THERE are safe seats and then there are safe seats.

Analysis by the pro-PR Electoral Reform Society[ERS] shows that nearly 14 million voters are in constituencies that have not changed party hands since the Second World War.

But, going back further, the analysis shows that East Devon and its successor seats last changed hands in 1835 when the Conservatives gained it from the Whigs.

The constituency of Bury St Edmunds has returned a Tory MP ever since it was created in 1885.

The oldest Labour seats are North Durham and Makerfield, gained from the Liberals and Conservatives respectively in 1906.

In Scotland, most seats have changed hands in recent years, largely due to the 2015 SNP landslide. But the seat held longest, since 1950, is Orkney and Shetland, which was won by the Liberals from the Tories.

The average constituency has not changed hands for 42 years while 11 Labour and 54 Conservative seats have not changed the party affiliation of their MP in more than a century.

Just 70 seats – 11 per cent of the total – changed party hue at the last election, a figure which has declined in recent years. The election could see just 58 seats change hands, according to the latest YouGov poll.

Jess Garland for the ERS said: “When there are seats in this country that have not changed party since before Queen Victoria was on the throne, it’s clear we need a change.”

She added: “It’s time for a move to a more diverse, democratic system, away from ‘shoe-in seats’ and towards ensuring every vote counts. The next government must introduce a fair electoral system and give voters the representation they deserve,” she added.