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September 12, 2014


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The analysis is probably right, but the situation is significantly more complex, with four political parties likely to get significant fractions of the vote in England alone.

The Lib Dems will get under 10%, probably, compared with 22% last time. They will lose seats to the Tories in the south-west and Labour elsewhere.

UKIP will take votes from both main parties but mainly from the Tories. They may win a few Tory seats outright (they will probably win in the Clacton by-election). They may throw a few Tory-Labour marginals to Labour.

I have no clue what happens to Plaid Cymru vote in Wales if Scotland secedes but the answer is probably not "nothing".

Labour has regularly won elections by a big enough margin that losing the Scottish MPs would not reverse the result.

Thorazine: we'd need to know two things. First, how are the people abandoning the Lib Dems splitting their vote? Second, what's the split between seats going Tory and seats going Labor?

The translation is that I hear you on the complexity. I'm curious as to where you'd go to see how the Lib Dem collapse is playing out in Parliament.

The answers to your questions are... complex!

In the south-west, there are a bunch of seats where in the last election basically all the votes went to either Tories or Lib Dems. I expect many of these seats to become more net Tory, although this effect will be blunted by incumbency.

In the rest of England, there are a bunch of scattered LD seats, which are mostly urban or urbanish constituencies where LD is the preferred flavour of centre-left. Some of these seats will go to Labour. In a lot of cases these are seats where the LD's are very vulnerable, because left-wing Lib Dems are more irritated by the coalition than right-wing Lib Dems, and also because several of these are very student-heavy constituencies where the Lib Dems' betrayal of their no-university-fees pledge is poisonous to their electoral ambitions. (The most amusing example being Sheffield Hallam.)

With regard to the way it's playing out electorally, UK Polling Report is often entertaining and enlightening. (Click on the "graphical swingometer" button in the corner and take a look at the vote breakdowns from last time on the single constituency level.) With regard to the way it's playing out in policy terms, Parliament is of course the place to look.

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