20 December 2012

My Constituency

I live in a key Labour/Conservative marginal. It's a seat currently held by Labour's Gareth Thomas (since 1997) with a small majority. A 3.5% swing would unseat Thomas, who I feel is as useless as a chocolate teapot. It's 49th on the Conservative target list, so Grant Shapps has fired the starting gun for Harrow West's general election campaign.

Since the seat was created in 1945, it was always a very safe Conservative seat, but In the dark days of the 1997 general election, Harrow West was the safest Conservative seat lost to Labour, with the eighth-highest swing in the country (17.5% to Labour), making it a key 2001 marginal. Labour's immigration policies helped, as Harrow West has a large number of immigrants, who all voted for Blair, making Harrow West one of only a few seats to swing to Labour in 2001 (5.4% swing to Labour, against a national trend of 1.8% swing to the Conservatives). In 2005 Harrow West was less anomalous, with a swing of 4.5% to the Conservatives (with a national trend of 3.1% to the Conservatives). In 2010, this pattern of an over-exaggerated swing continued, with a swing of 5.7% to the Conservatives against a trend of 5.0% (although this was affected by notional changes).

The Conservatives definitely have an uphill task, as Labour had a lot of votes in 2010 taken away by the Liberal Democrats nationally and will doubtless gain those back. The Conservatives could take up to probably 45% of the vote nationally. This could be Labour 36%, Conservatives 45% - therefore just 1% to the Conservatives.

Vote Conservative. Let's try to push this higher than 1%.

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