Polling Model Maps Anti-Growth Coalition by Constituency

Those wondering why Conservative backbenchers so often find themselves opposing pro-growth policies may well be in luck. In a recent Substack post, Professor Ben Ansell has run an MRP model to find levels of housebuilding support, which can then be mapped by constituency. In news that might only surprise Liz Truss, the main strongholds of the anti-growth coalition are the Conservative shires. Co-conspirators can see for themselves on this map, where housebuilding support is represented by constituency size.

Housebuilding support is concentrated in cities, Scotland and the red-wall – all the areas currently voting Labour. Ansell’s research also includes a warning for pro-growth Conservatives. Amongst voters currently not intending to vote at the next election, house support is far more alike to Conservatives – i.e. the swing voters most in reach for the Conservatives are NIMBYs.

The NIMBYist seats in the country, in order of support for house building are:

  • Wyre and Preston North – 16%
  • Louth and Horncastle – 18%
  • Christchurch – 20%
  • Mid Derbyshire – 20%
  • Castle Point – 20%

The most YIMBY Tory seat is Kensington, occupied by Felicity Buchan, which has 53.2% support for housebuilding. Meanwhile, Dianne Abbott holds that honour for Labour – the most YIMBY seat in the country with 66%. Guido is counting on them to lead the charge for growth…

mdi-timer 13 January 2023 @ 15:49 13 Jan 2023 @ 15:49 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sadiq Misses House Building Targets — Launches Rent Control Campaign

Sadiq Khan yesterday re-heated his counter-productive campaign for rent-controls in London. His policy announcements and broadcast rounds conveniently took the media spotlight just as new GLA figures highlighted the Mayor’s failure to meet his homebuilding targets.

The figures show Sadiq has started work on just 2,415 new affordable homes. He promised to build 116,000. To give him some credit, this was up from the astonishingly meagre 764 starts in the previous quarter. If the Mayor was to meet his own targets, he would need to start 21,821 homes in the next six months. One can only hope…

To make matters worse, Khan has been given £5 billion in public funding to deliver on his promises. Instead of trying to give taxpayers some value for money, he’s convening emergency rent summits and parroting the same policy platforms that have failed wherever they’ve been tried. If only there were an easy way to increase housing supply. 

Andrew Boff, the GLA Conservatives housing spokesman, said:

“Rent controls would wreck the market, causing a mass shortage of homes. The only way to solve this crisis is to build more homes, and yet Sadiq Khan is failing to spend the billions he received from the government and has fallen far behind on his house building targets. What Londoners need from this Mayor is not more meetings, but more action.”

A Labour politician failing to spend taxpayer money, now there’s a first…

mdi-timer 15 November 2022 @ 16:07 15 Nov 2022 @ 16:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi: No to House Building, Yes to Building My Private Pool

Rishi Sunak’s got a new policy out this morning which may be met with approval with by greying Tory members, yet will go down like a cup of sick with their grandchildren – a new law to ban any building on the green belt. Given the lack of this anyway, co-conspirators may ask why Sunak wants to spend a whole day talking about it. Well, his team have a damning statistic in their press release. Hold on to your hats…

“Analysis by the House of Commons Library shows that the Green Belt has shrunk by around 1% since 2006, largely driven by local authorities adopting new plans that alter the size of their Green Belt. We need to close this loophole.”

You read that correctly: 1% in 16 years. As you can see, at this rate the Green Belt will disappear entirely by 3,622.

What Team Rishi neglect to mention in their press release is that, according to that same House of Commons Library analysis, the Green Belt area under protection has increased by 123% in the last half-century:

  • 1979: 721,500 hectares
  • 2020 1,615,800 hectares

Dashing the hopes of young people in cities to own their own family homes anytime soon is not an acute problem for someone with a £7 million mews house, a flat on the Old Brompton Road that’s reportedly kept empty for when his billionaire family fly over – presumably they just can’t afford London hotel prices – along with multiple other homes.

Recently the owner of a grade II listed 1826 Georgian mansion up north managed to get permission to build an L-shaped single-story swimming pool building, gym and tennis court within the beautiful North Yorkshire green countryside. Despite councillors being told the pool building, located some 81 metres from the main house, would “differ markedly from traditional agricultural buildings in that it would feature numerous large windows”, it was allowed. Rishi, protector of our beautiful natural landscape, will no doubt wish to crack down on such green belt developments the moment he gets into office…

mdi-timer 28 July 2022 @ 13:15 28 Jul 2022 @ 13:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Gove Asked Seven Times How Many People Bonkers New “Buy a House on Benefits” Housing Policy will Help

Julia Hartley-Brewer skewered Gove this morning as he was asked seven times to specify how many people his new “Buy a House on Benefits” housing policy will help. Given the policy involves allowing people on benefits to put them towards paying a mortgage, the answer will be tiny. Gove failed to answer all seven times, eventually calling it a “silly question”. Not as stupid as the policy…

Guido has had a quick ring round and one Downing Street source – off the record – described it as “a nonsesensical gimmick”, a think-tanker usually sympathetic to the government described the policy as “insane”. The problems with the housing mortgage market will not be solved by just lowering credit worthiness criteria for borrowers, they will be solved by building more houses, something the government under threat of losing seats to cynical LibDems in the places where people want to live, is failing to promote. The problems of low income earners not earning enough are not helped by the government subsidising low paying employers via the welfare system or putting up the taxes of low earners. More big spending by big government is not the solution…

mdi-timer 9 June 2022 @ 10:01 9 Jun 2022 @ 10:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Gove: Housing Market Policies “Should Have Been Addressed Earlier”

Michael Gove just appeared on the Today Programme to trail the government’s plan to expand Right to Buy, ahead of Boris’s big “reset” speech later today. Aside from all the usual talking points, host Amol Rajan pinned Gove over the fact that these policies were only coming now – 12 years into Conservative rule…

Rajan: “Why have you built so few homes?… You’ve been in power for 12 years.”

[…] Gove: “There are challenges that flow from some of the steps that were taken in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis… maybe some of these questions should have been addressed earlier… In government, no one can say that we’ve been idle over the last two years…”

Maybe not the last two years, what about the whole decade before that?


mdi-timer 9 June 2022 @ 09:15 9 Jun 2022 @ 09:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Building Tsar: Housing Reform Could Raise £9 Billion for Treasury

The government’s building tsar Nicholas Boys Smith has told Rishi Sunak to finally back major housing reforms after data showed it could raise over £9 billion for the Treasury – and build 130,000 new homes a year. Just a shame it’s still expected to be missing from tomorrow’s budget then; the “levelling up” strategy (including housing) has been delayed…

Still, the proposed ‘street votes‘ rule, which would allow neighbours to collectively authorise new local developments, is expected to be signed off later in the year. It’ll be the brainchild of new Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, who’s keen on the idea because it would spur growth and bring in more stamp duty revenue, yet retain the democratic control over planning procedure. The figures from the Create Streets think tank show that it would bring in £2.9 billion through stamp duty, and another £6.3 billion through economic growth.

Building tsar Boys Smith said:

““This important new analysis shows us that street votes could help the chancellor fill the Covid black hole. Allowing local housebuilders to build the homes that people want where they need them and when streets permit them could fund much of the investment that our left behind neighbourhoods badly need.”

It’s not rocket science: building more houses is probably a decent way of solving a housing shortage…

Hat-tip: Hugo Gye

mdi-timer 26 October 2021 @ 08:58 26 Oct 2021 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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