The votes of private landlords could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the General Election in more than 100 constituencies.
An analysis of HMRC data obtained by The Times found that in 124 constituencies across the UK, the number of people declaring income from property in 2017/18 was the same or larger than the overall majorities of the successful candidates in the 2017 election.
The figures show that of these seats, 55 were won by Conservatives, including those of the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland in South Swindon, the former Conservative Party Leader, Iain-Duncan Smith in Chingford and Woodford Green and the Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers in Chipping Barnet.
A total of 39 seats identified were won by Labour, including in Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald’s seat in Middlesbrough, Shadow Scottish Secretary, Lesley Laird’s seat in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and in Labour’s most marginal seat of 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.
The statistics show that, of those constituencies in which the landlord vote is the same as or larger than 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
- 3 are in the North East
In Scotland 25 seats could see landlords decide the final results. The same is true for nine seats in Wales and six in Northern Ireland.
Good landlords need support
David Smith, RLA policy director 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 RLA has published its own six-point election manifesto highlighting the changes it believes are needed to create a PRS that works for all. You can read it here.