When I feel nervous about the election

I put this question to myself:

In this election campaign how many times have you heard mention of working class voters switching from Labour to the Tories?

Now, how many times have you heard mention of voters of any class switching from the Tories to Labour?

I have yet to see an article or a vox pop about the blue wall.

Updated: 8th December 2019 — 11:29 pm


  1. For every second of doubt from Brexiteer Libertarian right of centre types, there seems to be and article from lefty journos slagging of the US off and accidentally revealing their crippling fear of defeat……

    Keep calm, cancel your tv licence and carry on 😁

  2. On the other hand, we will know the result on a Friday 13th… it does not inspire confidence, doesn’t it?


  3. To pick one middle class profession.

    I believe that even as recently as the 1960s the Teachers split fairly evenly between Labour and Conservative. Today the gap is enormous.

    I think the story is similar if not as changed in the Health arena.

    The point being that the growth of middle class professionals voting Labour is a long run thing.

    You might respond that Mondeo man and “loads of money” are signs of less lofty classes moving in the opposite direction during the same time frame.

  4. Question from an outsider who is trying to follow the course of events — Since the Remain/Leave divide cut across traditional Party lines, wasn’t the expectation that members of the Tory tribe who were unhappy with Brexit would likely turn to the Liberal-Democrats, rather than drifting towards Labour?

  5. Gavin Longmuir, In some more middle class seats, yes. But there are plenty of places where the Lib Dems scarcely have a presence, so voting Lib Dem would be throwing your vote away.

  6. Thanks for the explanation, Natalie.

    The expression “throwing your vote away” is intriguing, especially in a First-Past-The-Post environment.

    In 2015, the Conservative Party got a majority in Westminster (330 seats) with only 36.8% of the votes cast. Perhaps 63.2% of the voters might have felt that their votes made no difference? They were stuck with a Conservative government for which they had not voted.

    In 2017, the Conservative Party did much better in terms of share of the vote, increasing it to 42.3%; but somewhat worse in terms of Parliamentary seats, only 317. At least then a Conservative minority in votes translated into a minority in Parliament — which might be seen as a proper result for a democracy.

    It seems that the geographic distribution of votes is more significant than the actual share of the total votes. This history suggests that the next UK Government may be unlikely to represent a majority of voters. There are some real questions about democratic processes!

  7. Gavin Longmuir (9th December 2019 at 11:24 pm), we had a referendum on whether to introduce PR on 2011. The proposal was rejected by 68% of voters on a national turnout of 42%. I do not foresee another referendum on the subject being held – though I’m sure the LibDems would be as happy to ignore the result and bring it in as they would be to revoke article 50.

  8. Niall — Step back and look at the situation more broadly. There are problems with the way the Western world currently governs itself — and those problems are impacting society. I would agree with the 29% of UK citizens who rejected Proportional Representation — look at any country with PR to see why. But there may be other answers than simply First-Past-The-Post or Proportional Representation.

    We need to be realistic — we do not have democratic majority rule. 29% of the UK citizen body voted down PR; 37% of the UK citizen body voted up Brexit. Why do some many people who have the hard-won right to vote apparently not give a damn? Personal view — we need to rethink the issues of citizenship and universal suffrage, and perhaps some day return to the idea of selecting a representative for his character rather than a Party label.

    There was a hopeful time when it seemed that Brexit might lead to fundamental change in UK governance. Let’s keep hoping!

  9. What was rejected was the alternative vote, i.e. the Australian system, which functions for single-member constituencies. PR means all sorts of things – and AV is not really PR. Beware anything with closed party lists, even if it is ‘only’ for mixed-member top-ups.

Comments are closed.