Did The Lib Dems Cost Labour The Election?

by @edent | # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~465 times.

There have been howls of protest from Labour voters at the prospect of a Lib/Con coalition. The main complaint is that anyone daft enough to vote for Clegg has caused a Tory government. But is it true?

Using data from The Guardian, we can see if the Lib Dems cost Labour a majority.

In how many seats did a Labour candidate lose to a Conservative? 137.

But this doesn't tell the whole story. In Clacton, even if all the 5,577 Lib Dem votes had gone to Labour, the 16,376 is still well short of the Conservative's 22,867.

So, in how many of those seats, would the Labour candidate have won if every single Lib Dem voted Labour? 92.

Conclusion

If every Lib Dem voter in a Lab/Con marginal had voted Labour, the result would be
Con = 214
Lab = 350
Lib = 57

So, the Labour Party would have ~3% majority in Parliament. Only 24 seats. A majority, sure, but not a hugely useful one.

Remember, that's assuming every single Lib Dem voter in a Lab/Con constituency voted Labour.

Would you call that the Lib Dems costing Labour the election?

The Stats

This table show every Conservative won seat where Labour came 2nd.
What would have happened if 100%, 75%, or 50% of the Lib Dem vote went to Labour.
As some have mentioned in the comments, there is no guarantee that Lib Dem voters would automatically vote Labour.
Given that support for the Lib Dems only went up 1% nationally, it's hard to credit Labour's defeat to the Lib Dems.

Seat100% Lib->Lab75% Lib->Lab50% Lib->Lab
Extra Seats927254
Labour Majority255-13
AberconwyLabLabCon
Aldridge-BrownhillsConConCon
Amber ValleyLabLabLab
Basildon and BillericayConConCon
Basildon South and Thurrock EastLabConCon
BatterseaLabConCon
BedfordLabLabLab
Bexleyheath and CrayfordConConCon
Blackpool North and CleveleysLabLabLab
Boston and SkegnessConConCon
BraintreeConConCon
Brentford and IsleworthLabLabLab
Brigg and GooleLabConCon
Brighton KemptownLabLabLab
BromsgroveConConCon
BroxbourneConConCon
BroxtoweLabLabLab
BurtonLabConCon
Bury NorthLabLabLab
Calder ValleyLabLabLab
Cannock ChaseLabLabLab
Cardiff NorthLabLabLab
CarlisleLabLabLab
Carmarthen West and Pembrokeshire SouthLabLabCon
Chatham and AylesfordConConCon
Chelsea and FulhamConConCon
Chester, City ofLabLabLab
Chingford and Woodford GreenConConCon
Chipping BarnetConConCon
Cities of London and WestminsterConConCon
ClactonConConCon
CleethorpesLabLabCon
Clwyd WestConConCon
CorbyLabLabLab
CrawleyLabConCon
Crewe and NantwichLabConCon
Croydon CentralLabLabLab
DartfordConConCon
Derbyshire MidConConCon
Derbyshire SouthLabConCon
DewsburyLabLabLab
Dorset SouthLabConCon
DoverLabLabCon
Dudley SouthLabLabCon
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and TweeddaleLabLabLab
Ealing Central and ActonLabLabLab
Elmet and RothwellLabLabLab
Enfield NorthLabLabLab
Enfield SouthgateConConCon
ErewashLabLabLab
Filton and Bradley StokeLabLabCon
Finchley and Golders GreenLabLabCon
Forest of DeanConConCon
Gillingham and RainhamConConCon
GloucesterLabLabLab
GraveshamConConCon
Great YarmouthLabLabCon
Halesowen and Rowley RegisLabLabLab
HarlowLabConCon
Harrow EastLabLabLab
Hastings and RyeLabLabLab
HendonLabLabLab
HertsmereConConCon
High PeakLabLabLab
Hornchurch and UpminsterConConCon
HoveLabLabLab
Ilford NorthLabConCon
IpswichLabLabLab
KeighleyLabLabLab
KensingtonConConCon
KetteringConConCon
KingswoodLabLabLab
Lancaster and FleetwoodLabLabLab
Leicestershire North WestLabConCon
LincolnLabLabLab
LoughboroughLabLabLab
MeridenConConCon
Milton Keynes NorthLabConCon
Milton Keynes SouthLabLabCon
MonmouthConConCon
Morecambe and LunesdaleLabLabLab
NewarkConConCon
Northampton NorthLabLabLab
Northampton SouthLabConCon
Norwich NorthLabLabCon
NuneatonLabLabLab
Old Bexley and SidcupConConCon
PendleLabLabLab
PeterboroughLabLabCon
Plymouth Sutton and DevonportLabLabLab
Portsmouth NorthLabConCon
Preseli PembrokeshireLabConCon
PudseyLabLabLab
PutneyConConCon
Reading WestLabLabCon
RedditchLabConCon
Ribble ValleyConConCon
Rochester and StroodConConCon
Rochford and Southend EastConConCon
RomfordConConCon
Rossendale and DarwenLabLabCon
RugbyLabLabCon
Ruislip, Northwood and PinnerConConCon
Scarborough and WhitbyLabLabCon
Selby and AinstyConConCon
SherwoodLabLabLab
ShipleyConConCon
Sittingbourne and SheppeyConConCon
Somerset North EastLabLabLab
South RibbleLabConCon
StaffordLabLabCon
Staffordshire MoorlandsLabConCon
Staffordshire SouthConConCon
StevenageLabLabLab
Stockton SouthLabLabLab
StourbridgeLabLabCon
StroudLabLabLab
Sutton ColdfieldConConCon
Swindon NorthLabConCon
Swindon SouthLabLabLab
TamworthLabConCon
Thanet NorthConConCon
Thanet SouthConConCon
ThurrockLabLabLab
Uxbridge and Ruislip SouthConConCon
Vale of GlamorganLabLabCon
Warrington SouthLabLabLab
Warwick and LeamingtonLabLabLab
Warwickshire NorthLabLabLab
WaveneyLabLabLab
Weaver ValeLabLabLab
WellingboroughConConCon
Welwyn HatfieldConConCon
Wirral WestLabLabLab
Wolverhampton South WestLabLabLab
WorcesterLabLabLab
Wrekin, TheConConCon



5 thoughts on “Did The Lib Dems Cost Labour The Election?

  1. Even if Lib Dem voters cost Labour the election... I don't care. We are now without a party who destroyed civil liberties, gave us SOCPA and all the other awful anti-terrorism legislation, drove us into two illegal wars, removed the commitment to socialism from their own manifesto, cut services to the homeless, introduced ID cards and the database state... I could go on but my dinner's ready and I really don't give enough of a toss about Labour to bore you with any more of their shit...

  2. A better source of data would be to base it on Lib Dems' actually known second preferences - not all Lib Dems are left leaning and many would resort to the Conservatives if there were no Lib Dem preference.

    From this Channel 4 News article based on a poll by comRes: http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/vote_2010/poll+of+polls+election+race+tightens/3627192 Lib Dem voters' second preferences nationwide were: 34% Labour and 26% Conservative. It would be interesting to see what figures your calculations are based on the (obviously error-prone) assumption these proportions would be applied in each constituency.

    (As would the figures for what Labour & Conservative voters' second preferences would be as well in constituencies that their candidates had lost)

  3. anonymous says:

    Labour is naive if it thinks that its the next choice for every Lib Dem supporter. I could never vote for such an authoritarian party. And one could also argue, that Labour has costed the elections for Liberal for decades, after all the Liberal Party was there first.

  4. Gonçalo Valverde says:

    One thing that I find amazing is how british people loose their time discussing if this party cost another the election or not instead of talking about the intrissencal anti-democratic electoral system based on the uninominal process where a lot of votes are set to /dev/null.
    How is it even possible to consider democratic a system where one can get 35% of the votes and the majority of the seats in parliament? How come you can even consider this democratic??

  5. I've updated the post with the stats for those who are interested.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.