Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The "Not the Official Target" List

Opinions in the party seem to run the whole gamut from "we're all doomed" to a quiet optimism that we shall hold most of our existing seats, with Lord Ashcroft's polling suggesting our MPs score highest on esteem from constituents, which has to help in engendering the "incumbent factor".

I have spent some time gazing at the target list (created by Andy JS) lately and wondering a few questions.

The first question is what this list looked like in 2009...? Obviously some of these seats weren't on that list because we held them! And some that were not necessarily our top targets were won...

This list is predicated by swing needed to win and merely for reasons of shifting demographics and rising or falling of branch numbers (and councillor numbers) we shall have more or less oomph in some of these places than we did last time. I have written before about the intriguing decision to make Newbury (which we held until 2001) a target seat. You have to look farther down the list to find this seat than one would normally for a target, I still don't get it..

In any case, most of the Labour seats near the top of the list would seem to be out of reach. This tempted me to ponder my own target list.. what we need to achieve this outcome is some more economic recovery, UKIP fading a little (but not too much), some Labour infighting, and more airspace between us and the Tories. All of that is eminently doable or guaranteed (Labour infighting, in particular). Nick C has started to steer the supertanker more to the centre left. Now we need to pad out our policy offering and make our ministers look like they make a difference.

I thought I might cast my bread upon the water and list my winnable seats out of this target list:

1. Camborne & Redruth
3. Oxwab
5. Ashfield
7. Truro & Falmouth
8. Newton Abbott
13. Harrogate & Knaresborough
16. Montgomeryshire
20. Weston super Mare
21. Hereford & Herefordshire South
22. Devon West & Torridge
23. Winchester
25. Cornwall South East
29. Richmond Park
38. Romsey & Southampton North

I would welcome challenges on these and also some suggestions on other "less than obvious" winnable seats and why.... let the battle begin..

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