Labour won’t win enough North West seats to secure a majority, say experts

Labour won’t win enough North West seats at the general election in May to get an overall majority in parliament, researchers from the University of Liverpool suggest.

The opposition party is targeting 13 Conservative seats in the region but experts from the University, as part of a project supported BBC North West, suggest they’ll only win two. That would mean the party faces a near-impossible task to secure an overall majority in parliament. 

The research points to Labour gaining two seats from the Conservatives and two seats from the Liberal Democrats. Labour needs to gain many more MPs in the North West if the party is to govern on its own.

The research was unveiled at a special pre-election political conference held at the BBC’s northern base in MediaCity UK in Salford. Based on the performance of the parties in recent elections and opinion polls, political analysts from the University say Labour will gain Burnley and Manchester Withington from the Liberal Democrats and Warrington South and Lancaster and Fleetwood from the Tories. That is far short of the party’s goal for the region. 

Predicting outcomes

Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg, from the University’s Department of Politics, said: “The next general election is expected to be the closest in generations. It’s extremely difficult to predict the outcome but our research suggests Labour will fall short of its target of taking eleven seats from the Tories. 

“We predict Labour will actually gain two seats from the Tories and another two seats from the Liberal Democrats. If these predictions are correct, that would leave Ed Miliband with a mountain to climb if he is to win an overall majority.” 

The research was unveiled at the Battleground North West conference, organised by BBC North and the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester. A number of workshops are being held throughout the day looking at the importance of the North West in the outcome of the election.

Gillian Duffy, who famously confronted Gordon Brown in Rochdale during the 2010 general election campaign, is one of the speakers.




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