Posts Tagged ‘safe seat’

Is your vote worth more than your neighbours? Quite possibly, depending on where in Harrow you live. 

Worth the trip? Photo: Andrew Dunn


  They may be only minutes away from each other, but research shows a vote this May in Harrow East is worth 0.323 votes more than across the boundary in Harrow West. 

 According to the website Voter Power, voters in Harrow East have the equivalent of 0.468 votes each. If that sounds low, in Harrow West each vote is worth the equivalent of just 0.145 votes. 

 This is despite the fact that the Harrow West constituency is smaller than the UK average, so theoretically voting there should be more important, while Harrow East is actually 1.58 per cent larger than the average. 

 Across the UK, the average voter has 1.75 times more voting power than voters in Harrow West, but Harrow East’s electorate is more powerful than much of the country, with votes worth 1.85 more than the national average. 

 According to the site, Harrow East voters are the 125th most powerful out of all the 650 UK constituencies. 

 Both constituencies switched from Conservative to Labour in 1997, but while the site ranks Harrow West (and incumbent Labour MP Gareth Thomas) as ‘Very Safe’, Harrow East and MP Tony McNulty only get a ‘Fairly Safe’ rating. 

 The statisticians at the site (whose research comes from think tank the new economics foundation) also show that 51.37 per cent of votes in Harrow West in 2005 didn’t count in that they were not cast for the winning candidate. 

 However across the boundary in Harrow East, nearly 55 per cent of votes counted for nothing in the last election. 

Still, it could be worse. In what may be the safest seat in the UK, voters have the equivalent of 0.0004 votes each. Spare a moment for the residents of the ‘Ultra Safe’ constituency of Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford.

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