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July 07, 2012


It doesn't add up...

40 minutes of video may be excellent, but I suspect few have time to indulge. A text summary of the mathematical essentials, or even just a series of presentation slides that can be flicked through would be a far better way to present this important topic for those with an interest in the real electoral effects.


Far, FAR too long. A waste of time. And don't commentate in a monotone voice!

Daniel Goss

Might it not be that more people remember Labour's 13 years of growing income levels compared to the shambolic incompetent policies of Gideon and DC? Tories may not like this. Tories may pretend to themselves if only the British electorate understood what the Conservatives are trying to do they would be loved. But the electorate can see what the Conservatives are all about and arguably they do not like it. We do not need boring explanations for the obvious. Get a life Mr Thrasher. Your explanations long winded torrid nonsense.

christina Speight

I would happily attend a lecture by this interesting professor but to watch a poorly filmed lecture with the usual computer tinny sound is just one step too far. Is it possible that Professor Thrasher has a transcipt which I would like to read.


Yet more whingeing.

Yes, it's not the Tories fault they're so awful at winning elections, it's the people's fault.


What about 1997 when the party split and the referendum party formed? Isn't that to blame? The Conservative Party lost 4 million votes! Many of the voters stayed at home. A lot of members were lost, the people who are needed to persuade others to vote for the party. How can boundaries and bias be blamed, when the case is that the Conservative party lost 3 or 4 million voters because of the left wing advisers giving bad advice and keeping the party split?

Charles W

Anyone reading ConservativeHome would think the majority of the electorate vote conservative. But Britain votes overwhelmingly for anti-conservative parties. Always. Its only the quirk of our first past the post that lets in a conservative government. Of course the Conservatives on this blog prefer to ignore this reality. But it makes 95% of the comments on this blog look deluded and ridiculous. But that seems to be a
state the political class loves to occupy. Never more so than on this stream.


Charles W, most of the Liberal Democrat votes are wasted because of first past the post, which is a wonderful thing. And they've destroyed their student activist base by letting them down over tuition fees. The Conservative Party could win elections if it had a strategy of going from 10 to 13 million votes. But it doesn't want to maximise its vote. It wants to be left wing and copy the other two parties. This party cannot become a 13 million vote winner unless it heals the wound caused by our membership of the European Union.


Charles W - If you looked at opinion polls in the eighties and early nineties most SDP voters clearly preferred Thatcher and Major to Foot and Kinnock so that is not strictly true!

Patsy Sergeant

Yes Daniel Goss @ 12.01, and the 101% mortgages that they were persuaded to take out by Brown (and Balls), and are probably regretting at leisure! Oh yes and the PFI's that have resulted in Hospitals and businesses that are in the s**t right now, because it was all money which wasn't there!!! That was all LABOUR, Mr. Goss, and the tax-payer will be paying for the consequences of that dishonesty for years to come!

Victor Southern

Some of those who have replied here have not understood the issues at all. Prof. Thrasher's talk is not concerned with popular polling but with the effects of voting in general elections. So Goss, Charles W, dg and others the issue is the weight given to votes under the present electoral system and boundaries.

Charles W might also care to note that with a single exception the majority of votes cast in general elections have not been for Labour, therefore by his standard of logic the majority of voters are anti-Labour.

Dave B

@It doesn't add up
Electoral Calculus has two articles that cover similar territory.

Con-Lab Gap analysis (2006)

New Boundaries (2011)


His key finding is that the current voting system remains biased IN FAVOUR of the Tories - it's just that Labour's bias is just that little bit bigger. Something for those Tories getting hot under the collar about the boundary changes to remember!


Interesting stuff.

The system will be biased towards LAbour because Tories tend tobe wealthier and wealthy people have more choice over where they live. They then choose to live near more wealthy people, ie Tories hence their vote piles up in safe seats.

Jeremy Crick

Fascinating analysis – so it's not just unequally sized constituencies that create bias, which is all everyone ever talks about.

Perhaps lessons to be learned from this is that, yes, boundary reviews should take place between EVERY election to remove that bias, but also that voting should be compulsory. However, my feeling is that this would be seen by the public as deeply authoritarian and I cannot see any party leader advocating it.


these time the tories will get something back

Tony Hammond

To summarise the video : There are 3 biases in the system - Low Turnout, Geo-Graphic and Boundary Size (all of which favour Labour) Cameron's 2015 Boundary changes and seat number will not really remove them, but Boundary size should be more favourable to the Tories.
Of the 3 bias Factors explaining why in the overall national vote one party needs a outlandish extra % share to win a single seat, the low turnout factor bias in Labour seats is about the most interesting. It's not actually a 'bias' is it?

It just shows what lack of an opposition the posh boy Conservative party is now with regards to the working class voter even when Labour have lost 5 million of their voters since 1997 due to mass immigration etc...

There is no absolutely no 2nd party to Labour in my seat or many others.
The Conservatives trail on 4-6% in many Labour seats - well behind UKIP in the North.

The posh boy Conservative elite simply are not representative as a party, and do not engage with the working class vote on the following issues;

1. Mass Immigration.
2. Dearth of Housing supply.
3. Jobs and other bread and butter issues.
i.e. Basic opportunities for a working man.

The image of the distant, Eton Landed Tory toffs and their banker mates really matters. Most working class voters don't know what the EU is about and how it *REALLY* matters regarding sovereignty over Animal welfare to Immigration, and how they have no power over these as voters. But their is a significant %age who do know and vote accordingly.

I fully expect Balls et al back in power in a couple of Years.
It defies believe how can they miss engaging with people who are against Labour's mass immigration, have no real policies for aspiration - people who are well established with family an many years in their communities should have the right to buy from housing association homes etc...

However, the unfortunate truth is the Tory party is just the same on the EU, Immigration, Bankers etc... as Labour and the only hope is a 3rd party.
Frankly it's a wonder that Osborne is *still* not committed to copying Browns tax, borrow and spending as he promised to do.

In fact many of these 'biases' are not really biases at all but a sign that the Tory party has lost its voting base vast swathes of voters and has no real economic/political ideas, with only a series of Cameron's green-stunts to court voters. I well remember everybody HATED Thatcher but she kept on getting in even with radical policies causing misery and the media dead set against her.

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