UK General Election Constituency Betting: The ten most vulnerable Labour seats to a Tory advance

Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson
These seats are not all the straightforward Con/Lab battles implied by the numbers

Given expected losses elsewhere, any route to a Tory majority involves substantial gains off Labour. Paul Krishnamurty analyses their top ten Labour targets, ranked by majority...

"Ashfield is not a straightforward Tory pick-up, thanks to the emergence of Ashfield Independents. This group took 30 out of 35 seats on the council in May and, given the wider anti-politician mood, probably deserve favouritism."

Back Ashfield Independents to win Ashfield @ 2.35/4


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Scene of a famous upset in 2017, Kensington is one of the most exciting seats of this election. Labour's majority is a miniscule 20 but the Tories are by no means certain to win, despite their improved national position. Former Tory minister Sam Gwimah - who quit over Brexit - stands for the Lib Dems and should take substantial votes off both parties in this overwhelmingly Remain seat. Just 36% could be enough to win so don't underestimate the resilience of Labour's base.

Dudley North

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If the Tories don't overturn a 22 majority in this 71% Leave constituency, they are in big trouble nationally. Ian Austin's successful defence in 2017 was a big upset but he soon quit Labour in protest at Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and is now even endorsing Boris Johnson. Labour's hopes may now rest upon the fact their candidate, Melanie Dudley, shares her name with the constituency.


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Another Leave seat (62%) in the West Midlands that produced a stunning betting upset in 2017. The bad news for Labour is that five-time winner Paul Farrelly is standing down, leaving a golden opportunity for contributor Aaron Bell to overturn a majority of just 30. The Tories could win this even on a bad night where they lost seats overall.

Crewe and Nantwich

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This has become something of a bellweather. When Edward Timpson took it in a 2008 by-election, it signalled the end of New Labour. Laura Smith's surprising win in 2017 was one of Labour's most impressive gains - especially considering it voted 60/40 for Leave in the referendum. Her 48 majority looks extremely vulnerable and requires an incumbency bounce. However, Timpson's decision to fight a different seat, rather than pursue what appears an easy regain on paper, might offer a clue.


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This student-heavy, 55% Remain seat produced arguably the biggest upset of 2017 with Labour winning on an 11% swing. Given her party's subsequent lack of clarity over Brexit, Rosie Duffield's 187 majority is extremely vulnerable. Labour appeared to receive some good news this week when the Lib Dem candidate unilaterally withdrew but Tim Walker has since been replaced. We will see what, if any, message that sends.

Barrow & Furness

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Apparently no 2017 result shocked Labour people more than holding this 57/43 Leave seat. MP Jon Woodcock was already semi-detached under Corbyn's leadership and soon resigned the whip after re-election. This constituency is heavily reliant on the nuclear industry to which the Labour leader has long been opposed. If the Tories don't win here they can forget a majority and might not even win the most seats.


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Keighley is one of several Leave-voting constituencies (53%) that defied the initial narrative of 2017 that assumed Brexit would essentially determine of party affiliation, to Tory benefit. In fact as the UKIP vote collapsed, John Grogan overturned a 3,000 deficit to regain the seat for Labour. His 219 majority is nowhere near enough to cover this year's projected national swing but, given what happened last time, the Tories can hardly be described as a reliable bet at short odds-on.


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Next a 70% Leave seat where Brexit does appear to have played a profound role in 2017, as the Tories enjoyed a 9% swing from Labour in stark contrast to national trends. Those tensions and a 429 majority stalked MP Gloria De Piero throughout the subsequent parliamentary impasse and her standing down offers a signal. However, this is not a straightforward Tory pick-up, thanks to the emergence of Ashfield Independents. This group took 30 out of 35 seats on the council in May and, given the wider anti-politician mood, probably deserve favouritism.


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The same two candidates - David Drew and Neil Carmichael - have contested every election this century but the former will face a different Tory this time. Drew's local profile offers a route to retain this 54% Remain seat but prominent Green MEP Molly Scott-Cato threatens to split their vote. Sometimes described as the 'greenest town in the West', they run the council and could reach double-digits.

Bishop Auckland

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Bishop Auckland represents an easier target than several of the above. While the Labour vote soared nationally in 2017, the Tories enjoyed a 4% swing against them, presumably due to Brexit bringing it firmly within range. UKIP earned an above average 18% here in 2015 and Helen Goodman's hopes of a fifth term in parliament may depend on a sizeable share for Farage's new party now the Brexit Party has confirmed it is standing here.

Follow Paul on Twitter and check out his website, Political Gambler.

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