In this report, Fabian Richter undertakes the first ever analysis of how many parliamentary seats can really be considered as “safe”. He finds that:
This research calls into question the claim, frequently made by advocates of PR and AV, that the current system effectively disenfranchises millions of voters. As William Hague states in a Foreword to this report: “There is no such thing as a safe seat”.
This view is endorsed in a second Foreword by Vera Baird, the former Labour MP for Redcar – the seat which saw the biggest swing in the 2010 General Election: “Safe seats are only ‘safe’ until they are not, and such changes can occur remarkably quickly if that’s what the voters want. From the famous ‘Portillo-moment’ – when the 1997 national election tide swept away even Michael’s 15,563-vote majority – to equally dramatic losses that result from local issues like painful job losses, so-called ‘safe’ seats can, and do, change hands.”
The full report can be downloaded from here.