When historical social media posts live on

I have been intrigued on looking at the traffic stats for this blog for the past several weeks to see that the most read post has been quite an old one: to be precise a 2013 post with the title

"Anorak post: regional voting patterns."

I'm not going to take it down because it is obviously interesting to somebody, but alas it is not very up-to-date. It refers to some analysis by Peter Kellner who was and I think still is President of the pollster YouGov, on why Northern voters were at that time less inclined to vote Conservative than their southern counterparts.

Interesting though it was, it should be noted that over the past ten years and particularly since the Brexit referendum, this has become significantly less true.

Just to take two examples familiar to me, at the time the article came out my former home in St Albans (in the home counties) remained in the Conservative fold to which it had returned in 2005 while Copeland here in the North West was still in the Labour column. 

But in 2017 Copeland went Conservative, returning Trudy Harrison in the by-election that year and in both the general elections we have had since, while in 2019 St Albans went Lib/Dem.

Just over ten years ago Cumbria only had one Conservative MP to four Labour MPs and one Lib/Dem. Today Cumbria has five Conservative MPs and is a Labour-MP free zone.

The Brexit saga, and perhaps other things as well, have seriously disrupted in both North and South the old regional loyalties which the original post sought to explain.

It's often a good idea to check the date on any social media posts, or indeed anything else on the internet, to which a search engine may guide you: if it is more than a year or two old it may be informative about the situation at that time but it may also contain things which were true at the time but no longer provide a full and up-to-date picture.  

Postscript 15th December 2020

Well, it's finally happened: guess which other post has finally pipped the 2013 "Anorak post: regional voting patterns" to the slot for the most read post on this blog over the last few days.

Got it in one: this one. 


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