8th June defied expectations—and unfolded in very different ways in different kinds of seatsby Stephen Fisher / June 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in July 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Two nations, two swings
Remainia swung sharply, Leaveland barely budged
Politicians like to talk of “one nation,” but the EU referendum seared Britain into two political halves—and that’s without reckoning with Scotland, dropped from all these numbers because June’s election proved once again it is another country entirely. Across the English and Welsh constituencies that voted “Remain,” Labour surged ahead, making for a sharp swing of 5.7 percentage points. By contrast, in “Leaveland,” there were lots of former Ukip votes to divide, and the Tories picked up more of them. As a result, both parties advanced in parallel, and our swingometer ticks a mere 1.2 points to the left.
The young really did come out for Corbyn
Labour’s pre-election talk of attracting apathetic young voters ran into scepticism. The age-break of the vote isn’t in yet, but already we can see—by separately crunching the constituencies with more young voters—signs of Jeremy Corbyn pulling it off. In seats where 18-24s make up more than 10 per cent of the electorate, turnout rose by 4.0 percentage points, markedly higher than the 2.8 point rise in seats where less than 7 per cent of the electorate are young. The surge in Labour’s vote share was also higher in seats with more young people. But the overall surge in Labour support is far too large to be explained by young people alone.
Old certainties lose their grip