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Forgot the overall GE2017 main party vote totals – it is CON & LAB’s relationship with each other that matters

July 8th, 2017

Just a month to the day after the extraordinary general election many Tories, particularly those still loyal to the woman who caused their electoral disaster, continue to point to the overall 13.6m CON votes that were chalked up as though that had some great meaning.

This is real straw clutching and in no way excuses her disastrous decision to break her promise to call an election three years early and then to lose the CON majority.

Sure the Tory vote total was 2.3m up on what Cameron’s party achieved at GE2015 but, alas, it did not mitigate the June 8th failure. The reason of course, is that Labour’s vote total jumped by even more 3.5m.

For it is the relationship with LAB that continues to matter and how that impacts on seat totals.

Both LAB and CON vote totals were helped enormously by the overall increase in the number of votes cast and the 3.27m fall off in the UKIP vote to just 594k. In terms of seats that meant a change of one on 2015 to zero.

A good way of looking at the historical relationship of the main two party vote it as set out in the chart above. This shows the percentage of the CON+LAB aggregate that the blue and and red teams have seen over the past quarter of a century of general elections.

On this measure the Tories were ahead of LAB but the gap has been declining since GE2010.

Mike Smithson