Comparing the Labour and Conservative “surges” 

There’s been a lot of talk about the “Labour surge” and I blogged about it yesterday. In an attempt to avoid a narrow view of the election I decided to look at this from the other side: the “Conservative surge”. 

Yes, there was one, and it has been lost in the chatter about the very impressive Labour surge.

First some facts. The Labour vote share went up an impressive 9.5 points. But what many people, especially Labour supporters missed is that the Conservative vote share went up a not insignificant 5.5 points. 

The most interesting thing to do is to compare the surges for each party. To do this I’ve produced two graphs of the top 50 surge seats for each party (I modified the Labour surge graph I did yesterday). Note both are to the same scale to make comparisons more meaningful. They are shown below.

What do they tell us? 

The top 50 Labour surge seats had a total of 579,000 extra votes whereas for the Conservatives the top 50 surge seats generated 421,000 extra votes which is more than a quarter fewer than the Labour surge generated.

Despite generating fewer surge votes, the Conservatives made them count more as they produced more gains for the party and they ate into more Labour majorities. Conversely, the Labour surge votes predominantly increased existing Labour majorities, made fewer gains and ate into fewer Conservative seats. 

With fewer “surge” votes the Conservatives have made them achieve more. 

The Conservative surge graph should be up on the wall at Labour high command as it shows the seats where the Conservatives have either won seats from Labour or made a major dent in the majorities. 

The common factor with these seats is that they are nearly all “post industrial communities”. No doubt the Labour message enthused young people and those living in metropolitan cities but Labour need to ensure that they can enthuse the post industrial communities too. This incidentally was point made by John Mann MP yesterday with his “Bolsover question.”


2 thoughts on “Comparing the Labour and Conservative “surges” 

  1. A quick comment. You contrast “metropolitan cities” with “post-industrial communities”. This is a false binary. Many of the metropolitan constituencies (Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds) on your first list are poor “post-industrial” areas. 44.8% of children in Manchester Central in poverty, Birmingham Hall Green = 40.5%, Liverpool Riverside = 40.2%. That’s higher rates of child poverty than seemingly more obvious candidates on your other list (Mansfield, Redcar, Burnley).


  2. Pingback: The decline of the SNP | More Known Than Proven

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