Shake-up would boost Conservatives
THE Conservative Party would have won the last general election outright – if proposed changes to the constituency boundaries had been in place.
A study by Plymouth University academics shows the Tory party would have won the last election with a majority of two if the new boundaries were fixed – and therefore would have been able to govern alone.
Instead, their Liberal Democrat coalition partners are insisting they will vote against the package next October.
The boundary proposals, announced yesterday, are part of a scheme to cut MPs' ranks by 50, to 600, and achieve closer equality in constituency electorates.
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In their report, Plymouth University election experts professors Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher say these would see Labour strongholds dismantled in the North and Wales, with Tories faring better, reflecting population shifts from North to South and from cities to suburbs.
The professors say that, following revised recommendations for England and Scotland, Tories could be "defending" 301 seats in 2015 – five down on 2010; Labour just 225 – 33 down; and Lib Dems 49 – down eight.
The professors add that the new boundaries "do not eliminate the disproportionate way in which the parties receive seats for the votes they get".
"Tories will still need to be some seven points ahead of Labour to win a majority next time. By contrast, Ed Miliband needs only to be four points ahead to secure his own overall majority."