Saturday, 8 July 2017

East or West Southend, which is more winnable?



Here are the votes for the last seven general elections in the two Southend-on-Sea constituencies.

Southend West


Conservative
Labour
Liberal Democrat
UKIP
Green
others
1992
27319
6139
15417

451
622
1997
18029
10600
15414
636

1835
2001
17313
9372
9319
1371


2005
18408
9072
9449
1349

1552
2010
20086
5850
12816
1714
644
2496
2015
22175
8154
4129
7803
2083
165
2017
26046
16046
2110
1666
831
492

Rochford and Southend East


Conservative
Labour
Liberal Democrat
UKIP
Green
others
1992
24591
11480
5107


673
1997
22683
18458
4387


1007
2001
20058
13024
2780

990
600
2005
17874
12384
5967
1913
1328

2010
19509
8459
8084
2405
707
2467
2015
20241
10765
1459
8948
2195

2017
23013
17465
1265
1777
804
2924

It is received wisdom in the Labour Party in Southend-on-Sea that our prospects are much better in the east of the borough than they are in the west. This is based on a number of factors:

·         It is wisdom passed down through the years
·         The 1980 Southend East by-election when the Conservative majority was reduced to 430
·         Conservative majorities in the east have usually been smaller than those in the west
·         There are more Labour councillors in the east (currently six in the east, as opposed to three in the west)
·         The traditional second party in the west is the Liberal Democrats

These factors make sense, and you can see why the east has soaked up the majority of Southend Labour's resources over the years. It may be true going forwards too, but we should not ignore  the facts, particularly if they indicate that the west may hold possibilities.

Winnability sometimes comes down to self-fulfilling prophecy; keep saying we cannot win, or not putting in any significant effort, and the electorate will agree and not bother voting for you.

Looking at the chart below, which indicates the Conservative vote share for the last seven general elections, one can see that there have been occasions when the vote share in the west was lower than in the east. Now, if only we could manage the trick of getting all the non-Tory vote to back us ....

 
Tory vote share % in the two Southend constituencies, 1992 - 2017

So, which is more winnable for Labour? Well, it looks like it still is the eastern constituency, but.

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