In over 100 constituencies, private landlords could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of this month’s general election. In those areas, the number of landlords in 2017/18 was the same as or larger than the overall majorities of those candidates elected in 2017.
The Times analysed data from HMRC and found that there are 124 constituencies in total that fit this bill. 55 of these were initially won by Conservatives, including South Swindon, Chingford and Woodford Green and Chipping Barnet.
Another 39 of the identified seats are currently held by Labour. These include Middlesborough, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and Kensington.
Among the seven seats won by the Liberal Democrats in 2017 in which the landlord vote could be decisive are the seats of Westmorland and Lonsdale, held by the party’s former leader, Tim Farron, and Kingston and Surbiton, won at the last election by the party’s Deputy Leader, Ed Davey.
David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), said:
“Private landlords could be decisive in who ends up in Downing Street following the election. For those unable to afford a home of their own or unable to access social housing the rental market is their only hope of having somewhere to live. With that in mind, we call on all political parties to do more to support good landlords to provide the homes to rent we need.
“That is why all parties need to do more to enforce the wide range of powers already available to root out criminal landlords rather than introduce new obligations which have no hope of being properly enforced by hard pressed councils.”
The statistics show that of those constituencies where landlords outnumber the majorities won in 2017, 14 are in London, 12 are in the South East, 11 are in the East Midlands, 11 are in the North West, 10 are in Yorkshire and The Humber, 9 are in the South West, 8 are in the East of England, 6 are in the West Midlands and 3 are in the North East.
In Scotland landlords have the potential to decide the winners of 25 seats . The same is true for 9 seats in Wales and 6 in Northern Ireland.
The election is scheduled for December 12th, and postal votes are already being accepted.