Are Safe Seats Really Safe

This is a really interesting article because it challenges a concept that we are frequently encouraged to take for granted. We talk quite freely about safe seats. We refer to them as an undemocratic feature of the British system, we refer to them frequently as a criticism of FPTP.

While the statistics put forward by the ERS and other proponents of Electoral Reform are useful (and you should learn and use them) this article suggests that occasionally safe seats can fall and that big swings are not unknown. It also suggests that safe seats become a self fulfilling prophecy- the parties don’t campaign so the opposition provides little in the way of alternative. This is becoming more acute in the age of Lord Ashcroft and the Conservative ‘Take Your Seat Campaign’.

It also raises a very interesting point regarding turnout- if turnout where to increase and a new sector of the electorate were to participate the old certainties of safe seats could come to an end as new voters will not necessarily support this same parties as the voters who have previously voted in safe seats. This links to the notion of the different preferences of young voters highlighted by Lord Ashcroft (see Russell Brand post).


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