Latest Issue

The three election rules that no longer hold true

From regional swing to the appeal of the centre ground, this election has torn up the campaign rule book

By Peter Kellner  

Jeremy Corbyn's victory has changed the game. Photo: PA

That ripping sound you hear is political scientists tearing up their textbooks. Gone is the notion that election campaigns have only a limited effect. Gone is the notion that the most English constituencies and regions swing between Labour and Conservative in broadly the same way. Gone is the axiom that the only way to make big gains in votes is to fight elections from the centre.

Some of the old verities had frayed in previous elections—notably the way Scotland drifted,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect