The voters who could have changed the country

Combined, the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have 315 seats in the House of Commons – 11 seats short of the 326 required for a majority. As it is, any potential Labour-Lib Dem coalition would have to look to Plaid Cymru and the SNP to secure support for a government, so a Lib Dem-Tory pact currently looks more likely to succeed (if they can agree to cooperate).

There must be many people who voted Lib Dem on Thursday with the intention of keeping the Tories out, who are now looking at the negotiations and feeling like idiots. I know at least one, and he didn’t even end up with a Tory MP.

There were so many close calls on Thursday night and Friday morning that I wondered just how many people Labour and the Lib Dems needed to vote with their heads rather than their hearts to make an anti-Tory coalition a no-brainer rather than a pipe dream. I decided to find out.

There were 17 Tory gains on Thursday that had majorities of less than 1000. These are the 11 constituencies that have the smallest Tory majorities:

Warwickshire North (Labour in second place) – 54

Camborne & Redruth (LD) – 66

Thurrock (Lab) – 92

Hendon (Lab) – 106

Oxford West & Abingdon (LD) – 176

Cardiff North (Lab) – 194

Sherwood (Lab) – 214

Stockton South (Lab) – 332

Lancaster & Fleetwood (Lab) – 333

Broxtowe (Lab) – 389

Truro & Falmouth (LD) – 435

Adding up those figures, plus a voter in each constituency to tip the balance, you get 2402. That’s 2402 people in Britain who could have voted for the party that came in second place rather than the party they actually liked, who could have elected a centre-left candidate rather than allowed a Tory to be elected, who could have changed the course of the election and its aftermath.

Massive counterfactual I know, and it would only give the coalition the slimmest of edges over the Tories but I just thought you should know.


One Response to “The voters who could have changed the country”

  1. danwilsoncraw Says:

    This type of analysis has become a thing:

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