General Election 2017 Constituency Guide
Introducing our guide to 50 of the most exciting constituencies in this election. We've asked Paul Krishnamurty to identify, analyse and predict a selection of competitive battlegrounds of all types. Keep checking these right up until polling day to see how the betting is moving and whether Paul changes his early prediction - any such changes will be announced via our @BetfairExchange Twitter feed. If you want to discuss any other seats with Paul, feel free ask any questions via Twitter.
|View||ABERDEEN SOUTH||SNP MAJORITY: 7230||SNP HOLD||Odds|
|Arguably the hardest seats to predict are in Scotland. Here, we are not only trying to understand voter re-alignment following two referenda with another on the horizon, but engrained tactical voting. Plus results in Scotland will almost certainly show a massive advance in the Tory vote share and the SNP inevitably slipping back from their peak performance of 2015.
That dynamic is particularly relevant in areas that were strongly against independence, such as Aberdeen. The local elections were fantastic for the Tories, with unionist Labour and Lib Dem voters apparently switching - or perhaps simply reversing the tactical votes that made sense when their party were no-hopers in Scotland. This required 9.5% swing is perfectly realistic. **UPDATE 7TH JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to SNP HOLD
|View||ASHFIELD||LABOUR MAJORITY: 8820||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Ashfield seems quite an outlandish Tory target but they did win a by-election here during the 1970s and virtually even betting reflects it's troubling profile for Corbyn's Labour. Though this is an ex-mining community, Nottinghamshire miners famously rejected the extreme leftism of Arthur Scargill during the 1984-85 strike. A massive 70% of this overwhelmingly white, older than average electorate voted for Brexit.
Labour's vote share fell by 10% in the recent local election and a similar decline would probably spell defeat for Gloria De Piero, but it isn't wholly clear that defectors would go to the Tories. In the locals, an independent group were the main beneficiaries of Labour, UKIP and Lib Dem losses, with the Tories rising only 1.6%. Given that they start 19% down, it will take an impressive marshalling of the substantial anti-Labour sentiment that has always looked elsewhere.
|View||BATH||CON MAJORITY: 3833||CON HOLD||Odds|
|Given their dominance in polls and recent elections, one wouldn't expect many Tory MPs with nearly 4K majorities to be under pressure, but Ben Howlett cannot take anything for granted. This famous university seat offers a perfect test-case for tactical voting among Remainers. 69% voted against Brexit and the Tories only won it back after 23 years because opposition was split.
Despite having no chance of winning the seat, Labour and the Greens added 7,500 votes in 2015, as the university vote abandoned the Lib Dems after breaking their tuition fees pledge in coalition. Rebuilding that base quickly was always going to be difficult and, with progressive rivals strongly targeting students, any comeback in Bath will require something that is very rare right now - Conservative defectors.
|View||BATLEY & SPEN||LABOUR MAJORITY: 6057||CON GAIN||Odds|
|As the former seat of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, this Yorkshire marginal will attract plenty of attention and the early betting basically implied a 50/50 race. Those ratings must have tilted towards the Tories in light of UKIP's decision to stand down. If two-thirds of their 9,000 voters switch to the Tories, the majority is gone.
In addition to that gamechanging dynamic, the Lab-Con swing in heavily pro-Brexit Yorkshire is likelier to be above the national average. Given that the Tory vote here is solid - they markedly outperformed their national share during their darkest hours of the Blair years - it won't take much to push them over the line.
|View||BIRMINGHAM EDGBASTON||LABOUR MAJORITY: 2706||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|There aren't many in their top-30 Labour targets which look anything less than easy gains for the Tories but Edgbaston is worthy of closer inspection, because they have fallen short of expectations before here. Though Solidly Conservative when they were in power before 1997, Gisela Stuart twice defied the national swing that returned them in 2010 and 2015.
In addition to any personal vote Stuart accrued, the reason attributed is probably due to Edgbaston being a diverse, city seat with a large student population. Interestingly, despite their MP being a leading light of the Leave campaign, it voted 57% for Remain. With UKIP standing aside, the maths have altered in the Tories' favour but this is much less of a certain gain than numerous others around the same or bigger odds. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||BIRMINGHAM NORTHFIELD||LABOUR MAJORITY: 2509||CON GAIN||Odds|
|Northfield is the Conservatives' best chance among Birmingham's eight seats, particularly post-Brexit. In contrast to the more famous marginal of Edgbaston, these voters backed Leave and it's profile - a largely white-working class seat that the Tories last won under Thatcher - reflects the transformation brought about by the referendum.
In the recent local elections, Labour were obliterated across the West Midlands and this region may well produce the highest Lab-Con swing in the country. The far-Right have long been a factor in Northfield and UKIP earned 17% last time. Their withdrawal from the seat will surely hand it to the Tories, who should win with plenty to spare.
|View||BISHOP AUCKLAND||LABOUR MAJORITY: 3508||CON GAIN||Odds|
|A candidate to be this election's most defining seat. 46th on the Tory target list, gaining it will imply a triple-figure majority. If they do so by a big margin, we're probably looking at 200 plus. Alternatively if Labour hold on, they will likely hold on to swathes of less vulnerable seats in their North-East heartland.
It doesn't look promising for Helen Goodman, whose 3508 majority equates to merely half the 2015 UKIP vote - and they are not standing this time. Without a significant swing or error in national or regional polling, Labour must hope that ex-mining communities - where UKIP have been strong - retain their historic resistance to all things Tory. Even if that is a factor generally across the region, it may not be enough in Bishop Auckland, where the Tories start from a solid base.
|View||BRISTOL EAST||LABOUR MAJORITY: 3980||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|With UKIP not standing, Kerry McCarthy is extremely vulnerable here. Their 7,000 votes in 2015 comfortably outweighed Labour's majority and even before that expected mass transfer, the Tories were making notable progress. In the 12 years since McCarthy was elected in 2005, the Lab-Con swing was 8.5%, compared to 4.7% nationally. Gentrification probably explains it.
Two factors could potentially save her. First, any marked increase in tactical voting among progressives, particularly students - the Greens earned 8.3% last time. Second, that English cities are bucking the national trend and becoming more liberal. Labour dominated last year's council elections, gaining seven seats and Marvin Rees easily won the Mayoralty. Plus in contrast to the areas where Labour are crumbling, this constituency marginally backed Remain. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||BURNLEY||LABOUR MAJORITY: 3244||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Arguably the most unpredictable seat of this election, especially during this period of realignment. Liberals have historic strength in Lancashire, often providing the opposition to Labour and in recent years this has been a marginal between the two. However the latter reclaimed it with a 7% swing and, with the Lib Dems making little or no national headway, it is hard to see them regaining it.
The key question therefore regards the solidity of this past Lib Dem vote. Burnley is a 67% Leave constituency, with a history of race riots and a strong far-Right. The winning target was only 38% in 2015 so, if Theresa May really is uniting Brexiteers, the Tories must have a chance of winning from fourth place. A likelier outcome is that a split opposition benefits Labour again.
|View||BURY SOUTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 4922||CON GAIN||Odds|
|Failure to reclaim Bury North was one of the worst results of Labour's 2015 defeat, demonstrating that while they totally dominate Manchester, it's outskirts are turning blue. A 55% vote for Brexit similarly differed from the city and suggests they will lose the other Bury seat too.
On their own, the numbers are tight, with the UKIP vote only 1300 higher than the Labour majority. However the Corbyn factor makes this seat particularly vulnerable. Bury South includes a large Jewish population - a group with whom he is especially unpopular after comments about Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah. Sitting MP Ivan Lewis is also Jewish and has spoken out fiercely against his leader on these issues, but the damage could already be done.
|View||CARSHALTON & WALLINGTON||LIB DEM MAJORITY: 1510||CON GAIN||Odds|
|One of several classic Lib-Con marginals in West London, Tom Brake defied the city and nationwide trend to hold off the Tory advance in 2015. His 1510 majority, however, looks nowhere near enough, comfortably outweighed by 7049 UKIP voters now looking for a new home after their party stood aside.
Any hope of survival will depend on Brake's longstanding record in the constituency and his ability to reform the coalition of support that earned him 48% in 2010 - there are nearly 9,000 Labour or Green voters to squeeze. The decisive factor could be the referendum, though. Unlike the neighbouring ex-Lib Dem strongholds, a 56-44 majority of these voters backed Brexit.
|View||COVENTRY NORTH-WEST||LABOUR MAJORITY: 4509||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Gordon Brown opened Labour's campaign for Coventry's three seats, doubtless motivated by particular concern for his old ally Geoffrey Robinson. After 42 years representing the constituency, Robinson - a former chairman of Jaguar and Coventry City FC - faces a real struggle following the EU referendum. 59% voted for Brexit here and UKIP's 7,000 votes comfortably exceed his lead over the Tories.
However New Labour's Paymaster General could receive help from an unlikely source. Dave Nellist - a legend in far-Left circles - won 3.9% here for TUSC in 2015. He's not confirmed to stand again as yet and if not, his supporters are natural Corbyn backers. The Greens also got 4%, thanks no doubt to a sizeable student politician. If tactical voting considerations can unite that coalition, Robinson could just hang on.
|View||DAGENHAM & RAINHAM||LABOUR MAJORITY: 4980||CON GAIN||Odds|
|Just as Labour face a catastrophic loss of support among their heartlands in the North and Midlands as a result of Brexit, the same phenomenon applies on the East London/Essex border. Whilst liberal inner-London voted overwhelmingly for Remain, 70% went for Leave here. Likewise UKIP's 30% vote share in 2015 is worlds apart from the rest of London. A better guide would be the sea of neighbouring Tory seats in Essex, particularly Thurrock - an incredibly tight CON/LAB/UKIP marginal.
Dagenham has always voted Labour but had become relatively marginal by 2010. Jon Cruddas - a well-regarded Labour thinker who many hoped would run for leader after that defeat - impressively held his share in 2015 despite the gamechanging rise of UKIP, and will probably fight a strong campaign. However as elsewhere, Labour are relying on UKIP holding up well enough to split the Brexit vote.
|View||DARLINGTON||LABOUR MAJORITY: 3158||CON GAIN||Odds|
|Although Alan Milburn racked up huge majorities here during New Labour's heyday, Darlington was always regarded as a potential Tory target in better times for the party. They won it as recently as 1992 and, having always maintained strong local representation, are poised to finally regain it. This is part of the Tees Valley area, which voted for a Tory mayor earlier this month.
Jenny Chapman's majority simply isn't enough to stem the national tide and the swing seems likelier to be higher than average in this region. Regardless of any Lab-Con swing, if 60% of UKIP voters switch to Theresa May, the deficit is gone.
|View||DUDLEY NORTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 4181||CON GAIN||Odds|
The 2015 swing from Labour to Conservative in neighbouring Dudley South was over twice the national average and it seems that was ahead of a trend across the West Midlands. The main reason it hasn't happened in North already is UKIP. They were already a factor by 2010, earning 8% as Labour's lead over the Tories shrunk to just 649. When they rose to 24% in 2015, the Tories were disproportionately affected.
Local election results in the region were absymal for Labour, precisely because of the mass defection of Kippers to the Tories. Unless something changes during the course of the campaign, this should be a banker gain.
|View||EALING CENTRAL & ACTON||LABOUR MAJORITY: 274||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Considering they're projected to win well over 50 seats from Labour, one would expect number three on the Tory target list to be a foregone conclusion. Yet due to this being in London, it is far from impossible that Rupa Huq hangs on, even on a bad night for the party. The Greens have withdrawn to help support her, thus more or less cancelling out the effect of UKIP's withdrawal.
If recent elections and polls are the guide, London will vote very differently from the rest of the country on June 8th. That was very much the case in 2015 and polls show little or no swing to the Tories since. This is a seat that voted 72% for Remain and prime for tactical voting.
|View||EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE||SNP MAJORITY: 2167||LD GAIN||Odds|
|One of this election's most interesting open questions concerns the fate of seats that voted against Scottish independence in 2014, yet chose the SNP in 2015. With another referenda on the agenda, there will be plenty of tactical voting from unionists aiming to take them back. On the other hand, East Dunbartonshire voted 73% for Remain so may be better persuaded by the main SNP pitch now.
Lib Dem Jo Swinson used to be a beneficiary of such tactics, yet she still fell short against a historic swing. Given that the SNP will fall back a little, she must have a great chance of regaining it, but it isn't clear that the tactical coalition will hold up. After their massive advance in local elections, Tory voters may be less inclined to lend their vote as this is a seat they could win over the long-term. **UPDATE 7TH JUNE: Prediction changed from SNP HOLD TO LIB DEM GAIN
|View||EAST RENFREWSHIRE||SNP MAJORITY: 3718||SNP HOLD||Odds|
|Perhaps the most notable aspect of the SNP's remarkable 2015 result was how they won strongly unionist seats - because that 55% of the electorate were split between three establishment parties. East Renfrewshire is a case in point and will revolve around the ability of these unionist voters to first decide who is best placed to win, and then unite around them. Given that the SNP won on just 41% and bound to slip back from that peak result, they are certainly beatable.
While historically strong Labour, represented by former leader in Scotland Jim Murphy, it is relatively affluent, unionist and reminiscent of a Tory seat in England. With Murphy's personal vote gone, the party in crisis and Jeremy Corbyn likely very toxic to a large Jewish population, Ruth Davidson's party are well placed to sweep the unionist vote and win from third place. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to SNP HOLD
|View||EDINBURGH SOUTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 2637||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Two years on from their post-referendum disaster, once dominant Labour continue to hollow out in Scotland. Their only remaining seat is rated a three-way marginal and we have a side market regarding whether they'll win a single seat on June 8th. Holding this last bastion is probably their only hope. Fortunately for Ian Murray, the tactical dynamics could help him.
The SNP start a close second but this is a unionist seat, which was solid Tory until the party became toxic north of the border during the Thatcher era. Now enjoying their best spell since, positioned as the defenders of the union, they will fancy regaining it over time and there's plenty of money around for them winning from a distant third. However unionists are likelier to unite around Labour rather than risk losing the seat to the SNP.
|View||ELLESMERE PORT & NESTON||LABOUR MAJORITY: 6275||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|With Conservatives eyeing seats they haven't won since the 1980s, the early betting favours them, but it will require a scale of Labour defection that hasn't materialised in recent elections. Their lead only fell by 1% between 2005 and 2015 so Theresa May must hope this electorate's 57% support for Brexit is a gamechanger.
A fundamental problem is that UKIP's 5594 votes is less than Labour's majority. Nevertheless the mostly rural Tory share is rock-solid so any anti-Corbyn switchers - and this doesn't look fertile territory for his brand of leftism - could swing it. This is dead-heat material.
|View||GEDLING||LABOUR MAJORITY: 2986||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|When Vernon Coaker took this Nottinghamshire suburb in 1997 it seemed like one of the more vulnerable gains among Tony Blair's first landslide. The fact he's still there is testament to his constituency record and ground game, which offers hope amidst an otherwise gloomy mathematical picture. His majority is well within Tory range if national swing is applied and there are nearly 7,000 UKIP voters for them to squeeze. Gedling voted for Brexit by a 56/44 margin.
Nevertheless, Coaker's record of swimming against that national tide must be noted. Between 1997 and 2015, the LAB-CON swing was just 1.5%, compared to 9% nationally. Perhaps, unlike so many colleagues hampered by the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn on the doorstep, he can defy gravity again.
|View||HAMMERSMITH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 6518||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Compared to the swathe of suddenly competitive marginals in the Midlands and North, Labour will feel much more confident about an inner-London seat like this, because the recent direction of electoral travel is so different. On an otherwise grim night in 2015, Andy Slaughter almost doubled his majority over the Conservatives here, in keeping with the general trend in London. Likewise a 69% vote in favour of Remain is almost the exact opposite of a northern Labour marginal.
As UK politics is going through a re-alignment process, seats like this are moving towards the liberal left, not least because the demographics are nothing like national averages. Only around 40% of this electorate are white British. More than twice as many in were in full-time education than were retired. Only 31% live in owner-occupied properties. Such trends strongly favour an internationalist Labour Party, positioned on the side of tenants.
|View||HARTLEPOOL||LABOUR MAJORITY: 3024||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|A fascinating three-way marginal. Solid Labour since 1959, Hartlepool threatens to be one of their most humiliating defeats - a perfect illustration of decline in their industrial heartlands. Their best hope of survival is that UKIP don't disintegrate here as they are expected to across the land. The reason they might not is that former wrestler Philip Broughton finished second with 30% of the vote last time and retains hopes of at least bucking the national trend.
There are no positive signals for Labour here regarding demographics, recent polls and Brexit - supported by 70%. The Tories are buoyant after winning the Tees Valley Mayoralty although, given a 17% turnout, there is no comprehensive proof that they are breaking through in a constituency where, as recently as 2005, they were 41% behind Labour. They only won 23% here in 2015 so will need to hoover up at least half of that UKIP vote. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||HEYWOOD & MIDDLETON||LABOUR MAJORITY: 2706||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Given their huge national poll lead, there are few realistic targets where the Conservatives are outsiders but here, their post-Brexit claim at least equal compared to some of Labour's northern strongholds where they start favourites. They more than halved their deficit to 13% between 2005-2010 before UKIP stole their thunder. Nevertheless, events since confirm Labour are in trouble.
UKIP nearly pulled off a historic upset in a 2014 by-election here, despite making little campaigning effort relative to a successful bid in Kent on the same night. In 2015 they earned 32% and the constituency has since voted 63% for Brexit. The number of Kipper voters here is almost triple the Labour majority, leaving plenty for the Tories to plunder. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||HYNDBURN||LABOUR MAJORITY: 4400||CON GAIN||Odds|
|Another Northern Labour stronghold that hasn't been marginal for decades but is suddenly vulnerable in the post-referendum climate. 21% of this electorate voted for UKIP in 2015 and 66% for Brexit. The Tories need to utilise the latter to win less than half of the former's 9,154 votes, in order to wipe out the Labour majority. With very few Lib Dem or Green voters to target, the numbers look grim for Labour.
A good way of measuring some of these outlandish targets - seats where Conservatives haven't been remotely competitive in recent times but that voted for Brexit - is to look further back to the last time they were so dominant, under Margaret Thatcher. Whereas many of these places have never come close to electing a Tory, Thatcher won this Lancashire marginal in both 1983 and 1987, while John Major only lost narrowly in 1992.
|View||LEEDS NORTH-EAST||LABOUR MAJORITY: 7250||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Theresa May's movements offer obvious clues about which seats she is targeting. Leeds is clearly on the radar and this is by far their best chance among the city's five seats. It used to be held by Margaret Thatcher's intellectual mentor Sir Keith Joseph. It would require a 7.5% swing which is much likelier in Yorkshire than across the nation as a whole.
Those maths, however, require further analysis. Demographic change has moved this seat away from the Tories and, while they retain a solid base, their vote share has flat-lined for decades. In 2015, they won a percentage point less than in their catastrophic 1997 defeat. Plus there aren't enough UKIP voters to squeeze - to win this seat, the Tories will need a significant number of Labour defectors.
|View||LEEDS NORTH-WEST||LIB DEM MAJORITY: 2907||LAB GAIN||Odds|
|Greg Mulholland's resilience in this student-heavy area of Leeds was probably the best Lib Dem result in 2015, demonstrating how strong local credentials can hold back the national tide. Consequently, he is heavily odds-on to retain it but this result is far from certain in what has historically been a three-way marginal.
An enormous crowd gathered for Jeremy Corbyn's rally in Leeds last week, proving that however unpopular he is among most older and swing voters, he connects with a particular section of society much more than recent Labour leaders. This relatively young, 65% Remain-supporting university seat looks perfect. Polls show Labour squeezing Green voters, who total more than Mulholland's majority.
|View||LUTON SOUTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 5711||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|The more marginal of Luton's two seats - a plausible 65th on the Tory target list - illustrates how, in order to win a record-breaking majority, Theresa May will need to connect with very different audiences, right across the country. Luton South voted for Leave but demographically it is far from fertile Tory territory. Less than half the population are white British and there's a substantial number of students.
Although they were a respectable second in 2010, the Tory vote share has barely moved. It was 31% in both their catastrophic 1997 defeat and last year's majority victory. Were UKIP's 5129 voters to transfer en masse, it would nearly wipe out Labour's majority but overhauling them remains a tall order. It would indicate a massive nationwide Tory victory with well in excess of 400 seats.
|View||MANSFIELD||LABOUR MAJORITY: 5315||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Another heavily pro-Brexit seat where the numbers spell trouble for Labour. The Lab-Con swing here since 2005 is 9.5% - more than twice the national average - and came despite UKIP rising to 25%, and before the constituency voted 70% for Leave. In order to wipe out the majority, the Tories need to win less than half of those UKIP voters.
Typically for an ex-mining community, Labour survival probably depends upon UKIP resilience. It's clear from their reduced majority that the bulk of Kippers here switched from Labour so perhaps there will be some engrained resistance to voting Tory. There was some suggestion that their local election performance fell short. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||NEWPORT WEST||LABOUR MAJORITY: 3510||LAB HOLD||Odds|
There have been mixed polling signals from Wales regarding the potentially epic scale of Lab-Con swing, and just how many gains it will deliver Theresa May. Both Newport seats are on very much on her radar but there was some suggestion that their local election performance fell short.
Of the two, this is an easier gain than East and octogenarian Paul Flynn will need to call upon goodwill from his three decades as MP. At least 30% of these voters are solid Tory, and 2015 UKIP voters numbered almost double the Labour majority. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||NORTH NORFOLK||LIB DEM MAJORITY: 4043||CON GAIN||Odds|
|After losing 49 of their 57 seats in 2010, the Lib Dems had high hopes of making considerable gains but this constituency - which they've held since 2001 - could expose the limitations of their strategy. Positioning themselves as the Remain Party, offering a second referendum, may work in London marginals but it could have a toxic effect across most of the country.
North Norfolk voted 58% for Leave and the Tories scent blood. They already control all bar two of the Norfolk seats so will pour campaign resources in. Both UKIP and the Greens have pulled out - freeing up just shy of 10,000 votes from 2015. The former's 8,328 are easily enough to wipe out Norman Lamb's majority so he will need to call upon every ounce of local goodwill for past service.
|View||NORWICH SOUTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 7654||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Labour's battle to hold on to it's last seat in Norfolk could have significant implications for the party's future. Clive Lewis is one of the leading candidates to succeed Jeremy Corbyn and an advocate of working with other parties to form a progressive alliance - particularly with regard to Brexit. The nature of his constituency - which voted 60% for Remain - explains why.
This is a liberal, university seat, where the majority of voters support progressive parties. The Lib Dems won it in 2010 and it is high on the Greens target list. Both demonstrated the irrelevance of national swing here by beating UKIP by more than 2,000 votes in 2015. Although the Tories are in second place, their ceiling appears very low. In every election between 1997 and 2015, they got between 23 and 25%.
|View||NOTTINGHAM SOUTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 6936||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|If the Tories are to win a big majority, it will include swathes of seats they last held during the Thatcher era. Nottingham South even backed John Major in 1992 and they came within 4% of victory as recently as 2010. Nevertheless, demographics makes it a very tough gain. Less than two-thirds of this relatively young population are white British and around a third are students. 55% voted for remain.
Plus, whereas so many other Midlands Labour seats contain a natural post-Brexit majority for Theresa May to sweep up, there are 2,000 fewer UKIP voters here than the Labour majority. Lilian Greenwood has a renowned ground game in Nottingham and, after Labour's pledge to abolish tuition fees, is well-placed to win a third term.
|View||OLDHAM EAST & SADDLEWORTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 6002||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|The scene of much political drama and turmoil in recent decades, this is one of the trickiest seats to call. The Tories start favourites, due to their potential to squeeze of 8557 UKIP votes, but have never bettered 26% here. It isn't clear that these will overwhelmingly transfer as the far-Right has a long history here, dating back to race riots.
Historically the opposition here was likelier to be Lib Dem, whose complaints following a very narrow 2010 defeat forced the resignation of Labour's Phil Woolas and a by-election. Debbie Abrahams held the seat and has since extended her majority. Her local reputation will be critical because this doesn't seem like ideal Corbynista territory, but the Labour vote seems solid as generally is the case around Manchester. Labour also won a by-election in the neighbouring Oldham seat by a surprisingly impressive margin.
|View||PENISTONE & STOCKBRIDGE||LABOUR MAJORITY: 6723||CON GAIN||Odds|
|South Yorkshire is a region to follow closely in this election. Overwhelmingly Labour yet very pro-Brexit, it seems ripe for producing an unprecendented swing to the Conservatives, beyond the national average and therefore perhaps blindsiding betting markets. In most seats around Barnsley, Sheffield and Doncaster the challenge will not only be reversing massive deficits, but being taken seriously in seats where they have no base.
That cannot be said about this rural commuter town. After the new boundaries came into effect in 2010, the Tories more than doubled their share. UKIP earned 10,738 votes last time and, although they are standing again, it doesn't seem unrealistic to expect 7,000 to transfer instantly and wipe out Angela Smith's majority. And this is before any Labour voters among a very white, older than average electorate switch in protest against Corbyn.
|View||ROTHER VALLEY||LABOUR MAJORITY: 7297||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|Merely the fact that Rother Valley is regarded in play demonstrates what a unique, transformative election this could be. Were the Tories to win this former mining-stronghold - consistently Labour since 1918 - they'll be on course for well beyond 400 seats and few turnarounds will be more stunning. They start from third place, nearly 10,000 votes behind but this constituency's 67% support for Brexit offers reason to believe change could be in the air.
Kevin Barron hasn't endured a stressful election since becoming MP in 1983, but his majority has nearly halved since 2005. UKIP made big inroads last time, earning 28% and 13,204 votes. Whilst they seem certain to fall back everywhere, Paul Nuttall has said there are particular communities that support his party but will never vote Tory. If UKIP has a future, it is likely in seats like Rother Valley and the resilience of their base here could split the anti-Labour vote.
|View||SEDGEFIELD||LABOUR MAJORITY: 6843||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|You know Labour are in big trouble when the Tories are around even money in former mining towns of County Durham. This was the seat of Tony Blair, no less, and going blue would represent a glaring emblem of the party's demise since his majority-winning days. Alternatively, survival would demonstrate resilience during a period of existential crisis and a limit to Tory advances.
It is also a tight, tricky betting heat to predict. UKIP are standing, suggesting they have a core that isn't likely to transfer en masse to Theresa May. Without them, the Tories could fall short because their deficit is already bigger than the entire UKIP vote. While Brexit is transforming party allegiance - Sedgefield voted 59% for Leave - resistance to the party of Thatcher's 1980s will persist in some communities. This would be a truly stunning gain.
|View||SHEFFIELD HALLAM||LIB DEM MAJORITY: 2353||LAB GAIN||Odds|
|Britain's first past the post system inevitably encourages tactical voting, which is bound to unwind during a period of realignment. That could spell big trouble for Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems, who have utilised such tactics from both principal opponents. Hallam was safe Tory until 1997, before the Lib Dems started hoovering up the university and tactical Labour vote. Yet by 2015, Clegg had alienated students and needed tactical Tory votes to fend off Labour.
Party leaders always get a boost in their own constituencies and that may be all that saved Clegg from the nationwide Lib Dem wipeout. As their dire polling since 2010 demonstrates, there aren't enough solid Lib Dem voters to win most seats without tactical help. Labour are consolidating the student vote, while the Tories should fancy their chances, creating a genuinely unpredictable three-way marginal.
|View||SOUTHAMPTON TEST||LABOUR MAJORITY: 3810||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|One of only four Labour seats in the South-East, Test is extremely vulnerable. Alan Whitehead's 3810 majority is not enough to survive the projected national swing and UKIP's withdrawal throws 5566 voters primarily in the Tories' direction.
Those numbers do not bode well for Labour but the seat is not lost yet. The Greens have also pulled out so their 2568 voters could balance the UKIP effect. This is a university seat that voted marginally for Remain so there are plenty of non-Tories to corral if tactical voting takes off. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||SOUTHPORT||LIB DEM MAJORITY: 1322||CON GAIN||Odds|
|John Pugh was one of only eight Lib Dem MPs to survive their nationwide massacre in 2015 but, now the 68 year-old is standing down, his replacement is in serious trouble. Without Pugh's personal vote - Lib Dems historically punch above their weight in this regard - the numbers simply don't add up without a significant national surge that has yet to show any signs of materialising.
Like everywhere, the key is UKIP. Their 7429 votes in 2015 amounted to more than five times the Lib Dem majority, so the expected transfer could hand the Tories victory with plenty to spare. To fight it, the incumbents need to squeeze the 22% of Labour and Green voters, for whom Brexit might be the key issue as Southport voted 54% for Remain.
|View||STIRLING||SNP MAJORITY: 10480||SNP HOLD||Odds|
|Even during their darkest years, Stirling was seen as a realistic Tory target. They held it as recently as 1992 and, given the party's tremendous progress under Ruth Davidson, they have strong hopes of claiming it after one term of SNP representation. After a great set of local elections they are clearly the main opposition, which is bound to ensure plenty of tactical support.
This seat voted strongly against independence, making the SNP vulnerable as they slip back from the all-time peak of 2015. They cannot afford to fall much, because 49% voted for Con/Labour combined and a sizeable chunk of unionist supporters of the latter are expected to tactically switch to whichever party is best placed to win. As elsewhere, the SNP defence must rely in emphasising hostility to Brexit, as this is a 68% Remain seat.
|View||STOKE-ON-TRENT CENTRAL||LABOUR MAJORITY: 5179||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|That Stoke is the defining city in this election speaks volumes about Labour decline and post-Brexit realignment. This is the safest of the city's three seats - their 86th most vulnerable in the country - yet anything but a banker after 65% voted for Brexit.
Labour defied the doom-mongers in February's by-election but their principal opposition then was UKIP, who stalled after Paul Nuttall's catastrophic campaign. As it became clear they weren't winning there was a notable swing to the Tories, who had barely made any effort to win it. That swing has gained momentum since, making them a realistic challenger in a seat they've never been competitive, but historic Tory weakness in Stoke must cast doubt on how open these particular UKIP voters will be to switching.
|View||STOKE-ON-TRENT NORTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 4836||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|No English city provides a more apt backdrop to this election than Stoke-on-Trent. All three of it's Labour-dominated seats are regarded as marginal and the city was labelled 'Brexit Central' after the referendum. There's no doubt that the numbers and dynamics present mortal danger for the party, but that was also said widely before they held Stoke-on-Trent Central in February's by-election.
The Tories were third on that occasion, finishing fast to nearly catch UKIP, despite little campaigning effort. It may be that the UKIP implosion - and mass transfer of votes to the Tories - only really took effect after Paul Nuttall's implosion during that race. However another reading of that result was that, at arguably their most vulnerable moment, the Labour tradition was still strong enough to register a comfortable victory. This one looks extremely tight. **UPDATE 2ND JUNE: Prediction changed from CON GAIN to LAB HOLD
|View||TOOTING||LABOUR MAJORITY: 2842||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|If Labour were defending a majority below 3,000 in any other part of the country against a fast-rising Tory vote, they would be big outsiders. In London - where polls suggest little change since 2015 - they start favourites. Nevertheless, this remains a tough marginal to call.
Tooting has become a prime Tory target over the past decade and their share rose from 26% to 42% between 2001 and 2010. The reason they failed to take it may have owed something to a personal vote for Sadiq Khan. After he became London Mayor, local doctor Rosena Allin-Khan won the by-election comfortably on a 42% turnout but has had less than a year to build a following. In her favour, the constituency voted Remain by a huge 75-25% margin and there are only 1500 UKIP voters for the Tories to squeeze.
|View||TWICKENHAM||CON MAJORITY: 2017||LIB DEM GAIN||Odds|
|Arguably the biggest shock of 2015 was popular Lib Dem Vince Cable losing a 12K majority and the former Business Secretary is bidding to gain revenge. Although his party continue to languish in the polls while the Tories soar, this is one of their best chances of a gain. It is a rare example where the party's distinctive stance against Brexit is in line with the constituency - 67% voted Remain here.
They regained neighbouring Richmond in last year's by-election on an enormous swing, with Brexit surely a major factor. Both seats and the region in general have a long Lib Dem tradition and there was a feeling in 2015 that their troubles were compounded by a late swing, as Southern voters feared the real prospect of a fractured Labour-led coalition. With that threat less realistic this time and Cable on the ticket, this small majority is within reach.
|View||TYNEMOUTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 8240||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|The North-East has been a desert for Conservatives in recent times but, given some pedigree at council level, Tynemouth has always been one of their likelier targets and Theresa May has already visited in this campaign. It differed, however, from most suddenly vulnerable Northern Labour seats in voting for Remain.
Judging by recent elections, overturning a 15% deficit is going to be tough. The Labour vote held up well here during a grim period for the party. Whereas their national vote share declined by nearly 13% between 2001 and 2015, it only fell by 5% here. Critically the UKIP tally of 6541 is well short of Alan Campbell's majority, so the Tories will need Labour converts that haven't materialised of late.
|View||WESTMINSTER NORTH||LABOUR MAJORITY: 1977||LAB HOLD||Odds|
|An increasingly rare type of marginal. One still overwhelmingly dominated by the big two parties and where the old class divide still largely defines the split. There is both extreme wealth and poverty in Westminster North and seemingly fewer voters in flux. There were only 167 more UKIP voters in 2010 than Greens, so any transfers will likely even out between Labour and Conservative.
The majority may look thin but, this being London, may prove enough. Polls have shown a small Tory advance at best here and early campaign signals suggest Labour may even be improving in the capital. Since 2005, the Labour share has actually risen by 2% and the Tories made no advance on their 5% deficit between 2010 and 2015.
|View||WESTMORLAND & LONSDALE||LIB DEM MAJORITY: 8949||LIB DEM HOLD||Odds|
|One feature of recent general elections has been Lib Dems being on both sides of, ultimately unsuccessful, decapitation strategies targeting a party leader. They targeted Michael Howard in 2005, while Nick Clegg came under severe pressure from Labour in 2015. This time the Tories are making a serious bid to eject Tim Farron.
One can see why. This rural Cumbrian seat was solid Tory until 2005 and they knocked a quarter off Farron's majority last time. The Lib Dems are vulnerable everywhere right now but what will probably save him is that party leaders nearly always get an extra boost in their constituency.
|View||WORKINGTON||LABOUR MAJORITY: 4686||CON GAIN||Odds|
|Cumbria is one of the areas where Labour's decline seems particularly acute, liable to produce a swing to the Conservatives greater than the national average. If the current polls are correct, Workington would be lost for the first time since 1918. From 57th on the Tory list, it will certainly be targeted and the demographics - 98% white and a large number of pensioners - do not bode well for Jeremy Corbyn.
A pro-Brexit seat by a 60/40 margin, the key will be UKIP, whose 7538 votes from 2015 comfortably outweigh Labour's majority. There are obvious similarities with Copeland - lost recently in a by-election, primarily because UKIP had eaten away at it's core vote in 2010, then either not returned or switched to the Tories.
|View||YNS MON||LABOUR MAJORITY: 229||PC GAIN||Odds|
|The island of Anglesey hosts one of the most exciting contests of this election - a three-way marginal for which the incumbents are clear outsiders. Albert Owen has won four terms but never with more than 35% of the vote. That simply isn't enough to withstand a swing against the party in Wales.
Plaid Cymru previously held the seat and have always remained the principal opposition, losing by a tiny amount in 2015. They seem likelier beneficiaries of a Labour decline than the Tories, whose best in recent decades is just 22%. However UKIP also won 15% in 2015 so their probable transfers come into the mix.