attwood
Just 50000 votes in the right place take us to seat 65 - Newport East

But the battleground ahead will be more complicated than that. Each party will have its targets to win and targets to defend. So, I've created four tables - one for all parties and one-each for the main-parties showing their top-50 marginal seats. This is the4 list the party strategists will be looking at and deciding whether to fight [another party] or defend their own.

And one interesting fact to emerge from this analysis is that Ed Balls' seat is unique in that it turns out that he is the only one in the list to have been fought under the Lab-CoOp banner rather than The Labour Party. There were 16 of these Morley and Outwood; Luton South; Harrow West; Feltham and Heston; Cardiff South and Penarth; Barrow and Furness; Liverpool Wavertree; Nottingham East; Ilford South; Preston; Edmonton; Kilmarnock and Loudoun; Islwyn; Rutherglen and Hamilton West; Glasgow South West; Liverpool West Derby. Does this give us a hint of the Union influence to come?

Here's a link to the Raw Data

Top 50 Marginal Seats - all Parties

Order Seat Total Of CalcMajority Alliance
1 Fermanagh and South Tyrone 5 SF
2 Hampstead and Kilburn 42 LAB
3 Warwickshire North 52 CON
4 Camborne and Redruth 68 CON
5 Bolton West 90 LAB
6 Thurrock 92 CON
7 Oldham East and Saddleworth 102 LAB
8 Hendon 107 CON
9 Sheffield Central 166 LAB
10 Oxford West and Abingdon 175 CON
11 Solihull 176 LIBDEM
12 Southampton Itchen 191 LAB
13 Ashfield 193 LAB
14 Cardiff North 195 CON
15 Sherwood 215 CON
16 Dorset Mid and Poole North 267 LIBDEM
17 Norwich South 309 LIBDEM
18 Edinburgh South 315 LAB
19 Stockton South 332 CON
20 Lancaster and Fleetwood 333 CON
21 Bradford East 364 LIBDEM
22 Broxtowe 390 CON
23 Truro and Falmouth 434 CON
24 Swansea West 505 LAB
25 Newton Abbot 521 CON
26 Wirral South 531 LAB
27 Amber Valley 538 CON
28 Chesterfield 550 LAB
29 Derby North 613 LAB
30 Hull North 643 LAB
31 Dudley North 649 LAB
32 Wolverhampton South West 691 CON
33 Great Grimsby 715 LAB
34 Waveney 767 CON
35 Wells 799 LIBDEM
36 Carlisle 852 CON
37 Morecambe and Lunesdale 868 CON
38 Rochdale 891 LAB
39 Telford 979 LAB
40 Weaver Vale 990 CON
41 Walsall North 992 LAB
42 Harrogate and Knaresborough 1041 CON
43 Lincoln 1056 CON
44 Morley and Outwood 1099 LAB-COOP
45 Plymouth Sutton and Devonport 1150 CON
46 Montgomeryshire 1183 CON
47 Antrim South 1184 DUP
48 Brighton Pavilion 1254 GRN
49 Birmingham Edgbaston 1272 LAB
50 Stroud 1299 CON

Top 50 CONSERVATIVE Marginal Seats to Defend

Order Seat Total Of CalcMajority C Majority%
1 Warwickshire North 52 0.11
2 Camborne and Redruth 68 0.16
3 Thurrock 92 0.2
4 Hendon 107 0.23
5 Oxford West and Abingdon 175 0.31
6 Cardiff North 195 0.41
7 Sherwood 215 0.44
8 Stockton South 332 0.66
9 Lancaster and Fleetwood 333 0.78
10 Broxtowe 390 0.74
11 Truro and Falmouth 434 0.89
12 Newton Abbot 521 1.08
13 Amber Valley 538 1.17
14 Wolverhampton South West 691 1.72
15 Waveney 767 1.5
16 Carlisle 852 2.02
17 Morecambe and Lunesdale 868 1.99
18 Weaver Vale 990 2.25
19 Harrogate and Knaresborough 1041 1.96
20 Lincoln 1056 2.31
21 Plymouth Sutton and Devonport 1150 2.62
22 Montgomeryshire 1183 3.5
23 Stroud 1299 2.24
24 Brighton Kemptown 1328 3.11
25 Bedford 1353 3
26 Watford 1424 2.58
27 Dewsbury 1528 2.83
28 Warrington South 1553 2.83
29 Pudsey 1659 3.38
30 Enfield North 1694 3.81
31 Hove 1868 3.75
32 Corby 1893 3.49
33 Northampton North 1937 4.81
34 Brentford and Isleworth 1957 3.64
35 Hastings and Rye 1993 4
36 Halesowen and Rowley Regis 2023 4.6
37 Nuneaton 2067 4.63
38 Ipswich 2079 4.43
39 Blackpool North and Cleveleys 2151 5.3
40 Aberconwy 2181 11.34
41 Bury North 2244 4.99
42 St Albans 2304 4.36
43 Gloucester 2421 4.77
44 Wirral West 2437 6.19
45 Kingswood 2443 5.1
46 Hereford and Herefordshire South 2482 5.13
47 Erewash 2501 5.25
48 Chester, City of 2583 5.52
49 Wyre Forest 2642 5.19
50 Weston-Super-Mare 2689 5.1

Top 50 LABOUR Marginal Seats to Defend

Order Seat Total Of CalcMajority Lab Majority%
1 Hampstead and Kilburn 42 0.08
2 Bolton West 90 0.19
3 Oldham East and Saddleworth 102 0.23
4 Sheffield Central 166 0.4
5 Southampton Itchen 191 0.43
6 Ashfield 193 0.4
7 Edinburgh South 315 0.72
8 Swansea West 505 1.42
9 Wirral South 531 1.33
10 Chesterfield 550 1.2
11 Derby North 613 1.36
12 Hull North 643 1.93
13 Dudley North 649 1.68
14 Great Grimsby 715 2.17
15 Rochdale 891 1.94
16 Telford 979 2.37
17 Walsall North 992 2.74
18 Birmingham Edgbaston 1272 3.06
19 Halifax 1472 3.38
20 Newcastle-under-Lyme 1551 3.59
21 Plymouth Moor View 1586 3.82
22 Wakefield 1613 3.63
23 Newport East 1650 4.79
24 Eltham 1662 3.96
25 Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East 1678 3.63
26 Edinburgh North and Leith 1724 3.64
27 Walsall South 1754 4.29
28 Nottingham South 1770 4.34
29 Blackpool South 1851 5.26
30 Gedling 1860 3.86
31 Westminster North 2126 5.37
32 Bridgend 2262 5.9
33 Delyn 2271 6.14
34 Southampton Test 2413 5.46
35 Derbyshire North East 2446 5.2
36 Ynys Mon 2459 7.14
37 Wolverhampton North East 2484 7.12
38 Vale of Clwyd 2509 7.06
39 Tooting 2523 4.98
40 Scunthorpe 2548 6.88
41 Chorley 2593 5.21
42 Dagenham and Rainham 2632 5.95
43 Gower 2684 6.44
44 Exeter 2722 5.21
45 Stalybridge and Hyde 2743 6.71
46 Birmingham Northfield 2781 6.65
47 Pontypridd 2783 7.59
48 Clwyd South 2833 8.17
49 Alyn and Deeside 2918 7.31
50 Penistone and Stocksbridge 3047 6.55

Top 50 LIBDEM Seats to Defend

Seat Total Of CalcMajority LD Majority %
1 Solihull 176 0.32
2 Dorset Mid and Poole North 267 0.57
3 Norwich South 309 0.65
4 Bradford East 364 0.9
5 Wells 799 1.43
6 St Austell and Newquay 1313 2.78
7 Brent Central 1346 2.97
8 Sutton and Cheam 1606 3.31
9 St Ives 1717 3.74
10 Burnley 1816 4.34
11 Somerton and Frome 1818 3
12 Manchester Withington 1896 4.21
13 Dunbartonshire East 2182 4.55
14 Chippenham 2473 4.72
15 Berwick-upon-Tweed 2691 7
16 Cornwall North 2979 6.36
17 Birmingham Yardley 3002 7.35
18 Cheadle 3271 6.23
19 Argyll and Bute 3431 7.59
20 Eastbourne 3435 6.59
21 Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine 3683 8.15
22 Brecon and Radnorshire 3749 9.65
23 Edinburgh West 3804 8.19
24 Eastleigh 3863 7.2
25 Taunton Deane 3995 6.87
26 Torbay 4080 8.29
27 Cardiff Central 4577 12.66
28 Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross 4827 16.78
29 Cheltenham 4920 9.32
30 Portsmouth South 5199 12.6
31 Redcar 5216 12.43
32 Carshalton and Wallington 5262 11.46
33 Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 5676 11.58
34 Devon North 5820 11.34
35 Southport 6025 13.77
36 Hazel Grove 6373 15.18
37 Gordon 6746 13.83
38 Cambridge 6793 13.55
39 Hornsey and Wood Green 6875 12.49
40 Colchester 6981 15.13
41 Thornbury and Yate 7118 14.76
42 Kingston and Surbiton 7561 13.24
43 Lewes 7648 15.27
44 Ceredigion 8325 21.76
45 Bermondsey and Old Southwark 8528 19.1
46 Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey 8763 18.61
47 Fife North East 9046 22.58
48 Leeds North West 9101 20.93
49 Orkney and Shetland 9928 51.32
50 Bristol West 11368 20.54