The Conservatives appear to have made a silly website error

An entry on the Conservative party website appeared to reveal 101 seats that the Conservatives won’t be targeting in the general election. It includes a seat they lost to UKIP last year.

Someone at Conservative Party Headquarters (CCHQ) seems to have made a basic error when they posted pictures of candidates onto the Conservative party website. As Phil Rodgers spotted out on Twitter, “Non%20target%20candidates” was in the URL.

These non-target seats appear to be areas where the Conservatives do not believe it is worth spending their resources campaigning. This is due to either them being very confident of victory in the seat, like in South Suffolk where Tory Tim Yeo had a 17 point lead in 2010, or it is a constituency where they know the Conservatives have no realistic chance of winning - like West Ham, where Labour received a massive 65% of the vote in the last general election.

What‘s more interesting is the marginal seats that the Conservatives are seemingly not going to target. Included in the list is Birmingham Edgbaston, a seat Labour only won by a 1000 votes in 2010, and so would seem an obvious Conservative target. It seems to suggest the Conservatives do not believe they can win a majority in 2015, and instead are going to spend their resources defending the marginals they currently hold.

One surprising seat included in this group of non-target seats was Rochester and Strood, which is currently occupied by Mark Reckless - who defected from the Conservatives to UKIP last year.

It’s significant that this suggests the Conservatives do not believe it is worth spending their resources trying to fight UKIP in this seat, despite the fact Reckless only won the by-election by a very narrow majority of fewer than 3000 votes. If the Conservatives don’t resource a fight against Reckless in Rochester and Strood, it almost guarantees UKIP at least one victory in May 2015.

The Conservative party have now changed all the URLs, but a full list of ‘non-target seats’ compiled by Richard Taylor can be found here.