Labour Landslide?

 

The results of the British election are in, and the general media narrative seems to be describing it as a Labour “landslide.”  I think that this is an inaccurate description.

The “landslide” description is supported by the number of seats won.  Here are the results for the 4 parties receiving the most total votes:

Labour: 412 seats, +214
Conservative: 121 seats, -251
Reform UK: 4 seats, +4
Liberal Democrat: 71 seats, +63

This is an astonishing drubbing for the Conservatives, and a very big win for Labour, in number of seats.  Labour has over 63% of the seats in the House of Commons.

I think that the popular vote tells a very different story.  Labour did rather poorly in the popular vote, but won a huge number of seats because the Conservative vote collapsed.

Labour won 33.8% of the vote, up just 1.7% from its defeat in 2019.  The Liberal Democrats, who captured a large number of seats, were  up only 0.6% from 2019.  The Conservatives hemorrhaged votes, down 19.9%.  It was Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party that had the biggest increase, up 12.3%, from 2.0% in 2019 to 14.3% in 2024.  Here is a tabular comparison between 2024 and 2019 results:

Labour:  +1.7%  :  32.1% to 33.8%
Conserv: -19.9%  : 43.6% to 23.7%
Reform:  +12.3%  :  2.0% to 14.3%
Lib Dem:  +0.6%  :  11.6% to 12.2%

I’ve also compared the 2024 results to the average results for the prior 6 elections between 2001 and 2019.  Note that in this calculation, I consider Reform to be the successor of Farage’s former party UKIP.  The figures are:

Labour:  -0.8%  :  33.8% in 2024; average 34.6%
Conserv: -13.5%  : 23.7% in 2024; average 37.2%
Reform:  +11.6%  :  14.3% in 2024; average 2.7%
Lib Dem:  -2.8%  :  12.2% in 2024; average 24.0%

The combined total for other parties was 5.5% higher, up to 16.0% in 2024 from a 2001-2019 average of 10.5%.

My conclusion is that the Labour party is not popular.  Rather, the Conservative party is astonishingly unpopular, and this gave Labour an opportunity to capture a huge Parliamentary majority despite lackluster popular support.

 

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    That’s what Democracy does for you. We have not slipped that far into democracy yet.

    • #1
  2. John Park Member
    John Park
    @jpark

    Here’s a recap that includes some Mark Steyn commentary. It was a “loveless landslide” that resulted from the way  that seats are allocated, not from the overall voting patterns.

    • #2
  3. John Park Member
    John Park
    @jpark

    More to my point, it appears that Labor won its landslide with just 33-35% of the vote.

    • #3
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    John Park (View Comment):

    More to my point, it appears that Labor won its landslide with just 33-35% of the vote.

    Doesn’t matter. They will use that “mandate” to jam through their destructive agenda.

    The Left doesn’t waste its power.

    • #4
  5. ToryWarWriter Coolidge
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Reform just got a 5th seat with a 98 margin on third recount.

    • #5
  6. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    In a first past the post system it’s not unusual to be able to form a majority government with a plurality of vote share.

    From a Guardian piece (with good maps and graphs):

    The election had the lowest combined party share for Labour and the Conservatives since 1945. The combined effect of the Lib Dem recovery, the Reform UK vote share, and an increase for the Green party, as well as a higher than usual vote for independents of various kinds. This fragmentation has been a feature of British electoral politics for at least two decades but in earlier elections different parts were less successful, masking the overall impact. It is why the electoral system is creaking, as more parties gain moderate vote shares the winning post in a constituency can be quite low (Liz Truss lost her seat to Terry Jermy who won just 26.7% of the vote in the constituency) and why future elections may be even harder to call.

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Kozak (View Comment):

    John Park (View Comment):

    More to my point, it appears that Labor won its landslide with just 33-35% of the vote.

    Doesn’t matter. They will use that “mandate” to jam through their destructive agenda.

    The Left doesn’t waste its power.

    I don’t agree with this.  If you’re opposed to Leftist ideas, I think that this badly underestimates the opposition.  The other side may be perfectly capable of playing a longer game, and carrying our change more incrementally.

    As I understand it, Keir Starmer, the new Labour Prime Minister, has made public statements indicating that he would not seek to reverse Brexit.  This is an example.  We’ll see, as he may try to do so anyway, but this will be a political calculation.

    • #7
  8. Al Sparks Coolidge
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Kozak (View Comment):

    John Park (View Comment):

    More to my point, it appears that Labor won its landslide with just 33-35% of the vote.

    Doesn’t matter. They will use that “mandate” to jam through their destructive agenda.

    The Left doesn’t waste its power.

    A lot depends on how radical the backbenchers are.  On the surface, backbenchers vote the way their party leadership tells them to.  But there is a lot of two way conversation between  backbenchers and leadership.

    And while each party has its own rules on how this happens, backbenchers can move to replace their party leader.  So if most of the backbenchers are radical, Keith Starmer may be pressured to be just as radical.

    Checking the latest headlines in The Telegraph one of them says that he’s turning to a “key Blair ally” to reform the NHS.  Tony Blair, of course, was a considered a moderate Labor leader.  Part of the problem for the Tories was that David Cameron, the first Prime Minister of the Tory 14 year run in power, wasn’t considered much different than Blair.  And the one small government Prime Minister, Liz Truss, didn’t last long.

    So if Starmer governs like Blair, Labour will probably get re-elected.  If the radicals are able to force him left, then maybe the Tories will have a chance at the next election with Nigel Farage’s help.

    • #8
  9. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    The Conservative Party in Britain stalled on Brexit and refused to do anything about mass, unregulated immigration except facilitate it. They also supported Climate Totalitarianism and transgender nonsense. In short, they did exactly none of the things their base wanted even after numerous chances to do better. And the voters fired them. Rightfully so.

    The nagging question that remains is… what is it about illegal immigration that conservative politicians will give up power rather than stem the flow?

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    The Conservative Party in Britain stalled on Brexit and refused to do anything about mass, unregulated immigration except facilitate it. They also supported Climate Totalitarianism and transgender nonsense. In short, they did exactly none of the things their base wanted even after numerous chances to do better. And the voters fired them. Rightfully so.

    The nagging question that remains is… what is it about illegal immigration that conservative politicians will give up power rather than stem the flow?

    Great question.  I suspect that it’s the accusation of racism, and perhaps even internalized anti-racism.

    The entire doctrine of opposition to racism turns out, in practice, to prevent you from preferring your own people and culture.  

    • #10
  11. She Member
    She
    @She

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    The Conservative Party in Britain stalled on Brexit and refused to do anything about mass, unregulated immigration except facilitate it. They also supported Climate Totalitarianism and transgender nonsense. In short, they did exactly none of the things their base wanted even after numerous chances to do better. And the voters fired them. Rightfully so.

    The nagging question that remains is… what is it about illegal immigration that conservative politicians will give up power rather than stem the flow?

    As is true of politicians in the United States, the vast majority of politicians in the UK live in a bubble that insulates them from their public. 

    While there’s some legislative buffer in the US at the state level, such a thing really doesn’t apply in the UK, where the MP for Lower Snotherington, a hamlet in Middle England somewhere, suddenly finds himself in Whitehall with an important vote on the national scene. 

    Couple that with the very common practice of the “Party” hand-selecting candidates to “stand” in a constituency they don’t live in and know nothing about, and the disconnect between the candidates and the “folks” is compounded.

    Pile onto that the fact that so many “woke” initiatives, no matter how misguided, appeal to the British sense of “fair play,” and off you go.

    People on what the US would call “main street” have to live with the consequences of all these foolish actions.  The politicians, not so much.

    It is certainly correct to say that the “landslide” in representational terms is nothing of the sort in proportional voting terms, and that the voting public is not so much in love with Labour as it is disgusted with the Tories.  Whether or not the result redounds to the benefit of the country has yet to be seen.  I’m betting: Not.

    An additional note: Illegal immigration into the UK (the people on the boats) occurs at the rate of about 35,000 a year.  This is largely the issue that it is because Britain doesn’t “catch and release.”  They detain the immigrants, sometimes for years, before hearing their cases.  This keeps the public fury on the boil as hotels, resorts, and military bases are bought off by the government as “housing” for the illegal immigrants, while homeless Britons, including many military veterans, sleep in the streets.

    There is increasing awareness that legal migration of about one million a year (the net is slightly more than half that, if you subtract the number of Brits who leave the country) is a larger problem.  Recent initiatives to increase salary thresholds for skilled workers, and reductions in the number of dependents who may be admitted to accompany those on student visas or care workers have made some inroads to that number.  As far as I know, the Labour policy on immigration is to impose “appropriate” caps.  We’ll see where that goes, especially considering that they’ve ruled out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, which most people see as the gateway to a stricter immigration policy.

    • #11
  12. She Member
    She
    @She

    She (View Comment):
    As far as I know, the Labour policy on immigration is to impose “appropriate” caps.  We’ll see where that goes, especially considering that they’ve ruled out leaving the European Convention on Human Rights, which most people see as the gateway to a stricter immigration policy.

    This is another example of a phenomenon I (and a few others on this site) have pointed out before; that of the Brits slavish submission to “authority,” and their determination to follow the rules.**  Many European countries, signatories to the ECHR themselves, have much harsher immigration policies than does Britain.  Only in Britain it seems is the preponderance of what they call “lefty lawyers” so great that almost any decision to deport a migrant, for whatever reason, is immediately challenged and eventually overcome on ECHR grounds.  Many other countries are content to look the other way, or just ignore the ECHR, while they do their own thing, seemingly with no penalty whatsoever.

    **There is no better example of the truth of this statement than the appalling behavior of British citizens against their fellows during the Covid lockdown.  A nation of snitches and law-enforcement thugs in which people whose neighbors had “told” on them were informed that they had no right to step into their own gardens.  Or in which pub landlords were fined because their customers jumped up to celebrate a football goal, when the “rules” said they were to have been sitting down.  Good grief. I’m not sure that people on this side of the pond really understand that dynamic, which underlies so much of British behavior these days.

    • #12
  13. Steve Fast Member
    Steve Fast
    @SteveFast

    It sounds like there is  a lot of tactical voting between Labour and Lib-Dem supporters in which they vote for the candidate most likely to win a constituency. In a splintered, multi-party political landscape, this would explain why those two parties’ seats won far exceeded their vote shares.

    • #13
  14. She Member
    She
    @She

    Agree. Got a joyful message from my sister earlier today.  Her constituency was the last to announce a winner, almost 48 hours after the polls closed (Some shenanigans there, perhaps).  She–not me She, her She–(who’s in Scotland) proclaimed: “Least Worst Option!  Tactical Voting Worked!”

    That was all in relation to the SNP candidate having lost and almost anyone else having won.

    • #14
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