The British Election Study have released their data from the election campaign waves today – one large wave straight after the election was called, a wave of daily rolling polls from throughout the campaign itself and a third large wave conducted straight after the campaign. All three of these datasets were collected online by YouGov (the face-to-face element of the BES is still to come). If you’re au fait with stats software like SPSS, Stata or R the raw data is available for download on the British Election Study site here.

There’s already some analysis of the data by the BES team here (a longer version of the article you may have seen on BBC this morning), focusing on how people changed their votes between 2015 and 2017, and between the beginning and end of the election campaign.

The article breaks down 2015 vote by Remainers and Leavers. Looking at how 2015 voters who backed Leave ended up voting in 2017, the Conservatives kept the vast majority of their 2015 leave voters and picked up over half of the 2015 UKIP vote (as well as a chunk of Labour Leavers). The collapse of UKIP wasn’t all to the Conservatives’ favour though, 18% of UKIP Leavers ended up moving to Labour.

Turning to the Remain vote, Labour were the clear victor: around a third of 2015 Tories who voted remain drifted away from the party, either to Labour or to the Lib Dems, but Labour also picked up a chunk of the 2015 Lib Dem vote and most of the 2015 Green vote. Of course, while this is easy to view through the prism of Brexit, that doesn’t necessarily mean Brexit was the main driver (to give an obvious example, yes – a large proportion of Green Remain voters moved to Labour… but a large proportion of the 2015 Green vote had already moved to Labour before the referendum, presumably as a result of the direction Jeremy Corbyn had taken the party).

More interesting is the movement during the campaign itself. 19% of people changed how they would vote between the start and the end of the campaign. This is not in itself unusual – in 2015 the figure was 17%, and according to the BES team it was higher in 2010 and 2005. The difference in 2017 is that this movement was overwhelmingly in favour of the Labour party, whereas at previous elections the churn largely cancelled itself out. Hence during the campaign we can see significant numbers of Tory votes, Lib Dem voters and, most of all, don’t knows moving towards Labour, but very little movement away from Labour.

In terms of explanations for the movement – while the voters Labour attracted during the campaign were those you’d expect to be the most receptive (that is, tending to be opposed to a hard-Brexit and left-leaning), the most obvious movement was on leadership ratings, that sharp collapse in Theresa May’s ratings and the steady increase in Jeremy Corbyn’s, and those people who moved to Labour during the campaign were also those who displayed the biggest increase in their perceptions of Jeremy Corbyn.

Ed and Chris’s full article is here.

372 Responses to “British Election Study release their campaign data”

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  1. @Syzygy

    Well, the standard psychology on the matter would have it that people tend to rely on more emotional responses, as opposed to consciously working things through, when:

    – there’s not enough time to work it through
    – it’s too complicated to work through
    – it’s not considered important enough to work it through

    Obviously, for those for whom analysing complex systems is more difficult, they are apt to rely more on the emotional, and then assume others do too.

    When in fact some are actually mapping the whole system as much as possible and working it through.

    Even then there may be emotional components, Eureka moments where emotionally they know summat is likely right without working it through.

    They will still tend to work it through later to check though.

  2. Interesting Article. A couple of other fairly obvious points need to be made as regards the General Election;

    1) The Tories ran an appalling campaign and included (then U-turned on) pretty toxic policies like taking lunches off children and confiscating the homes of people who are unfortunate enough to need much end-of-life care.

    2) Labour promised lots of goodies for students, more money for the NHS- to be paid for by taxing the Rich heavily (always popular with a majority of voters- and people will always vote for such policies in the absence of a Conservative Party spelling out clearly exactly why such policies tend not to be as successful as their proponents suggest).

    In the longer term we have a government bereft of authority and a majority- the Tories will not be able to push through policies of their own appealing to many millions (a successful Brexit with minimal “Divorce Bill”). Younger voters who have been indoctrinated against the Tories by teachers are becoming eligible to vote all the time whilst old Conservative voters are dying off. In the meantime, 100,000s of Labour and Momentum Activists are campaigning in the Marginals (and will continue to do so over coming months and years) and there are signs (high levels of private and public debt, house-prices far too high) of a sharp economic correction in coming months and years……

    None of this favours the Tories going forward: I expect to see more polls showing Labour leads coming soon. The next Election is, on this showing, likely to produce a Majority Labour Government- something I predict with a sense of foreboding as a Conservative myself!

  3. Excellent post Alec.
    However Labour still have huge problems getting the elderly to vote for them. Despite offering to maintain the triple lock the grey vote remained steadfastly Tory. It’s difficult to see how Labour can change this moving forward. This is rock solid Tory support that is guaranteed to turn out and vote.

  4. Carfew

    Very much so, also to add to the list “When there isn’t enough data”

    It doesn’t mean that gut decisions are better, invariably they aren’t. Currently it’s a pretty big thing in business to create the systems which take care of the time, difficulty, amount of data issues allowing important decisions to be made with a greater amount of information available.

    Some companies are really embracing (and in notable cases are pioneering) this technology. Want to “know” your customers? collect serious amounts of data on them.

  5. @Ian Pennell

    “Younger voters who have been indoctrinated against the Tories by teachers”


    You’ve said this before. While obviously one cannot say it never happens, it’s not likely to be very common because these days teachers don’t have much time for such things given what they have to get through. Given a choice between using up previous time talking about the bedroom tax or trying to make sure Ofsted don’t pillory you over your resuts, what are you gonna pick?

    Secondly there are quite a few Tory teachers. Thirdly, parents are very much more involved these days and are liable to spot summat like this and chat about it on Facebook.

    It’s clear that young people these days were neither for Tories nor liberals nor nuLab anyway. They were kind of outside party politics, until they got a chance to shape the Labour party more to their liking via Corbyn.

    These political values didn’t come via teachers, many of whom were pro nuLab anyway in terms of pay etc., but via social media etc., and are a more global phenomenon, e.g. Sanders in the States.

    More generally, most Brits don’t tend to talk politics that much in company anyway. Nor religion.

  6. @Alan

    Yes, there’s a trade-off between keeping summat proprietary and hence maintaining advantage, versus opening it up to more eyeballs and potentially improving it.

    The academic approach, of peer review etc. and things like Open Source, can show the value of more eyeballs trained on summat.

    Opening summat up, at least in part, can especially be useful if it’s a platform, where opening it up can encourage more uptake.

  7. Hi Anthony Wells,
    My comments seem to be stuck in moderation on the constituency threads.
    Please could you help.
    Thank you.

    Do you have a personal email or another way I can contact you?

  8. The aging population does help the Tories in seats like Stoke-on-Trent North and Ashfield etc, also Labour’s base in the latter is crumbling.

  9. @Syzygy

    Yes of course, the demise of UKIP was just one of many factors in the result of the GE and, although not all of their previous voters toddled off to the Tories a significant number did.

    To answer your question I actually do think that, with or without Farage, UKIP have shot their bolt.

    They were all about leaving the EU based on a n appeal to some people’s emotions and false promises . But it is now becoming much more about realities.

    I really don’t see what they have to say that will move opinion back their way, apart from at the very margins.

  10. Carfrew

    I agree and I do tend to lean towards the academic side of things. Companies like Google can publish an awful lot of what they are doing in terms of techniques and contribute to the sum of knowledge. Undoubtedly this work will inspire others to build on top of this work and it continues the virtuous cycle.

    Obviously specific applications will be more closely guarded (as well of being of less interest academically where the general techniques are of more interest). With political polling/modelling being out there to show how good a company is rather than as a big source of revenue streams they could treat them in the same way as Google treated AlphaGo and pretty much published how it works in detail. Enough details were published such that it could be recreated, given enough resources.

    Now the lessons learned from producing AlphaGo will be adapted and applied to areas which are monetised and those will understandably be kept behind closed doors.

  11. @S THOMAS
    ”I blame jezza for all the tory promises which will not now be implemented. There we all were thinking that he would campaign like he did in the referendum and even possibly go on holiday during it and then he goes and plays a blinder. Who would have credited it? and now in consequence we have a tory government but without any of the giveaways!
    when they come to write the Ladybird book of Corbyn’s achievements this will surely feature in the index.”

    I am not a great supporter of his but he certainly surprised me and while I never thought the Conservatives would get landslide territory I was certainly thinking a 40-50 seat majority.’

    He was fortunate in being up against May who did run an awful campaign, although that is an exaggeration as there was little in the way of a campaign to run. But credit to Corbyn he came across very well and was not afraid to give it his all.

    I was catching up with some episodes of Have I got news for you that aired in the run up to the 2017 election. Looking back it was clear everybody had written Corbyn off and he was treated as a joke. How quickly things changed. Still didnt win mind you but certainly got some good punches in.

  12. @ Paul Croft

    ‘To answer your question I actually do think that, with or without Farage, UKIP have shot their bolt.’

    You’re probably right. Nevertheless, former Ukip voters might stop supporting the Conservative if they are unhappy with the Brexit negotiations.

  13. Ian

    “more money for the NHS- to be paid for by taxing the Rich heavily (always popular with a majority of voters”

    If taxing the rich is always popular why has it been missing from the political landscape for so long? The pragmatists tell us that labour can only win from the centre which apparently includes the notion that it’s good for society for the rich to remain rich. Alistair Campbell told us that “tax the rich” is a vote loser, Toby Young started the whole “Tories for Corbyn” thing on the basis that taxing the rich was a vote loser.

  14. Syzygy

    I think you are right in that they have tied themselves to the mast of the great ship Complete And Utter Brexit. If they change ships, they guarantee to lose a chunk of their vote while not being certain of regaining the disaffected vote from taking that position.

    What happens if that boat gets holed under the waterline remains to be seen. I suspect a new skipper will be in place rather quickly with a new course charted.

  15. @ Carfew

    ‘Well, the standard psychology on the matter would have it that people tend to rely on more emotional responses, as opposed to consciously working things through’ etc.

    Very true but what I was identifying was that most of our thinking is done unconsciously collating all one’s experience, knowledge and the associated emotional responses. The conclusions only become conscious for some end process fine tuning. I see it as the difference between parallel processing and linear thought.

    However, the chocolate cake story (or limoncello) is a good example of how the emotional response usually over-rides previous experience and dry facts.

  16. Did the Tories run a terrible campaign? They did have some car crash interviews but they went mostly unreported. They did have people go off message but again it mostly went unreported. Labour also had some car crash interviews and those were reported incessantly ditto with people going off message.

    TM was the victim of social media mickey taking but did that gain traction because it was based in fact or because the mood of the country was turning?

    I’m not sure about the “worst Tory campaign in history” meme. Was the selling of the product bad or was it a bad product that was difficult to sell? Could the Tories have included more sweeteners in their manifesto? Yes but would anyone believe them after the last 7 years? But also if the product isn’t one people don’t want to buy no amount of “buy one get one free” offers are going to move it.


    The trouble with your 5 matches rule [or any form of rationing] is that during polldrums, as we are now, Sod’s law suggests that every new poll we discover will be a few moments after our personal ration has been used up.

  18. CR

    I think it was more the strategy that was criticised than the execution.

    To run a presidential style campaign “TEAM MAY (and the conservatives)” and then hide your candidate as much as possible was seen as a terrible campaign strategy.

    Also running so negative on Corbyn was pretty ineffective.

    The manifesto launch was seem as pretty much a complete disaster.

  19. Sue,

    First of all your anecdote about the PPC and the exit is poll is very very sad; and, whilst of course I want as many LP MPs as possible, within the total achieved I hope that PPC was unsuccessful and is not selected for the next GE regardless of any other qualities they may have.

    I understood funding decisions came from regional offices, certainly in the NEast Labour North decided. It may well be that some officials in some regions direct financial and activist support to favoured candidates but I am not sure how widespread. I do think both Lab and Tories piled resources in to Tory targets off Labour as that was what the polls were saying, even using 15% rather than the 20% froth lead. Turned out to help labour as the national messaging, manifesto, JC v TM thing helped labour more than Cons in seats where the ground war was absent from both parties.

    Margaret Greenwood nominated Burnham I believe.

  20. Carfrew

    Apologies. I have very little time recently and have mostly been skimming

    Take Corbyn’s word for it “they voted for hope”

    or they voted becuz they wuz hopeless

  21. SYZGY
    Re Blairite plots: if what you say about the Wirral seats is true then I take your point.
    I don’t see how that applies to Sheffield Hallam however. Whether organised centrally or not, plenty of effort was put into unseating Clegg and Mulholland, and if that effort had been focussed on seats like Pudsey and Morley and Outwood, then maybe we would not be facing another five years of Tory government.
    I appreciate the reality though. All political parties want to win seats wherever they can.


    Looking at the BES I keep coming back to the point that the Tories got 42.4% of the vote. Clearly one would have been happy with that as a margin of success the point was that they were expected to walk away with not just a large proportion of the vote but Labour getting a smaller portion of the vote than Ed Miliband.

    The reality is someone coasting in a race only to find that they have only just scraped a win make for the fact you would not be keen on running the race again.

    Looking at much of the details, two things emerged.
    1. Brexit while important was discounted as going to happen even in remain voters eyes but what sort of brexit is still an open issue

    2. The very issues that drove many labour voters to push for never going to be resolved in their eyes by voting Tory.

    The Labour party achieved these two thing by being openended on Brexit and arguing that austerity is over.

    Much of the Labour leav vote was not just about immigration and sovereignty but actually not getting a share of the wealth of the country. “take back control” was not just a cry of wealthy Tory eurosceptics but in essence they were pretty much opposite of that of those labour heartlands that felt left behind.

    I believe the problem for the Tories is that firstly they conflated support for Leave as support for Tory policies in the round. secondly May having spoken about the JAMS literally threw them under the bus with benefit freezes and public sector pay. Corbyn gave them a decisive alternative and surprising was very effective

    Lastly Tory policies pretty much were sold to a social conservative base despite rhetoric against it. I minded to rmember that fact that over half of all Tory MPs voted against gay marriage and yet you have cognitive dissonance of the Scottish Tory leader trying to get reassurance that DUP would not take away a right sh has that the majority of her party members did not support.

    Now interestingly the Tories did win and again what is interesting is that the SNP were enabled by Tories in the Scottish parliament when they were a minority government so it is ironic that May owes her majority to SNP just as Cameron owes his to defeating the LDs in the South West.

  23. Alan

    I can’t see anything wrong with the Tory strategy, it’s the one that’s been working for as long as I can remember. Admittedly it did have the extra twist that they were so certain it was going to work that tried to shift the Overton window on health care with the dementia tax. And to be totally honest that was a smart move or at least would have been if successful. It was a gamble but if you have 4 aces of course you are going to raise the stakes.

    Actually there might be a lesson for the Blair haters here(yes I include myself) one of our complaints about Blair is that faced with certain victory he didn’t try to win big. TM tried to win big and it didn’t work.

    Why didn’t the standard Tory strategy work, was it the decline of traditional media? The Corbyn effect? The Brexit? Or was it just that the ground has shifted and no one noticed until the election campaign?

  24. CR


    I seem to remember at least seeing the candidate for PM in the election campaign in times gone by. The last I can remember of TM in the campaign was her and the chips. Thats how invisible she was to me who takes a fair interest in politics. That lack of presence of her or the chancellor I would call highly unusual

    I also can’t recall an election where the conservative chancellor was placed in a box the entire campaign, TM just didn’t manage to nail down the lid as she hoped.

    This election I was non-partisan as I knew from the outset that neither TM or JC would be getting my vote.

  25. The Indy reports this afternoon that Majority of British public support free movement of citizens anywhere in the EU, new survey suggests, with the sub-title:

    A staggering 70 per cent of respondents said they were for the free movement of EU citizens who can live, work, study and do business anywhere in the EU.

    It’s based on the latest Eurobarometer, with a myriad of PDFs to explore.

  26. @ Jim Jam

    ‘Margaret Greenwood nominated Burnham I believe.’

    True enough but she’s not a Progress MP either, and she has been closely involved with Corbyn and Caroline Lucas’ attempt to pass the NHS Re-Instatement Bill…. MG was certainly very dismayed/angry about all the resources/manpower piling into Alison McGovern’s Wirral South constituency leaving her to fight the campaign unaided by LP staff or funding. (Also Gavin Shuker in Luton South ended up with a 14k majority while the ignored marginal Bedford candidate scraped in with 789).

    Unfortunately, the PPC in question is an influential insider with a rather high profile and is highly likely to be re-selected in a winnable seat. I agree that it is very sad but I doubt that you really are any more surprised than I am…. the eating wasp faces of the prominent anti-Corbyn brigade on the 9th June television interviews rather confirmed their hopes.

    I agree that the lack of official LP help didn’t prevent the election of 31(?) new Labour MPs and may have succeeded in misdirecting the Tory effort…… however, it begs the question of those unsupported PPCs who failed to be elected by 10s of votes.

    Thing is that I remember John Curtice suggesting at the beginning of the campaign that Mrs May was taking a risk in calling the GE and might well end up with a hung parliament. Did I dream that?

    Certainly, I couldn’t make head or tail of some of the comments on UKPR that were so certain of a Tory landslide. I was always very aware of the 20% of former Labour voters who were not reflected in the polling and concerned by the draconian weightings of some of the opinion polling companies. Now if I had a lot of caveats about the polls and I had no access to national polling returns, and I’m not paid to understand the polling, why did the LPHQ adopt such a defensive position? It wasn’t for lack of financial resources.

    In fact, I wrote in a blog on the 7th June that I didn’t think that Labour could possibly win a majority but I had high hopes of a hung parliament (bolstered by the results of CMJ’s innovative analysis). It seems that Paul Mason was even more certain. So again, why did LPHQ and the regional offices make the decisions that they made?

    Of course, they might just have been hoisted by their own petard. The last two years (and the previous 5y) of undermining the leadership would not lead many to accept without question that they acted in good faith.

  27. @ Andrew111

    Thanks and I completely agree with ‘Whether organised centrally or not, plenty of effort was put into unseating Clegg and Mulholland, and if that effort had been focussed on seats like Pudsey and Morley and Outwood, then maybe we would not be facing another five years of Tory government.’

    No central LP funding or help was offered to Jarad in Sheffield Hallam but with the help of local activists, TUs and Momentum, they succeeded. I believe that disability campaign groups were also of significant help in both Wirral N and in ousting Nick Clegg.

  28. ANDREW111 @ SYZGY

    [I]f that effort had been focussed on seats like Pudsey and Morley and Outwood, then maybe we would not be facing another five years of Tory government.

    We’re only facing TWO years of Con government unless the DUP extend their C&S agreement. Given the Cons lack of clarity on the Irish border, exen the two years may prove to be too long.

    That said, I agree that effort spent on the LD Sheffield seat could have been more usefully focused.

  29. Syzygy

    I don’t know how the Blairites looked like after the exit poll, but I can say that in spite of begging for resources in a centrist MP’s constituency it was plainly refused (by Corbynites) – I actually made the point here during the campaign.

    On the point about the resources for the Wirral constituencies is untrue. Leaflets and alike were printed in Liverpool, and Liverpool canvassers were working every weekend over the water in a large number (as they were not needed in Liverpool).

    The Labour Party has more conspiracy theories than policies.

  30. Initial BES analysis of the 2017 UK GE in Scotland focusses on the two constitutional questions which have dominated –

    In the space of three general elections, the Scottish party system has been completely transformed. The SNP moved from third place in 2010 to first in 2015 and 2017, Labour has fallen from first to third, and the Conservatives have risen from fourth to second. It is not hard to see how the referendums on Scottish independence and the UK’s membership of the EU have been the catalyst for these changes.

    27% (Yes/Remain) were solidly behind the SNP positions – and most voted that way in 2015 and 2017.

    21% (No/Leave) mirrored SCon positions. In 2015 they were approximately evenly divided between SLab and SCon. In 2017, SCon picked up half of ex-SLab voters in this group, as well as the relatively small numbers from SLD leavers and UKIP.

    As always, the interesting cohorts are those whose views don’t easily align with parties.

    34% were No/Remain. SLab had c.50% of these in 2015 : 40% in 2017. SCon had 20% in 2015 : 30% in 2017. 39% of this group associated more closely with No than Remain, while 36% more closely with Remain than No.

    Yes/Leavers comprised 17% of the sample. 90% of them voted SNP in 2015, but only 60% in 2017. The switchers moved equally to SLab and SCon.

    Disappointingly, there seems to be no analysis of those who hadn’t voted in both 2015 and 2017. As someone noted upthread, that can produce misleading impressions.

  31. The focus on brexit doesn’t smell right to me, while it’s a good indicator along with capital punishment of which side someone will ultimately go with everyone bar the odd lib dem believes it will happen regardless of whether or not it should.

    I was polled several times by yougov during the campaign and would have put brexit and the economy as two of the main factors influencing my vote, even as the main thing went unasked and unreported, namely a visceral loathing of the other side.

  32. the exterminatingdalek

    Jezza was not that bad surely?

    I think teachers have always tried to shape their students views by ‘getting ’em young’. I watched an interview with Alex Salmond recently where he was asked how he first got interested in politics. He named a shoolteacher – ‘Mrs something’ – who ‘came in one morning with a bunch of forms and got the whole class to join the Labour Party’ – as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

  34. @Syzygy

    “Very true but what I was identifying was that most of our thinking is done unconsciously collating all one’s experience, knowledge and the associated emotional responses. The conclusions only become conscious for some end process fine tuning. I see it as the difference between parallel processing and linear thought.”


    Well, it’s complicated.

    Let’s say you’re driving a car. A lot of the actions become automatic, unconscious with practice, though initially more conscious. But overall, you are consciously guiding the activity, where to go etc.

    Although, to what extent did the unconscious influence where you decided to go? Then again, if someone knows they have a compulsion to drive to the bookies say, they might consciously arrange impediments to thwart that drive.

    And so on. Wheels within wheels. Undoubtedly the unconscious plays a big role, but you can consciously direct things to assist, and consciously methodically work through things too.

  35. German poll, Merkel is pulling further ahead

    Forsa poll:

    CDU/CSU 40%
    SPD 22%
    GRN 8%
    FDP 8%
    LINKE 8%
    AfD 8%

    Preferred chancellor:

    Merkel 52%
    Schulz 21%

    Stark und stabil.

    That last line sound vaguely familiar

  36. German poll, Merkel is pulling further ahead

    Forsa poll:
    CDU/CSU 40%
    SPD 22%
    GRN 8%
    FDP 8%
    LINKE 8%
    AfD 8%
    Preferred chancellor:
    Merkel 52%
    Schulz 21%
    Stark und stabil.

    I think I’ve heard that last line before

  37. @ Laszlo

    I don’t know where your information is coming from but it doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t think that ‘Corbynites’ had any power to either provide or withhold funding to your candidate. Furthermore, across the country left wingers campaigned without favour for all candidates whereas Progress certainly did not.

    To date I have resisted responding to your ‘dark’ comments about the Labour leadership but I want to be clear that none of them have squared with anything I know about the LP.

  38. Syzygy

    I’ve also been trying to understand Laszlo’s misgivings about Corbyn. Laszlo seems to have dramatically changed his views since earlier this year. I did wonder if the account has been hacked

  39. @David Colby

    Well sure, I’m not surprised if you can find the odd example. Especially in the past. I did say it prolly happens occasionally, but also said it’s less likely now. Partly because there’s less time, partly because of the way parents are likely to ask children about their day and compare notes online with other parents, then you have the parent helpers in class and so on. And then there’s the question of how many teachers were Corbynites as opposed to Tory or nuLab etc.

    How many teachers would have been evangelists for magic money trees, reduced housing costs and doing something about the gig economy? These are relatively new developments and the sources of info especially pre-corbyn and Sanders etc. you often had to seek out online.

    Meanwhile the elephant in the room is that people bothered about teacher influence not bothered about the liberal hegemony in the media…

  40. Tory strategy and product was hopeless and has been for a long time. Hello..? They’ve won ONE convincing majority in 30 years. Go figure.

  41. There’s a lot of rather tedious argument here today and as is my wont I will be brief.
    1.) I was in a front room with my candidate, who some would describe as a Blairite (but certainly isn’t) and a mixture of our activists who span all opinions, when the exit poll was announced on the telly. Disbelief for a few seconds, then cheering, hugging, imitations of J.Klopp after a LFC goal, even tears with every man (and woman) jack involved.
    2) Some people may have been confident of hung parliaments etc but in our marginal we were anything but. Canvass returns if anything were pointing to a loss, despite a lot of former Lab DKs coming home as soon as the campaign was announced. We won big. We were not talking to the right people (we focused on known Labour voters trying to get turnout up). The big win came from Tory converts and new voters (and there’s a lesson in that)

    “Did the Tories run a terrible campaign?”

    I’ve followed GEs for some decades now and am really surprised that you ask that question.

    There WAS no campaign.

    The manifesto was shockingly empty apart from one major policy which had to be ditched, whilst claiming that that wasn’t happening.

    TM [who probably realised she was “shy”] decided pr was coerced into running a presidential campaign for which she was utterly unsuited and had – one assumes – a wittier side, which involved taking a bet to see how many times she could get “strong and stable” into every reply to every question.

    Because of the above all other cabinet ministers were sidelined amidst talk that many were to be sacked, including the Chancellor.

    Nobody had a clue as to whether she had called the election in the first place because she wanted to sideline internal opponents, or proponents of jolly ole brexit, so people were effectively being asked to guess what they were voting for.

    Just to be absolutely certain that she wasn’t asked too many questions she refused to debate with opposition leaders.

    So yes, they did run a terrible campaign.

  43. The difference between the GE campaigns was the Tories tried correctly to make it about brexit because TM realised that a increased majority would increase her ability to control her party and push through a tough negotiation stance. Where the Tories misjudged the election campaign was they tried to inject a sense of realism regarding the countries ability to pay for dispite the so called austerity cuts a properly funded welfare state and thought the public would agree to it.
    The public chose to believe Corbyns version that austerity could be banished and the state would pick up the tab for increased pay ,nationalisation of public services such as rail and power and scrapping of student fees and this would all be paid for by taxing the rich.
    The Tory campaign can’t really be called a failure given TM polled more votes than any Tory PM in recent history nor can Corbyns campaign be called a great success given Blair had a bigger share of the vote and May is still PM but what his campaign did prove was the shear gullibility of some sections of the voting public that swallowed his narrative that all Labours policies would be funded by the rich without a single cost to anybody else in the form of tax rises or loss of jobs.

  44. Andrew Rawnsley pointed out in his latest column one [significant] thing in Labour’s favour is that the next Tory leadership contest will almost certainly be decided by their members.

    They have a splendid record of rejecting Michael Heseltine and Ken Clarke whilst preferring the likes of Duncan Smith, Howard and Hague.

    They may also feel that they’ve just “done” the woman option again so may feel that it’s time for a new version of the faceless male.

    Meanwhile Labour have loads of talented women to choose from.

  45. Re: Influence of teachers

    I’ve said this before, partly from knowing some teachers, partly from having children of school age and partly from talking to students. I think there is some political influence there, but I don’t think it’s anything for either side to complain about, it’s just the way things are nowadays, and I believe it is quite positive in many ways.

    There is, particularly in certain subjects (History, RS, PHSE), a lot of encouragement to discuss ideas and opinions openly, as opposed to the more rote learning when I was at school. Personally I think this is a good thing, but it does give the chance for a teacher to input their own ideologies, either deliberately or sub-conconciously. And some of the curiculum deliberately encourages modern cultural ideas, which some people might find political.

    Now given that the current state teaching profession is left-leaning, and the current government have not really gone out of their to endear themselves to teachers, it’s not surprising that any influence they have might be towards the left too.

    But when it comes down to it, I suspect social media has more influence than teachers (even during lessons, but certainly the rest of the time), and it seems clear that Labour won the social media campaign. That’s the sphere of influence the Tories really have to work on for the young vote, probably.

  46. Paul – I like to be helpful

    Hague was Elected by MPs alone and Howard by acclamation with no contest perhaps to avoid the members having a say.

    Only Cameron and IDS Elected by the Tory rank and file.

  47. TrigUy I think appeals from Heads for contributions from parents thinking they had state funded education may have had more influence than alleged teacher bias which can only have affected a few voters, if it existed, due to voting age realities.

  48. TheExterminatingDalek

    “everyone believes”

    Well, I imagine most did think that was the case in June. Whether they all think the same now (and at future elections) may be a different matter.

    The kind of dandy Brexit that TOH and others dream of? Maybe.

    A BEANO, as David Allen Green speculates (Brexit Existing As Name Only). Maybe.

    There is so little certainty that archaic (a few weeks back!) assumptions may no longer be relevant.

    For example, Michael Gove in Denmark assuring “Danish fishing representatives their fleet will continue to have access to UK waters after Brexit” may produce different voting in the fishing communities of NE Scotland than occurred in June.

    What will actually happen to Nissan in Sunderland?

    etc etc

    Just like an opinion poll, an election or a referendum is a snapshot in time. Relying on it as a prediction may be unwise.

  49. @Paul Croft

    “Andrew Rawnsley pointed out in his latest column one [significant] thing in Labour’s favour is that the next Tory leadership contest will almost certainly be decided by their members.”


    Well, Andy says that it ought to be a proper contest to avoid a May-like coronation, but then points out if they do a proper contest it’ll prolly be decided by the members. So it might instead still be a coronation but potentially a dilemma either way.

    (Also he has some stuff about the Sun Tzu thing, contending that this election confounded the idea that elections are won in advance…)

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