Friday, February 24, 2017

ANORAK ALERT! How remarkable was the Copeland result?

Apologies, this post is for those with an "anorak" interest in elections only.

Number Cruncher Politics just tweeted this chart which shows how the majority by which governing parties won or lost by-elections changed compared with the previous general election.

Government gains are in the top left of the chart, above and to the left of the "Origin" where the two Zero lines intersect: the Copeland by-election is the only result in this quadrant since 1983.

Government holds are results in the top right, above and to the right of the Origin. A government hold with an increased majority would be in that quadrant and above a line going up from left right at 45 degrees from the origin - which has not happened since 1983.

Opposition holds - or seat changes between opposition parties - are in the bottom left hand quadrant and by-elections where the government of the day lost a seat are in the bottom right.

Markers which are well below the dotted "best fit line" represent results where the government of the day was given a particularly severe kicking in the by-election and those well above represent results where the government of the day did unusually well.

Official Conservative candidates - e.g. not Zac Goldsmith - have been performing at the upper end of this chart in this parliament: the previous by-election result, Sleaford, is one of the two blue diamonds at the top right - the one close to the 40:40 point. Both the Copeland and Stoke results are exceptionally good.

Matt Singh's post at Number Cruncher politics, "Uncharted Territory" describes this result as "catastrophic" for Labour.

If I seem to be emphasising the negative here - e.g. the bloody nose the electorate has handed to Labour rather than a positive vote for our excellent Conservative candidate Trudy Harrison - it is because I think Conservatives would be wise to treat this result as a vote of no-confidence in Labour but avoid getting over-confident about how well we are doing.

Britain has some enormous problems, as does Copeland, and unless we make progress in solving them we might be the next ones to get a bloody nose from the voters.


Jim said...

Being "anti nuclear" in Copeland is not going to get you a good result.

Yes, yes, the NHS, waaaaahhhhhhhh, waaaaaahhhhhhhhh, the NHS. But the fact of the matter is when most of the industry is nuclear or depends on nuclear then nuclear is going to be your prime reason.

Its all good, and I am not marginalising the effects of moving maternity consultants to Carlisle, as it is indeed not good. But, but and but again when the entire economy of Copeland is so reliant on the success of the nuclear industry, then even the high and mighty NHS will have to take a back seat.

Sure its good to have health services if and when you need them, I totally agree. But to earn a living has to be your first concern, it has to be.

Everyone needs food on the table every day, people dont need medical aid every day. Its prioritising the MOST important things. Kind of in the same way in a survival situation, then finding water is more important than finding food. I am not saying food is not important, I am saying water is your number 1 priority, then its shelter and heat, then its food.

Jim said...

I guess in short, the conservative win was not remarkable, it was not remarkable at all. What was remarkable was more the Labour loss. At first reading someone may think "WHAT?" but that is actually what happened here.

in simple English i guess "The conservatives did not win, Labour just lost"

a lot like i could have seen the brexit vote going, but luckily for me and my reputation "leave did not lose as badly as remain did"