General Election 2019 – Comments
The initial report on the outcome of the General Election, in the form of the Exit Poll, indicated a possible outstanding result for the Conservative Party and a devastating result for the Labour Party. This was presented by the media as a fait accompli minutes after the poll had closed at 10:00 pm and just assumed to be accurate.
As it happens, the Exit Poll turned out to be surprisingly very accurate as seen in the following table:
|Party||Exit Poll||Actual Result|
The election result gives the Conservative Party a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons which makes it possible for them to drive through any legislation that they need, or want, to implement.
In many respects the election was primarily about Leaving or Remaining in the EU. Both Liberal Democrats and Labour were seeking another (2nd) referendum to let the public decide. In the end they got what they wanted – but perhaps not the result they were seeking.
It is apparent that many Labour voters in the Midlands and North have transferred their vote from the Labour Party to the Conservatives. Whether this is a temporary situation remains to be seen.
The Brexit process has been stymied since the referendum and since the 2017 election, the Government couldn’t command sufficient support (from their own party!!) to drive the process forward. Now, with a large majority, Brexit can proceed unhindered.
The Labour party is likely to undergo a major overhaul of the current leadership and their future policies following the collapse in their support in this election.
One reason for their demise may be that they totally ignored the opinion of Labour voters who voted to Leave the EU in the referendum held in 2016, concentrating instead on their MP base in London and party members.
The majority of Labour MPs appeared to be strongly in favour of remaining in the EU, which seemed to be at odds with how their voters in the Midlands and North had voted in the referendum.
Perhaps the Labour Party slogan should have been representing the “few” rather than the “many”.
The party had attempted to steer conversation during the election campaign away from Brexit to other (important) matters such as the NHS and other public concerns, but in the end the election was undoubtedly a “Brexit” or “Remain” election.
Other feedback mentions that Labour voters disliked Jeremy Corbyn as leader with voters indicating they would only vote for Labour if it were not being led by Jeremy Corbyn.
In 2017 the Liberal Democrats had 12 elected MPs, this grew to a claimed 21 MPs over the course of the 2017-2019 Parliament due to MPs changing from the party they were elected for, to the Liberal Democrats.
The Liberal Democrats started their 2019 election campaign with a message to remain in the EU, stating that they would revoke Article 50 as soon as they were elected. In addition they attempted to run a “Remain Alliance” with other parties, promoting a policy of tactical voting in a number of constituencies.
Jo Swinson stated that her party, which took just under 8% of the votes in the 2017 election, would win a majority in this election and that she would be the next Prime Minster.
The message appeared to change towards the end of their campaign to become one more focused on holding a second referendum to decide on the “Brexit” issue.
The new MPs they acquired during the 2017-2019 Parliament were not returned as MPs and they finished overall with 11 MPs, 1 less than in 2017.
Jo Swinson lost her seat in Dunbartonshire East by 149 votes and immediately resigned as Party Leader.
The main policy adopted by the SNP in this election was to stand on the basis of holding another referendum on Scottish Independence.
SNP gained 13 new MPs to a total of 48 MPs at the expense of both Conservative (-7) and Labour (-6) MPs. The Liberal Democrats gained a seat from the SNP and lost a seat to the SNP.
In Scotland there was a 68.1% turnout from an electorate of 4,053,140 voters, with 45% of voters supporting the SNP.
It is interesting to see what happened to those MPs who rebelled against the party they were elected for. They were treated accordingly by voters who did not react kindly to their deceit and they did not return as MPs. This also shows why they were reluctant to call by-elections
Dominic Grieve, standing as an Independent, came second in Beaconsfield beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 15,712 votes.
David Gauke, standing as an Independent, came second in Hertfordshore South West beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 14,408 votes.
Anna Soubry, standing for the Independent Group for Change, came third in Broxtowe beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 26,602 votes and Labour who had 21,271 votes.
Chuka Umunna, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Cities of London & Westminster beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 3,953 votes.
Luciana Berger, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Finchley & Golders Green beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 6,562 votes.
Antoinette Sandbach, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came third in Eddisbury beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 30,095 votes and Labour who had 11,652 votes.
Sam Gyimah, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came third in Kensington beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 16,768 votes and Labour who had 16,618 votes.
Frank Field, standing for the Birkenhead Social Justice Party, came second in Birkenhead beaten by the Labour candidate who had a majority of 17,705 votes.
Gavin Shuker, standing as an Independent, came third in Luton South beaten by the Labour candidate who had 21,787 votes and Conservative candidate who had 13,031 votes.
Chris Leslie, standing for the Independent Group for Change, came fourth in Nottingham East beaten by the Labour candidate with 25,753 votes, the Conservative candidate with 8,342 votes and the Liberal Democrats with 1,954 votes
Mike Gapes, standing for the Independent Group for Change, came third in Ilford South beaten by the Labour candidate who had 35,085 votes and Conservative candidate who had 10,984 votes.
Angela Smith, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came third in Altrincham & Sale West beaten by the Conservative candidate who had 26,311 votes and Labour who had 20,172 votes.
Sarah Wollaston, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Totnes beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 12,724
Phillip Lee, standing for the Liberal Democrats, came second in Wokingham beaten by the Conservative candidate who had a majority of 7,383 votes.
Anne Milton, standing as an Independent, came fourth in Guildford after the Conservative candidate with 26,317 votes, Liberal Democrats with 22,890 votes and Labour with 4,515 votes.
Lord Ashcroft Polls
A Datapraxis Analysis of the UK General Election (2019)