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2010 - Year Zero for the Labour Left, or a new dawn?

Having myself suggested that a post 2010 Labour rump would be dominated by the Left, I have taken as my starting point the current opinion polls which suggest a Labour strength of 165 come The Reckoning. Much could change between now and then, but I am prepared to stick my neck out and aver that the Labour party will not make any net gains in May 2010.

And how to measure who rates as being indisputably of the Left? Membership of the Campaign Group is a rather fine indicator. There are 24 of them, and a further nine ex members in Parliament who sold out / grew up / needed the money. If those current member MPs with majorities of less than 5000 are scythed down, that cuts it to 20. Looking good for the hard left, but there's a caveat - the remainder will have an average age of just under 63, with four over 70. The nearest thing to a young turk is Katy Clark, a mere child at 41 compared to the Methuselahs of the Left, and with a majority of 11,296 presumably among the least anxious tribunes of the Peoples' Party.

Clearly there are rather more than 24 lefties in the PLP, so the next step was to root around in Hansard for serial rebels, and I have used the 2003 Iraq and 2007 Trident votes as my proxies. Clearly these are fairly blunt instruments for sheep / goat optimum arrangement, as Kate Hoey, inter alia, figures in the list. However, it seems reasonable to think that there were members of the payroll vote who decided that the spoils of office and chances of preferment were more important than doing a Luther and taking a stand.

So, the combined figure for rebels in either vote comes to 124, or around a third of the PLP. Among those are Derek Wyatt, majority 79, who can be expected to lose unless the best placed rival candidate is caught in flagrante in a BDSM tryst with an underage poodle. The Blue candidate looks to be of impeccable character, however. A south easterly zephyr would take out a further six of those Labour MPs with majorities of less than four figures.

Upping the ante to MPs with majorities of less than 5000 cuts down 39 MPs. However, Baxter is showing Labour MPs with majorities a good deal higher ripe for the chop. Supposing a uniform swing etc etc, and no new Sparticists scraping home, I make it around 50 'out' rebels out of 175 Labour MPs come the reckoning. However, Ms Clark remains the youngest of the group, with only another four under 50, and nine will be septuagenarians come 2010.

There are caveats surrounding MPs who have announced they are stepping down or are currently whipless, so any additional information is welcome. Also the marshalling and mining of the data took ages, so linkage or failing that a comment or two might convince me that this was a better use of my time than actually getting on with work.

PS - On a Portillo swing (16,996), there would be just four lefties left, with an average age of 71
1/2.

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Blogger The Daily Pundit said... 7:01 pm

How will the MORI poll that's due out tomorrow affect the figures?... Only joking. Top post.  



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