The 17 seats at risk in the South East
We’ve identified 17 seats in the South East of England with a significant risk (above 25% by our definition) of switching at the 2015 general election. These estimates are based on Ladbrokes’ latest odds on every constituency which you can find. The “lose chance” is our current estimate of the probability of the incumbent party being unseated. (TCTC = too close to call)
|Seat||Winner 2010||Maj% 2010||Prediction||Lose chance|
|Hastings & Rye||Conservative||4||LAB GAIN||72.23%|
|Brighton Kemptown||Conservative||3.1||LAB GAIN||69.92%|
|Thanet South||Conservative||16.6||UKIP GAIN||67.15%|
|Portsmouth North||Conservative||16.5||CON LOSS||50.44%|
|Portsmouth South||Lib-Dem||12.6||LD HOLD||47.99%|
|Milton Keynes South||Conservative||9.4||CON HOLD||35.50%|
|Southampton Itchen||Labour||0.4||LAB HOLD||31.98%|
|Oxford West & Abingdon||Conservative||0.3||CON HOLD||27.02%|
|Folkestone & Hythe||Conservative||19.2||CON HOLD||26.69%|
|Reading West||Conservative||12.6||CON HOLD||26.37%|
So, several very close and hard to predict seats here. Brighton and Hove will be a crucial battleground for Labour and we now forecast them to take Hove and Brighton Kemptown, with Brighton Pavilion being on a knife edge; currently we have Labour and the Greens as 10/11 joint favourites. This was the biggest betting contest of the 2010 election, and it’s sure to be near the top again in 2015.
Hastings & Rye is the only other seat we forecast as a Labour gain. They are quite close to being favourites in Portsmouth North, but although there is over a 50% chance the Tories will lose this, they are still just about the most likely winning party; UKIP could confound the situation here.
The Liberal Democrats most vulnerable seat is Eastbourne, where they are joint 10/11 favourites with the Tories. Eastleigh and Portsmouth South are still just about in their hold column. Norman Baker looks a bit more secure in Lewes. Maidstone & The Weald doesn’t quite make it on to our list, but we’ve taken quite a bit of money on the Lib Dems to gain this from the Tories. Local election results have been very good and this seat has the potential to be one of the biggest surprises in the country. Oxford West & Abingdon is another plausible Lib Dem gain.
UKIP are now favourites to win Thanet South, but this could be a very tight three way marginal. If Farage chooses to stand here, they could get shorter still. The betting also gives them a very good chance in at least five other seats in the region:
UKIP’s top targets in the South East
- 6/4 Thanet South
- 3/1 Folkestone
- 4/1 Portsmouth South
- 4/1 Thanet North
- 5/1 Basingstoke
- 6/1 Dover