The Tories can no longer rely on first past the post

The Tories can no longer rely on first past the post

The big message from the results overnight is that voters are wanting to get Johnson out and will go with the party that is most most likely to achieve that objective.

Thus the LDs had their historic recording-breaking victory in Tiverton and Honiton but went on to lose their deposit (getting less than 5%)in Wakefield. In the latter LAB the party had its expected gain from the Tories while it was LDs who lost their deposit.

So the notion of uniform national swings in elections which has been around for decades really didn’t operate overnight.

What has been extraordinary about both Tiverton and Honiton and Shropshire North is that Ed Davey’s party pulled off stunning victories starting from third places at GE2019 and in seats that voted Leave. Their whole campaign was about making themselves appear the challenger and leaving voters in no doubt that they were the ones to beat the Tories.

It is, of course, harder in general elections because of much tighter controls on campaign finance and it is less easy to persuade volunteer activists to move away from their own seats. But incumbent Tory MPs in places where the LDs are very active will feel a lot less confident this morning.

Ed Davey is proving himself to be a very capable party leader.

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