With just a few hours until the UK general election takes place, things are really starting to heat up.
Will the Conservatives and Boris Johnson come out on top, will Labour lead the country for the first time in nearly a decade led by Jeremy Corbyn, or will the Liberal Democrats and Jo Swinson spring a surprise?
Whatever happens, the action is set to unfold in the local housing markets up and down the country. Each area is represented by their MP, who will be looking to keep their seat or win it from the current occupant. But who has a so-called “safe seat” and who might find themselves clearing out their desks on Friday 13th December?
Most importantly, what is the current property landscape in the areas where local elections are taking place? Does a postcodes’ party of choice tell a story about local housing market prices, or is it all irrelevant to the bigger picture?
There are some 573 areas where local elections take place. We’ve looked at the primary strongholds around the UK to see where the main parties can expect re-election as well as the current local housing market conditions.
What is a “safe seat”
A safe seat is regarded as fully secure and a party stronghold in a particular area. In such seats, there is very little chance of it changing hands, meaning the MP and party who occupy the seat will likely continue to do so. The electorate tends to lean politically in one direction, and it’s hard for opposing parties to change the mindset.
Where are the primary safe seats in the UK?
1) Chorley, Lancashire
Chorley is a lively town in the district of Lancashire. Standing on the River Yarrow and Leeds and Liverpool canal, it’s known as the home of the famous Chorley Cake. In the May 2017 election, Labour won the seat with an astonishing 98.2% of the vote, making it one of the safest seats in the country.
Average house price: £227,000
2) Gorton, Manchester
Gorton has voted a Labour member as its local MP consecutively since 1935, which means it’s a pretty safe bet that the Manchester area will do so again in the 2019 election. If you visit Gorton, make sure you see The Gorton Monastery, which is an iconic landmark and showcases impressive gothic architecture.
Average house price: £244,530
3) East Ham, London
Traditions run strong in East Ham, which is a London postcode that has shied away from the hipster takeover in the East End. This eclectic area is known for its south Indian eateries, pleasant open spaces and good schools. It’s traditionally a Labour stronghold, who took 69.8% of the vote in 2017.
Average house price: £374,000
4) Liverpool Riverside, Liverpool
The city of Liverpool is a staunch Labour supporter – Labour occupies 72 of the 90 seats available, with the conservatives failing to gain one single seat. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the areas in Liverpool Riverside, where Labour enjoyed 64% of the vote in 2017.
Average house price: £175,890
5) Dulwich, London
The affluent town of Dulwich offers tranquil open spaces, grand period properties and is generally known as one of the pricier South London postcodes. It also happens to be a Labour hotspot, with 67.8% of voters siding with Labour in 2017.
Average house price: £730,000
1) South Holland, Lincolnshire
The local government district of South Holland is located in Lincolnshire and recorded the highest ever majority for the Conservative party in 2017 with 73.4% of the vote. As far as safe seats go, South Holland is the holy grail for the Conservatives.
Average house price: £225,000
2) Clacton on Sea
The seaside town of Clacton is a tourist town that has a number of day trip activities. From pleasure piers to arcades and golf courses to caravan parks, there’s no shortage of entertainment. It received 69.1% of the vote in favour of the Conservatives in 2017.
Average house price: £250,200
The commuter town of Beaconsfield enjoys excellent travel links into London and features an array of quaint villages that are surrounded by green spaces. Beaconsfield is a safe bet for the Conservatives after the party secured 63% of the vote in 2017. Expect a similar result this time around.
Average house price: £1.3 million
The quintessentially English town of Dorset is 1,400 years old and lies at the junction of the Stour river and Avon. Bournemouth can be found to the west and the New Forest lies to the East. The town has been Conservative stronghold since the 1990s.
Average house price: £380,000
5) The Cotswolds
The sprawling countryside also happens to be a popular territory for the Conservatives, with the party winning a seat here in every election since 1997. One of England’s most visited tourist areas, the Cotswolds is a collection of charming villages with stone cottages and local farm shops.
Average house price: £481,000
The Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems don’t typically enjoy the same security in their seats as Labour and the Conservatives, though there were a few areas where they enjoyed resounding wins in 2017 and will hope for similar results this week.
1) Oxford West and Abingdon
In 2017, the Liberal Democrats took 44% of the vote in Oxford West and Abingdon, and have done well in the area historically. Abingdon has proved to be a popular market town for families, with a collection of good schools, open spaces and proximity to Oxford.
Average house price: £354,380
Rugby and riverside are very much on the agenda in the south-west London suburb of Twickenham, where the Liberal Democrats currently hold a seat after a 52.2% success rate in 2017. Its peaceful riverside location makes it a particularly popular neighbourhood.
Average house price: £940,860
Bath is a charming Gothic area and the largest city in Somerset. World Heritage streets provide plenty of picture-perfect moments, while the centre is known for its wellness and features a modern, multi-level thermal spa. In 2017, the Liberal Democrats secured their seat with 49.1% of the vote.
Average house price £561,660
The countdown is on
All three parties might enjoy an element of security in our features areas, but you never know what will happen during an election. In 2017, the Conservatives were expected to win a majority, yet the vote was split with a hung parliament the result. Will the same happen again, or will one of these parties secure a majority? There are only a few days until we find out.