A conversation with someone on LinkedIn about the 2019 General Election got me thinking about the result. It had been hailed as a great success for the Conservative party and in terms of seats it certainly was. The party saw a rise in the number of seats in the commons of over 10%, from 317 to 365.
My partner in the conversation said that a lot of people had switched from Labour to the Conservatives and I asked if he had evidence of this other than anecdotal. Was it true that the people of the region in which I live had moved from red to blue and if so, was the swing large enough to reflect the 10% growth in the overall number of government seats.
I had a look at the results from the north of the Tyne constituencies. In no seat did the Conservatives grow its vote by 10%. The best was a very credible 7.6% in my own constituency of Wansbeck. Indeed in one seat, Newcastle North, the Conservative vote fell slightly. When it came to Labour though, it’s vote decreased in all of the constituencies north of the Tyne. In half of the constituencies the Labour vote decreased by over 10%
On average in the ten constituencies the Conservative vote grew by 3% (compared to a national average of 1.3%), while the Labour vote declined by 9.6% (compared to a national average of 7.9%).
It is certainly true that the Conservative Party did better in the region than the national picture and the Labour party did worse but there is no concrete evidence, from these numbers, that Labour voters switched to the Conservatives.
It looks like the Conservatives won the election predominantly because the Labour vote was well down but not all of those votes went blue. Elections are fascinating things.
The numbers are below: