Monday, 26 April 2010

A Look @ Derbyshire

Derby Unitary Authority currently has no overall control (NOC). The Lib Dems hold 19 wards, Labour 15, Tories 15 & there are 2 Independents. Whereas the Tories hold Derbyshire County Council, with 33 of the 64 wards currently blue. Labour hold 22, Lib Dem only 8 and a single Independent.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed



Amber Valley

Judy Mallaber




CON Gain


Dennis Skinner




LAB Hold


Paul Holmes




LD Hold

Derby North

Bob Laxton




LD Gain

Derby South

Margaret Beckett




LAB Hold

Derbyshire D

Patrick McLoughlin




CON Hold

Derbyshire M





CON Gain

Derbyshire NE

Natascha Engel




LAB Hold

Derbyshire S

Mark Todd




CON Gain


Liz Blackman




CON Gain

High Peak

Tom Levitt




CON Gain

Amber Valley sits Labour MP Judy Mallaber. This is an interesting seat. R&T put the boundary change at 9%, which has slightly increased her notional majority. The bookies remain undecided, putting her equal favourite with Tory PPC Nigel Mills. Mallaber wasn't significantly caught up in the Telegraphs expenses scandal saga, but that won't be enough to defend a five and a half thousand-vote majority under a Tory surge. If there is any movement from Labour directly to the Tories, which I suspect there will be in this semi-rural seat, then it's a CON Gain.

Dennis Skinner was the 3rd cheapest MP! But the real reason why Lib Dem PPC Denise Hawksworth shouldn't go the extra mile in Bolsover is because Skinner has over a nineteen thousand-vote notional majority. A mammoth task for any PPC. LAB Hold.

Chesterfield is a Lib Dem seat held by Paul Holmes. He's within a 3.2% swing of Labour PPC Toby Perkins, but there's no evidence to suggest a swing of any manner from Lib Dems to Labour. Carolynn Abbott (Tory PPC) is nowhere to be seen. LIB Hold.

Bob Laxton will not be contesting Derby North, so he'll have plenty of time to develop his cooking and shopping skills. Chris Williamson is the unfortunate Labour replacement. R&T say the 75% boundary alteration has slightly weakened Labour support. Tory PPC Stephen Mold will be livid with the boundary commission because the biggest losers in this alteration are actually the Tories, whose support has dropped some 10%. In fact the only party to gain in Derby North are the Lib Dem's, a whopping 11% up. That should be enough for Lib Dem PPC Lucy Care to mount a successful Labour oust. LIB Gain.

You might think that Margaret Beckett would be significantly affected by her lavish expenses claims, but she's pretty confident! Thankfully the boundary commission has managed to over double Labour's support in Derby South. R&T say that the 59% alteration has taken her notional majority from 13% to 29%. Lucky git! LAB Hold.

Derbyshire Dales sits Tory MP Patrick McLoughlin. He's almost nine thousand-votes notionally ahead, and has been a good boy as far as I can tell (but feel free to correct me). He's safe. CON Hold.

Derbyshire Mid is a new parliamentary constituency introduced in the latest round of boundary alterations in an attempt to balance the number of electors in each seat. R&T's notionals say that the seat is significantly Tory. It should be third time lucky for Pauline Latham. CON Gain.

Derbyshire North East sits Labour MP Natascha Engel, who has taken on the Telegraph's expenses scandal airing in a rather odd but interesting article. Huw Merriman has a very large task. I think an 11.2% swing directly from Engel voters to Merriman is highly unlikely. There's no real evidence to suggest that this is a possibility. Engel should shake Merriman off here. LAB Hold.

Mark Todd is standing down at the election. Unfortunately for Michael Edwards (Labour PPC), the boundary alterations to Derbyshire South have seen his notional majority slashed. The 23% alteration has left Edwards just a 3% swing away from Tory PPC Heather Wheeler. He's now well within reach of a Tory gain and that's exactly what I expect Wheeler to do. CON Gain.

Liz Blackman is another Labour MP standing down in Derbyshire. So Erewash will be a straight fight between Cheryl Pidgeon (Lab PPC) and Jessica Lee (Con PPC). R&T reckon Pidgeon is almost seven thousand-votes ahead notionally. Therefore the UNS needed to take this seat is certainly beyond all recent predictions from UK pollsters. But attempts a more sophisticated approach than clumsy UNS predictions and there will more than likely be Tory gains above the projected swing Labour holds below. In many ways Uniform National Swing is not 'Uniform' at all. Erewash is situated next to Derbyshire South, Derbyshire Mid and Amber Valley, all likely to be Tory Gains. It will be tight and certainly one to watch, but Lee will take this. CON Gain.

Tom Levitt is yet another Labour MP who will not be standing at the election. High Peak constituency has the smallest notional Labour majority in Derbyshire. At just 1,750 Tory PPC Andrew Bingham should beat both Caitlin Bisknell (Lab PPC) and Alistair Stevens (Lib PPC) to the prize. CON Gain.


Michael Turner


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