Can Labour win in 2020?
Election 2015 was bad news for Labour. Not only did they fail to win substantial numbers of seats from the Conservatives, they lost all but one of their 41 seats in Scotland to the SNP. Labour may take comfort in the fact that they won pretty much every one of their target seats from the Liberal Democrats.
In recent elections Labour have had an advantage from the boundaries. Uniform swingometers since around Election 1992 showed that if the Conservatives and Labour had the same share of the vote then Labour would have won many more seats. Now this advantage lies with the Conservatives.
1. A 0.5% swing to Labour would take away the Conservative majority.
2. A 3.2% swing to Labour would give the Conservatives and Labour the same share of the vote and give the Conservatives 303 seats and Labour 255 seats.
3. A 5.1% swing to Labour would give the Conservatives and Labour the same number of seats.
4. A 9.5% swing to Labour would give Labour a majority of 2.
Is a 9.5% swing realistic? By historical standards, no. Only one time since 1945 has there been a swing that high and that was in Election 1997 where Labour won with a landslide majority of 179. Such a swing now would result in a Labour majority of 8. If for some reason the SNP vote were to collapse and Labour won back all 41 seats it lost in Scotland then Labour would need a 5.6% swing across England and Wales for a majority. A 5.6% swing is possible, although it is still higher than any recorded swing since 1945 bar 1997.