To our knowledge there have been only two attempts at number crunching to gauge the notional results of these new boundaries. The calculations by Anthony Wells and Martin Baxter both suggest that the notional results on these new boundaries are to give the Conservatives an enlarged majority. Putting it in percentage terms, on the old boundaries, the Tories took 50.8% of seats (330/650), on the new they would have took around 53% (Wells: 319/600, Baxter: 316/600).
How notional results are calculated for these new constituencies involve assumptions made through aggregating the ward results of local council elections. While not accurate to the single vote – and those with very close notional results ought to be judged as tossups/too-close-to-call, most of the time they do provide a satisfactory indicator of where support for each party is concentrated and how that constituency – in the aggregate – is composed. It ought to be said that notional figures are a simple aggregate exercise and don’t account for the potential reality that electors may have voted otherwise in the event a certain candidate/personality was on the ballot paper.
The wards included to compile East Thanet, for example, show a seat with a result closer between the Conservatives and UKIP than South Thanet, of which the seat broadly replaces. It would therefore be reasonable to suggest that East Thanet ought to be regarded as a tossup. The notionals by Anthony Wells make it Conservative; Martin Baxter’s make it UKIP.
|Party||Anthony Wells||Martin Baxter
On the notional results:-
What of the Greens?
The redrawing of the boundaries in Brighton sees Green support split between Brighton North and Brighton Central & Hove, whereas on the old boundaries it was mostly concentrated in Brighton Pavilion. The new Brighton North seat, which replaces much of Caroline Lucas’ Pavilion constituency, sees the addition of Tory leaning wards such as Hove Park and Withdean, notionally turning the constituency in the aggregate blue instead of green. It should be stressed, though, that this is a purely arithmetical exercise. It does not account for the potential reality that electors may have voted differently depending on the constituency they could vote in.
What of the Liberal Democrats?
On the proposed boundaries the Lib Dems are notionally set to defend four seats, down from eight: Orkney & Shetland, Ceredigion, Westmorland & Lonsdale and North Norfolk.
Southport and Carshalton & Wallington go notionally Conservative; Leeds North West and Sheffield Hallam & Stocksbridge go Labour. The redrawn Cambridge seat, like East Thanet, looks set to prove an interesting toss-up with a notional result of Labour leading the Lib Dems by just 200 votes.