Labour centrists who persistently blame Corbyn’s socialist policies for the 2019 election result might do well to take a closer look at the actual election data and, in particular, they might want to take a look at the seats that actually changed hands in 2019.
Spotlight research has revealed a rather interesting picture. The table below shows all the seats that exchanged hands in 2019. It shows who lost the seat on the left and who gained the seat on the right. We then dropped in the vote differences from 2017 to show the size of the losses and gains. Finally, we decided to flag how these constituencies voted during the Brexit referendum. This revealed the shocking reality of what actually happened in the 2019 general election.
What this report has revealed, quite clearly, is that while Labour did in fact suffer significant losses, most of the lost votes didn’t actually transfer over to the Tories. In fact, our research shows that, in the vast majority of cases, the Tories did not managed to significantly increase their vote share. For example, in the constituency of Ashfield, which had actually voted 69.8% to leave the EU, Labour lost 9,314 votes but the Tories, who took that seat, also managed to lose 1,613 votes. In another example, Labour lost 4,505 votes in Barrow & Furness (which voted 60.6% in favour of leaving the EU) but the Tories, who won that seat only gained 1,493 votes (which equates to just 33% of labour’s lost vote share). In other words, a significant proportion of Labour’s vote share went to non-Brexit supporting parties (even in Leave supporting seats) and not to the Conservatives.
Incidentally, you’ll also note that we dropped in how Scottish constituencies voted during Scotland’s Independence referendum but this appears to have played very little part in how people voted.
This report also shows that pretty much every seat that was won by remain supporting parties, like the SNP or the LibDems, had previously voted to remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Proving, without any shadow of a doubt, that the 2019 election effectively turned into a 2nd referendum on Brexit but with one clear option for Leave (the Tories) and mulitple options for the remain campaign. It’s now clear that a significant majority of Labour’s vote share went to remain supporting parties, something I had suspected ever since I’d produced an earlier report showing the over all vote share for all key parties across the last 7 general elections. What that earlier report showed was that the Tories took 13,966,451 votes in 2019, which was almost identical to what they took in 2017 (13,636,684)….
On closer inspection you can also see that UKIP’s membership numbers had swollen to 3,881,099 in 2015 (the year before the Brexit referendum) but a significant proportion of that vote share then migrated over to the Tories in 2017 (the year after the referendum) and it remained with them for 2019. In other words, the pro-leave voters did exactly as predicted and supported the Brexit supporting Tories and the pro-remain voters switched away from Labour and chose to back remain supporting parties instead.
It’s clear now that Labour lost a large proportion of its vote share to remain supporting parties, which ironically only served to hand the election to the pro-Brexit Tories. This has to call into question the wisdom and perhaps even the over-arching agenda of the remain supporting coalition (the LibDems, SNP, ChangeUK, Greens and certain centrists Labour factions). If they truly supported the remain campaign then why would they actively work to split the left vote and ensure a Conservative victory? Perhaps the threat of a socialist government was too great? Perhaps, for them, stopping Corbyn was far more important than remaining in the EU?
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