Friday, June 09, 2017

Swings and Roundabouts - Copeland and Canterbury

What to make of a General Election in which the Conservatives win Copeland but Labour wins Canterbury?

E.g. both parties won seats that the other had held for nearly a century (and Copeland and Canterbury were far from being the only examples.)

What to make of a situation where a Conservative government loses seats in England but is able to remain in office (just, and as a minority administration,) because of seats it gained in Scotland?

What do we think when a Conservative PM loses her majority on almost exactly the same share of the vote which gave Maggie Thatcher two overwhelming landslides while at the same time the Labour opposition leader scored a tally of parliamentary takes a number of seats which would have been seen as a disaster for Labour in 2005 vote with a considerably larger share of the vote than the one which gave Tony Blair a comfortable majority in that year?

The last question is the only one which has an easy answer - in a much more polarised political situation two party politics appears to be back - for one election, I suspect - and each of the two main parties needed a much larger vote in both absolute and percentage terms to defeat the other.

But it is also clear that a lot of the old certainties of politics are breaking down.

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