Sunday, September 24, 2006

Analysis of opinion polls suggests that two Gloucestershire seats would change hands in a General Election.

Based on recent opinion polls, the fun-packed Electoral Calculus site suggests that Cheltenham and Stroud would both be Tory gains. Losing Cheltenham would be a huge blow to local LibDems especially since they lost control of the Borough council in May in spite of gaining one of the two Labour seats. They have held the Parliamentary seat since 1992 when Nigel Jones defeated John Taylor and a nasty little racist streak was revealed in the local Conservative Association membership.

David Drew’s majority in Stroud was cut from 5,039 to 350 in 2005. But more than half of the votes he lost went to the LibDems or the Greens rather than to the Tories. With a decent campaign and such a tiny majority it might be possible to get the anti-Tory majority to rally round to him at the next election if he chooses to stand again.

Having lost (probably for ages) the Forest of Dean seat to (the Liam Fox supporting) Mark Harper in 2005 and assuming that the prediction mentioned in my last post is accurate, losing Stroud would leave Parmjit Dhanda as the only Labour MP in the county. Given that the Cotswolds and Tewkesbury seats will stay Tory until the end of time, the best strategy for Gloucestershire’s gallant band of Labour supporters seems to me to be to attach themselves to Stroud or Gloucester for the duration of the next campaign. But past experience suggests that they don’t all share my opinion and that many would rather battle closer to home....


At 18:26, Blogger Elephunt said...

it's difficult to draw conclusions based on 2005 election results. The 2005 election was a foregone conclusion in the eyes of most and people had the comfort of knowing they could have a punt with the LDs and still have a Labour government. I'm not sure that'll be the case in 2009

At 08:48, Blogger Hughes Views said...

As Peter Snow might say, particularly at this stage of a Parliament, looking at polls is 'just a bit of fun'. It helps to relieve the tedium while there are no matters of real political substance in the news. But you're right elephunt, the LibDems could well get badly squeezed if people feel there's a real chance of the Tories winning. Almost makes David Cameron worthwhile...


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