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Brexit and Labour and GE2017 June 9, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Anyone catch a most interesting snippet on BBC this morning in amongst the election coverage. They presented a series of charts indicating seats the BLP hoped to gain and then matched them with actual gains by that party. As can be imagined as one went further down the list of hopefuls the numbers of gains tailed off. So far so predictable. But then they matched Labour gains with constituencies with a Remain majority and it was clear that almost overwhelmingly seat gains piled up where hat vote had been at it’s highest at the referendum whereas there were slim pickings in Exit majority seats. Not ever Remain seat went Labour. Not every Exit seat remained Tory but the vast majority did.

The BBC noted this dynamic here:

8. It may have been the Brexit election after all

Labour has done well in seats that voted to Remain in the EU. The Tories have seen an uptick in seats that voted strongly to Leave, but far less than Labour’s gain.

The swing to Labour in seats where Remain won over 55% in 2016 is averaging seven points, whereas there is a 1% swing to the Conservatives in seats where over 60% voted for Leave, according to Mr Curtice.


1. dmfod - June 9, 2017

Yeah I heard that last night and disagreed with it! It’s a very partial account of a more complex process I think.

A lot of Leave constituencies in Northern England were safe Labour seats anyway so you would expect Labour voters to be less motivated to vote so a smaller swing and they also obviously wouldn’t show up as Labour gains. Conversely, the Tories’ hoped for large scale gains in Leave constituencies off the back of Brexit really didn’t happen either.

Another aspect is Labour’s success in winning a much bigger chunk of the collapsed UKIP vote than was being predicted. In a lot of areas they were getting 1 in 3 of the UKIP percentage drop but half or more in some constituencies. I think by agreeing to trigger Article 50 and to respect the referendum result, Corbyn managed to take Brexit off the table for a lot of Leave voters who saw it as a done deal so why vote on that basis.

This allowed him refocus the election on far and away the most left wing Labour manifesto in my adult life and certainly so for anyone under 35 which appealed to young people, traditional labour voters and ‘anti-establishment’ ex-UKIPers who used to vote Labour.

Predictions that Brexit had ushered in a new age of reaction in British politics look very far off the mark now.


Occasional lurker - June 9, 2017

And the corollary to the it’s a brexit argument was what I saw one Scottish man say that although he himself was SNP and Remain he felt that Nicola had forgotten that an awful lot of Scots had decided to leave. 38% and despite the calumny against them it wasn’t all racists. Effectively she left those people out.

By the by the very large swing from UKIP to Labour also punctures some myths about what a UKIP voter is or was.


WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

Some data worth looking through…



Did the Leave vote prove decisive?


Who benefited from the Ukip collapse?

Ashcrofts post-election poll is worth a look too …


One point I strongly agree with is that Corbyn was correct to say no rerun of the referendum or to attempt to stymie it. His language has been measured and clearly oriented towards a bespoke EFTA/EEA position of some sort while accepting that EU membership is over for the foreseeable future.

“Predictions that Brexit had ushered in a new age of reaction in British politics look very far off the mark now.”

No one is happier than me at that. That said the last year was very difficult for minorities and immigrants in the UK post-referendum whose status still remains utterly undetermined and who have been subject to hate crimes at record levels since. But comrades of mine in the UK and others on here have attested to how until the last four weeks the situation has been grim politically too – that up to and including the local elections there had been very little light. As was said on here:

“We’ve had the Tories soaring in the polls to unprecedented heights on a toxic platform; Labour in disarray and Corbyn under siege; political debate dominated by questions of immigration and national identity to the exclusion of anything to do with class or economics; and some truly horrifying stuff appearing in the Tory press (qualitatively worse than before). It’s been a bloody grim year to observe at close quarters”

It is a testament to Corbyn and the LP leadership and membership that they have been so strongly pushing back against all that this last month (and long before this month too).


dmfod - June 9, 2017

The FT stuff is behind a pay wall for me unfortunately. The Ashcroft polls show in 1 in 4 Leave voters voting Labour and around 1 in 3 Labour voters having voted Leave which is similar to at the time of the referendum itself. The split among ex-UKIP voters is around 75:25 Conservative:Labour but big constituency variations in that so in more traditional Labour constituencies they got more of that vote back.

The class stuff is interesting too – a big majority of unskilled working class (DE) and a small majority of C1s (office workers) voted Labour but C2s (skilled working class) went 43:38 Tory.

Women also a lot more progressive than men – if only women had the vote we’d be looking at Prime Minister Corbyn 🙂


WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

Yes, I saw that. ‘Tis a pity!

Again the approach by Corbyn was sensible – particularly when contrasted with the hapless LDs. Not everyone who voted for Brexit or even for UKIP would be reactionary and if he can draw people who might have for a time lent their support temporarily to a party with as troubling a range of attitudes back to the genuinely progressive LP and particularly given his unequivocal statements on EU citizens in the U.K. all the better. Pulling those c2s in is important too and I think he’s the person to do it.

One thought reading your points above particularly re DE etc, they can’t throw the unelectable jibe at him. Was saying elsewhere on the CLR It was great to see him lose that terrible haunted look he sometimes had under the pressure from the Labour right and commentariat. The smiles this morning were hard won but great to see.


Cb - June 9, 2017

Wouldn’t Trump have had an effect on all this? The sight of him as President and the chaos that has followed might have damaged the right. People might be jaded from the constant fear and division on offer.


WorldbyStorm - June 10, 2017

I think that’s a very fair point cb. And I wonder was some of that evident in the French vote, both in the strength of the left of PS, left of Macron vote and in the strength of Macron – since it would function to alienate both the left and the ‘centre’.


2. dmfod - June 9, 2017
WorldbyStorm - June 9, 2017

Love it.

There’s relatively few people in politics I feel any great affection for, JH of your parish is one of the few having known him a little over the years though not for a long while now, but Corbyn is someone who is so clearly principled too, even in areas I would disagree with him and rather likeable. Though it could be a middle aged man thing!


3. Dermot O Connor - June 11, 2017

A great read – ‘Touring Tory Turmoil’ – really is a hoot:



WorldbyStorm - June 11, 2017

This is brilliant! AVPS is fantastic.


Dermot O Connor - June 11, 2017

Isn’t life/politics amazing?

Just one week ago, Labour was the divided party, everyone out to knife the leader in the back, he’s dragging us down to ignominious defeat, the BASTARD. May was strong / stable, The Maggon risen, about to lead the tories to the glorious uplands of Empire 2.0.

Now, she’s hanging on by her fingernails – lucky to see out her first anniversary, and JC is living up to his initials, may even become the first Labour prime minister since the 1970s.

Great stuff.


Carouse, ye sovereign lords! The wheel will roll
Forever to confound and to console:
Who sips to-day the golden cup will drink
Mayhap to-morrow in a wooden bowl —
And silent drink.

(from the Luzumiyat by abu’l’ala al ma’arri (973-1058))


Dermot O Connor - June 11, 2017

Oh man, the Guardian trying to pivot. Offguardian takedown of Freedland.



… the Guardian has seen their big-name Op-Ed writers desperately trying to claw-back their credibility…

Jonathan Freedland’s damp article tries to both rewrite the author’s history, morally justifying his outrageous bias, claim he was right all along and undermine the electoral result…

…The distance between reality and the world of the media is becoming frighteningly wide. They seem genuinely surprised when the real world doesn’t correspond with the lies they tweet at each other, the myths the publish and the dreams they print. It’s moving from dishonesty into schizophrenia at this point…

…Even when he is attempting to be contrite, he can’t take responsibility for his role in this. He doesn’t mention his attacks, and those of other journalists and neo-liberals, as (deliberately) handicapping Labour’s campaign before it even started…

…Part of the reason the shambolic Tory campaign was able to limit Labour gains to 32 seats, is that they were starting from a position of massive strength – gifted to them by Red Tories in the press and MPs more concerned with remaining part of the in-crowd than trying to better society.

Corbyn was hobbled and undermined at every turn, presented with an almost impossible task…and, even so, he nearly pulled it off. This deserves more than a grudging half-apology, it deserves genuine respect…

…That’s the legacy of Blairism, it appealed to people who are self-centred capitalist me-firsters at heart, but who want to hide behind a mask of social conscience. The same kind of people who want to go to war to protect peace. Who bomb to save lives. Who can say or do anything whilst maintaining their pristine self-image and snow-white conscience.


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