Tuesday, 13 September 2011
A little light psephological tea leaf reading
The Boundary Commission's initial skirmishing has thrown up lots of exciting possibilities for mapping and stat crunching, and I've made a start on some seats of interest in and around my barrio.
Brentford & Isleworth is my home seat, and it grates horribly that Chiswick is not incorporated in the name, as it bloomin' well should be. Anyway, B&I is largely left alone in the current proposals, losing just one ward, Hounslow Heath. HH is solidly Labour, with an average vote per Labour councillor in the 2010 elections of 2,417. The next closest contender, the Conservatives, secured an average VPC of 1,264. As such, sitting MP Mary Macleod (Con) will benefit from the change and a 2010 election on these boundaries would have given her a significantly large majority.
Hounslow Heath and two other Hounslow wards are slated to join with sundry Richmond wards to create a seat called Teddington & Hanworth. And this is where it gets more interesting, and the number crunching more controversial. In the three Hounslow wards the Lib Dems only fielded one candidate to the three for the Reds and the Blues, so in order to give a valid comparison I have hypothesised that anyone who would vote for one LD would vote for three. What those LD enthusiasts did with their other two votes is a mystery between them and the ballot box. And the tallymen at Hounslow Town Hall or wherever. However, the only workable assumption is to triple the LD vote in the Hounslow wards so as to allow a like with like comparison with the Richmond wards.
The LDs are a potent force south of the river, leading in six of those seven Richmond wards, while Labour is not that far off lost deposit territory. Running the 2010 numbers across the 10 wards, I get a breakdown of 19% for Labour, 41% LD and 40% Conservative. Should make for a few recounts next time round, but worth Vincenzo Cable's making a play for this seat rather than Richmond.