We did dreadfully badly amongst lower earners and those without university degrees – poll of 13,000 voters on election day

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Lord Ashcroft has published the results of a poll his organisation conducted with 13,000 voters on election day.

The output from the 29 questions gives some interesting insights and can be read here, complete with clear graphs and downloadable xls data tables.

A few observations from me. Based on this sample:

  • It is noticeable that a high proportion of our voters were “AB” in socio-economic terms. 15% of ABs voted for us (two points of the across-the-board total of 12% in this poll). But we did dreadfully amongst C2 and DE groups getting only 9% and 7% of those respectively.
  • I was surprised to see that more males (13%) than females (11%) voted for us.
  • 31% of our voters decided to vote for us on polling day or in the last few days before it. This was noticeably more than the same figure for Tory voters – 19%, and significantly higher than the total figure for this item – 26%.
  • 41% of our voters voted by post. This sounds like an astonishing proportion to me. Overall, 38% of people voted by post.
  • 42% of our voters in this election voted for us in 2017. 27% voted Conservative in 2017 and 19% voted Labour.
  • 80% of our voters voted remain in 2016. 10% voted Leave.
  • 36% of people who voted for us had never voted for us before.
  • 28% of those who voted for us, said that if Brexit had not been an issue at the election, they would not have voted for us.
  • 56% of our voters said it was a bit harder than usual, or much harder than usual, to vote for us.
  • 43% of our voters voted tactically for us. That seems a very high figure to me.
  • 65% of our voters had a university degree, which is much higher than the equivalent figure for the Conservatives – 40% – and Labour – 54%.

Please add your observations on the data in the comments field below.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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66 Comments

  • Would be interesting to see what % of voters for other parties wanted to vote for us but didn’t, for whatever reason.

  • Christopher Catherwo 16th Dec '19 - 7:31pm

    I was one of the 27% of former Conservatives who switched to the Liberal Democrats because of your Remain stand. The reason why you did not win South Cambridgeshire is that over 7000 tribal socialists decided not to do what scores of pro-Remain Labour voters did and vote Liberal Democrat tactically. Labour votes elected all too many Conservative MPs alas, putting tribalism ahead of principle. We live in post-truth tragic times.

  • Nothing to do with Universal Credit or the Bedroom Tax then ?

  • David Raw..you are like a dog with a bone

  • David Raw
    I think it has more to do with spending three years crowing about the educational status of voters, claiming that leave opponents have been left behind like none Christians in the rapture or something and insisting that they don’t know what they’re voting for, thus indulging in a kind of preening mixed with pious pity for the heathens. Well, that and the EU not actually being that loved in awkward proletarian Blighty.

  • Matthew Huntbach 16th Dec '19 - 8:31pm

    I could see how our party was getting so many things wrong in what it needed to do to keep the votes of lower class people, so I started, quite desperately, sending out message to Liberal Democrat Voice saying what I felt our party needed to do to stop this. See here or here or here for example.

    As usual, what I said was ignored and the party leadership did the exact opposite.

    Any chance of me getting thanked for what said and recognised as someone who has some skills in knowing what the party needs to do to win votes?

  • Do the 56% who found it harder to vote for us include only those who voted for us last time?

  • Tobias Sedlmeier 16th Dec '19 - 8:38pm

    “I was surprised to see that more males (13%) than females (11%) voted for us.”

    Another piece of evidence that the LibDem gender self-ID policy that was given more attention than any LibDem economic policies and which was discussed in most of the media and among women put off 30, 40 and 50 year old women from voting LibDem.

  • I agree with David Raw, Jo’s voting record on the bedroom tax and universal credit were very hard to take. Also her pledge to allow people to self-identify their gender was see as absolutely crazy by many people. The current rules may well be too harsh, but there is no support in the country for this policy and Jo was torn apart in the interview she gave.

  • Martin,
    No seems pretty well considered. The problem polticians have is they fall into the bubble and think it’s all about them. Cummings uses this against them by showing them as elitist (and it works). Most voters care about their own personal circumstances, their family and their friends in that order, anything else is of minor importance to them. We can major on the minor issues or the major ones, but if you don’t win the major ones the minor ones won’t get fixed. And yes I know for many people the minor issues are actually major ones, but their are not enough of us to matter ( sad but true).

  • @ bob sayer. Are you saying it’s not ?

  • marcstevens 16th Dec '19 - 9:55pm

    The party needs to do far more to appeal to semi skilled and unskilled workers and people in social housing, the C and D groups that’s for sure. Can a task force be set up to look into this drawing on the experiences of people such as myself and Matthew? As a council tenant, I find there is a total disconnect between us residents and the Council when it comes to lack of consultation and centralising power away from neighbourhoods. This is something the Lib Dems can really address at local level as well as the major issues which caused people not to vote Lib Dem and that’s not necessarily about brexit. It’s also worth noting that there are for more young people attending university these days from working class backgrounds.

  • @Davud Raw because voting conservative because you oppose austerity makes perfect sense, right?

  • The obvious conclusion is that we are a party of the educated middle class, and should be working to maximise our vote from this growing segment of society.

  • It is funny watching the political classes fly around in ever decreasing circles. You just don’t get it. There was an episode of the West WIng were Donna, Josh and Toby get left behind by the motorcade.

    Josh and Toby are obsessed with every tiny detail of the campaign, obsessed by everything that goes on in the bubble. Finally Donna looses patience with them and points out non of the people they have met talk about that s**t.

    What those people care about is keeping their farm going, supporting their families and paying for their children’s education. Everyday worries that have nothing to do with bubble politics.

    Barely anyone I met talked about this election, you all go on about which appearance and what policy cost you. The brutal truth is, it was non of them. You failed to make an impact, in fact most of the parties did. The only message I heard a few times, was get brexit done, that was it.

    You have no chance of connecting with ordinary people because you don’t understand them. You don’t understand the country you want to govern. You want to connect with ordinary voters? Ban professional politicians.

    You don’t need all women shortlists, you need a different sort of quota. A quota which means the majority of your MPs are state educated, that the majority of your MPs have had real jobs and lived in the areas, they wished to represent, for years.

    You need to make sure your party selects people who have cleaned floors, worked in call centres, in the gig economy. You need people who have experience real poverty, a bill they cannot pay, rent they can’t make, without mummy/daddy to bail them out. That is how you connect with the voters. How can your party and the wider parliament be representative if the political class is selected from such a narrow range of people?

  • Bartelbe,
    What you are describing is the phenomenon of having no skin in the game. If the likes of Clegg, Cameron or even Corbyn fail, they fail upwards with no damage done except to their ego’s. The rest of us in the real world fail downwards, if we fail much more gets hurt than our ego’s. Until polticians realise that, they will always struggle to understand the electorate.

  • bartelbe: “You don’t need all women shortlists, you need a different sort of quota. A quota which means the majority of your MPs are state educated, that the majority of your MPs have had real jobs and lived in the areas, they wished to represent, for years.”
    And what makes you think that is not the case?

  • Actually, I think you need to stop thinking that people on low incomes or those that didn’t go to uni might be drawn to shiny things a bit like magpie and can have as many different views on the world as people on high incomes with degrees. You might as well ask why are some educated people drawn to Conservatism and not others, why are there rich socialist, why is not everyone in a minority liberal, and so on. Maybe, they are not all sat in hovels feeling oppressed as they wait for guidance. Maybe what you actually have to have is policies on policing, pot holes, the price of petrol and that kind of thing. And even then maybe they will decide other people have better policies on pollicising, pot holes, the price of petrol and that kind of thing.

  • The party seemed to believe that the dreaded Coalition years had been forgiven or forgotten because of the chaos of Credit. The choice of picking a leader so tainted by Austerity and all of its misery now seems unbelievable. .is it impossible to find a leader who took no active role in the Coalition or at least as in the case of Jo and Tom Brake were not so passionate and full blooded in their Coalition years.

  • Chaos of Brexit not credit

  • Joseph Bourke 17th Dec '19 - 12:12am

    There’s a reason why social democracy is almost always rooted in the industrial working class. It’s because trade unions, cooperative societies and other working class institutions forged new bonds of community where the old ones had been shattered by industrialisation and urbanisation. The solidarity wasn’t just one of ideals, but of a common way of life – requiring a sacrifice not only of prosperity, but also individualism.
    But ours is a liberal society now – and the only way of life is your own. While Left leaning voters still support the pooling of wealth (especially other people’s), the sharing of identity is anathema. Politics is no longer an arena for collective action, but a market catering to self-expression.
    Collectivist policies no longer fit the age of free trade and automation, and the traditional working classes have also been diminishing over the last few decades.
    A large proportion of traditional working-class supporters have become disenchanted with the wider political process. These so-called left-behind voters used to be the bastion of support for social democratic parties, but instead have shifted away from the centre-left.
    Vince Cable;s booklet “Beyond Brexit” https://www.libdems.org.uk/beyond-brexit-booklet sets out a program of Liberal Politics for the age of identity. The changes aim to help individuals take control in a meaningful way, particularly through establishing new rights for workers in the ‘gig’ economy, creating opportunity for young people, dispersing power from the centre to communities, and fixing the broken model of UK parliamentary democracy.
    He writes ” Brexit is a symptom of a deeper political shift involving the ‘politics of identity’ and the emergence of new alignments that do not fit comfortably into the ‘left – right’ narrative. The old political parties have failed to understand these shifts and to find an authentically liberal response.”
    “One feature of so-called ‘identity politics’ is that the previously accepted norms of rational economic debate do not seem to apply – in effect, people vote against their own apparent self-interest. As I argue later, this opens the door to charlatans and rogues to exploit fears and stir up hatreds, all the while making sure that their own interests are protected.”
    He challenges liberals and social democrats to avoid eulogising the past, and instead to prepare the country and its citizens for the 2020s.

  • tony zendle – I’m no Trump fan, but has he really done that much worse than the professional politicians? The American economy is booming and stock markets around the world are at record highs. He is right that some NATO countries do not pay their fair share and also that American was not being treated fairly over trade. I don’t agree with some of his foreign policy decisions or his views on climate change. However, he is even money to win again in 2020 so he can’t be doing that badly.

  • Michael Sammon 17th Dec '19 - 12:35am

    As a trades person I spend more time with the lower end of the socio economic spectrum. I would say we spend too much time talking about issues that don’t matter to them and we need to bring back some of our classical liberal roots. I haven’t been a member long but it seems we feel we don’t need the blue collar workers whilst Labour and Conservatives are fighting all they can for their vote. They know they need them if they are to govern and we have to try harder.

  • David Payne 17th Dec '19 - 5:05am

    SLOGAN: LET’S END SEESAW POLITICS!
    Jo Grimond’s Sixties message reminded voters that Britain’s first-past-the-post elections damaged post-war Britain, declaring what he called the built-in curse of extremist “Seesaw Politics”. Our failed leader Jo Swinson — and her successors — need to resurrect the other Jo’s simple phrase that sums it all up: End Two-Party Seesaw Politics!

  • Stephen Rutherford 17th Dec '19 - 9:26am

    Good original post, giving clear data.

    On why: Well to state the obvious, poorer people hated austerity and many have bought into the lies/hope from the Leave camp. Also nobody liked to be told they were wrong.

    Could we have done anything differently: Yes, as covered in lots of posts and threads on the site, including a couple from me. However, it’s clear as Lib Dems we diagree..

    On what next: yes, we need to appear to everyone, regardless of background + earnings, who shares our core values. These are a belief in freedom, fairness and building for the future. Framed well these offer something for everyone. They would still allow us to be outbid by populist liars and cash splurging socialists, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

  • Gosh, its almost as if women don’t like someone who trades on being a “girly swot” while backing legislation which fundamentally threatens their uniqueness, handing it over to perverts and cheats. Weird!

  • Sopwith Morley 17th Dec '19 - 10:10am

    “How can your party and the wider parliament be representative if the political class is selected from such a narrow range of people?”

    To be fair this now applies to all parties even the Labour Party.

    Where we once had elected people who had direct experience of the circumstances and needs of those on the lowest incomes, we now have all three parties stuffed to the gunnels with ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help’ type of people, who generally are the interfering busybodies( in the nicest possible way)who want to change everything for the sake of change, irrespective of what the population want, break things that aren’t broken because they don’t agree with them personally, and have a high opinion of themselves as having all the solutions, despite repeatedly being told they are part of the problem.

    I’m afraid it was ever thus. The only difference from when Ian Wrigglesworth was my MP is in the case of the LIbDems, they are no longer the only alternative home or bolthole for those looking for an alternative to the big two to vote for, these people who were never Liberal Democrat or Social Democrat in the first place.

    I broadly agree with your wider view as well, but I’m afraid it will all fall on deaf ears.

  • A lot of liberal leaning political debate about people on low incomes or those who did not attend higher education is based on assuming that they identify themselves as down trodden/suffering and in need of guidance. There’s a tendency to see them in terms buzzword labels pinned onto them by journalists and politicians etc. How can we attract the Left behinds and so on. It’s wrong headed and patronizing because it assumes too much. For a start it assumes they feel Left Behind and that you have taken some sort leap forward. They’re not little children or a hive mind. They’re grown adult individuals, just like you or people you know. Awkward, argumentative, opinionated, complex. And that’s it.

  • Regarding men/women split in voting: within the margin of error of the poll, those are basically identical. Anyone trying to make “there was a statistically insignificant split in gender on Lib Dem votes” into “therefore my pet issue was treated/not treated correctly by the party” is clutching at straws.

    On the percentage of people with a university degree voting for the party … that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Lib Dems successfully appealed to that group. 65% of the Lib Dem voters (12% of the GB voters) had a degree, 54% of Labour’s 33% did, and 40% of the Conservatives’ 45% did. So … Labour and Conservatives got about equal *numbers* of graduates, and the Lib Dems got under half of either.

    It can be read as failing to appeal to people without a degree, though – where the Lib Dems got a fifth of the non-degree voters that the Conservatives did, and less than a third that Labour did. There might be more room for growth there, rather than in trying to get more graduates.

  • We were doing much better when the postal votes went out. Therefore not surprising our vote was high with these voters at that time, after that we just kept falling further and further away the longer the campaign went on. That tells me that the campaign got it wrong, those running it made serious miscalculations etc etc. BUT let us try and move on, attempt to relegate Brexit in our thoughts, restructure, NEW personnel and minds and deal with the bread and butter issues. Big lesson for me is we reap what we sow.
    Let us clear the decks and LEARN. I supported Revoke but that was a mistake, going straight to a Referendum would have been much better. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  • The AB/DE difference was not much different than 2017 (2017 was 13:6, 2019 was 15:7)

    As far as tactical voting to stop the most hated party goes, Labour got 6.9 million first choice votes, and 3.2m tactical. we got 2m 1st choice and 1.6m tactical.

    I suspect we lost more than we gained in terms of vote share.

    When you look at the questions
    Q6c. If Brexit had not been an issue in this general election, what do you think you would you have done?
    Q6d. Which party do you think you would have voted for if Brexit had not been an issue at this election?

    We’d have lost 1 million votes, most to tory, but would have gained a million from Lab and Tory. The net effect of brexit was

    Tory: +861k
    Lab: +125k
    LD: -70k
    Brexit: -58k

  • You did dreadfully badly. Period.
    Surely there’s no surprise in the class bias in your support. You’re a party for an affluent middle-class minority point of view.
    Once you decided to champion the losing side in the referendum you signed away any chance of political success. You patronised and insulted the Leave majority and Jo Swinson made it clear that, if a second referendum were to be held, she would ignore another Leave vote. Not content with that you had “Bollocks to Brexit” and Revoke Article 50.
    I can’t see much need for deep analysis of the Lib Dems failure at this election (and their Leader’s). To paraphrase a recent Lib Dem slogan, it was All Bollocks

  • Paul, the LibDems bet the farm on Brexit and ended up with one seat less and lost their leader and their Brexit spokesman in the process.
    If that isn’t a dreadful result I don’t know what is, given you only had twelve seats to start with.
    Ok, you got more votes than last time, but in 2017 you gained seats despite a fall in your vote. That suggests poor targetting this time

    If party activists and the Lib Dem powers-that-be don’t admit this failure and own it you’ll get nowhere – again.

    I say this as someone who should be a natural Lib Dem voter (as I once was) but I’m now totally estranged by the Party’s authoritarian liberalism.

  • Paul Weaver:

    You have to be very careful with hypothetical polling questions like that – the idea that the Brexit party lost 57k votes that it would have obtained if Brexit *hadn’t* been an issue is utterly implausible. If Brexit hadn’t been an issue the party wouldn’t even have existed to get any votes at all. Voters are being asked to imagine an entirely different national political context based on a few lines of description, and they won’t all imagine the same one.

    See also the hypothetical polling questions taken in September/October 2018 asking people how they would vote if we didn’t leave the EU on Oct 31st: the predicted 10% swing away from the Conservatives towards the Brexit party never showed up in practice.

  • “43% of our voters voted tactically for us. That seems a very high figure to me.”

    You can’t argue against an observation, or you will finish up with a theory in spite of the facts.

  • Paul Weaver 17th Dec '19 - 1:39pm

    The brexit party, like brexit itself, is an outlet for those who feel unrepresented by any parties, as well as special interests like HS2, so yes it’s entirely possible they would have done better as the “Farage Party” had brexit/boris not been a factor.

    The lib dems gained far more votes then lost – a net gain of 700k from tories, 200k from labour, 100k from green, and 200k new votes.

    The fact Labour did so terribly, losing 2.6 million votes, half of which went to Tories, which causes massive impact under FPTP, is no reflection on the Lib Dem campaign.

    In hindsight the squeeze hit harder than expected, the work Labour poured into keeping the tories in power in places like Westminster and Finchley hurt, and spending efforts on places like Altrincham, Warrington South and Warwick was in hindsight wrong, but hindsight is a wonderful tool. An extra 2% swing would have doubled the number of constituencies won.

  • Surly these results show that where the party needs to concentrate its efforts are at the C2 and DE groups.
    This very significant group switched from Labour to Conservative the majority of which voted Tory for the first time.

    The Tories are going to have to soften their stance towards this section of the electorate if they have any hope of retaining them at the next election and keeping Boris his huge majority, just how much Boris manages to convince the more rightwing of his party remains to be seen.
    The point is though, If the Tories fail to make cultural changes within the party and adapt policies which are important to these social groups, these voters will desert on mass at the next election.
    Now the question is, where do these millions of voters go, do they flood back to Labour on mass? Or do the Liberal Democrats put their heads together now and come up with some real sensible and meaningful policies that matter to these groups and make a difference in their lives?
    The Liberal Democrats sure as hell could do with attracting these voters to this party and strengthening their vote at the next election which will help them fight LD/ Tory Marginals.
    My advice would be to get cracking now, you need really good policies asap and to be shouting them from the roof tops, you cant wait 6 months before the next election and hope the message gets through at the last minute. The challenge is to get peoples attention now and to keep it, so everytime your holding the government to account in the HOC or on the news, the people are already hearing your message and policies.
    Just my two pennies worth

  • Paul Murray 17th Dec '19 - 4:25pm

    The Ashcroft data is always interesting. The trick is to look at the data without cherry-picking elements that supports a preferred narrative. Overall I’d say the Lib Dems were pretty successful in being identified as a Remain party, since only 3% of Leave voters actually voted Lib Dem versus 21% of Remain voters.

    Now that Brexit is effectively a settled question, how (or do?) the Lib Dems reach out to the half of the electorate that voted Leave and retain the support of those Remain voters who supported them?

    I see various memes going around Labour supporters pouring vitriol on those who switched to the Conservatives this time and using some very unpleasant language to characterise them. While that might massage the frayed egos of Labour activists, it doesn’t sound like a great strategy for getting those voters to vote Labour in future elections.

    I am struck by the flatness of Lib Dem vote by age – it’s about 12% in every age group. Given how popular Remain is with younger voters is this a legacy of the tuition fees pledge?

    And of course – as usual – there is the fragility of Lib Dem support. Only 54% of Lib Dem voters agreed that “I voted for the party I most wanted to win”. How do you change tactical support to positive support?

  • Paul Holmes 17th Dec '19 - 6:21pm

    @Paul Walter. Of course to measure that ‘success’ you would also need to know how many would have voted for us but were put off by Revoke, was it more than the Million who voted for us purely because of Brexit? After all we ‘lost’ over 3 Million potential votes as our Poll ratings fell from 20% to just under 12%.

    Given that the ‘norm’ used to be that our vote share increased during a GE campaign the ‘loss’ of votes could in fact have been even bigger than that.

  • Paul Holmes 17th Dec '19 - 8:20pm

    @ Paul Walters. A bit of a false proposition as I did not propose that we should have been a pro Brexit Party but specifically talked about the harm ‘Revoke’ did? For example:

    Maybe if we had stuck to the 3 year campaign/policy for a Second Referendum instead of suddenly switching to Revoke, then we might not have fallen from 20% in the Polls to under 12% on election day (we might even have increased from our starting point as we used to in GE’s)? We could also then have avoided the damaging farce of Jo having to explain part way through the election that of course we were unlikely to win 326 seats and so Revoke would be Second Referendum after all!

    Maybe doing that would have meant that the 28% who voted for us purely because of our anti Brexit stance would have been joined by a further group (rather more than your net 148,304 figure) of Remainers (and indeed other considerers) who were repelled by the Revoke stance? There was one Opinion Survey that was published a few days before polling day that showed half of all Remainers rejecting the Revoke stance.

  • @Paul Walter – well done for introducing this thread. It’s extremely valuable to have real data like this, particularly in showing that the coalition is not costing us votes today. Mark Pack has also pointed to data in the past that shows that our natural supporters ‘forgive’ us for the crimes of the coalition, but they are neglecting to vote for us for different reasons.
    Now, people on LDV are of course entitled to themselves feel strongly that we were wrong to support tuition fees, the bedroom tax, benefit cuts etc. (I am actually one of those people). But to say our coalition record is costing us votes today is simply not supported by the evidence. That may come as a surprise to some, and they may feel it is counter to their own assumptions and intuitions. But it is demonstrably the case.

  • Malc – “The American economy is booming and stock markets around the world are at record highs. He is right that some NATO countries do not pay their fair share and also that American was not being treated fairly over trade.” – no, the economy is slowing down and possibly heading towards a recession because of Trump’s own trade wars with every single trade partner from China to staunch allies like Canada (the Fed has just cut rate recently you know). It boomed in 2017-early 2018 thanks to his “tax reform” scam that left behind a giant hole in federal budget as federal revenue dropped a rock. You cannot be a liberal and support Trump. The guy is a horrible and unethical Conman and a criminal who totally disregards the Constitution, the rule of laws and destabilize every single US democratic institutions. Oh, and don’t get me start with the ICE.

  • @ Tony H “showing that the coalition is not costing us votes today”.

    Meanwhile in East Dunbartonshire….. “Callaghan, (SNP candidate) who became engaged in politics during the 2014 referendum, says: “I am quietly confident that voters here are rejecting what she stands for, whether that’s her support for austerity during the coalition years or saying she would push the nuclear button”. The Guardian, 6 December.

  • @ Tony H and Paul Walter Scottish Daily Record 29 Nov 2019

    “Story image for east dunbartonshire food bank …….. Jo Swinson appears to be ‘Marmite candidate’ in her East Dunbartonshire constituency, there is a simmering …. hence the need for a food bank in the church where Swinson was a no-show …”

    The writing was (and still is) on the wall for those willing to read it.

  • @Paul Walter. You and I can certainly agree on that.

    I’m sure that the approach of ‘Prime Minister/Revoke’ and Targeting seats with no activist/campaign infrastructure sounded good inside someone’s head……..but the real world judged it rather differently.

    @TonyH -I assume you did watch the various TV panels where SNP, Lab, Plaid and Green politicians (plus journalists) kept savaging Jo over her and the Lib Dems Coalition record? You have also noticed the disparity between our 2015, 2017 and 2019 GE results and the pre Coalition average of 20% at every GE from 1983-2010?

    It is certainly true (as I observed when knocking on many doors during our successful Council elections earlier this year) that the electorate are now spontaneously bringing the Coalition up far less often and less vociferously on the doorstep. But in the media spotlight of a GE our opponents (including all our ‘cuddly’ progressive alliance partners), majored on the issue and brought it back to the fore -as anyone would surely have expected to happen?

  • Paul Walter: Targeting, as you say, has been a shambles for some time now starting with the last minute, wildly over optimistic spread in 2010, after just one, not to be repeated, good TV debate. What made it far worse this time though was that even the pretense of old style Targeting was abandoned for many seats.

    Of the 80 initial Targets a number were obvious and recognisable using combinations of tried and tested criteria. Such as already held seat, recently held seat that had continued high levels of campaigning, recent record of electoral progress, ability to mount a serious constituency wide Ground Campaign and so on.

    Many however were frankly incredible but based on the theory that hordes of Remain/Drawbridge Down voters would switch virtually over night to us. Some were seats we had once done well in but had fallen back badly in 2015 and 2017.Many were seats we had never remotely done well in but which had the ‘right’ socio economic Core Vote profile. The vast majority attained the sort of vote share you give examples of in your comment. It was an experiment that had been tried and failed in Vauxhall in 2017 and was now disastrously rerun on a much larger scale. Yet this was supposed to be the ‘perfect storm’ election for the Remain/Core Vote theorists.

    This massive experiment came of course at a cost elsewhere. Huge sums of money (more than in any previous election) were spent on masses of commercially delivered central mailings from June onwards. So much in fact, that when there was a chance of the Long Election period running on into 2020, active campaigns in none Target seats had centrally imposed and derisory spending caps arbitrarily clamped on their own local and locally funded efforts, so that the National Party would not go over its national spending limit. Not a problem we have ever remotely faced before. How much better could a lot of that money have been spent elsewhere -and how much better would the mobile activist helpers have been used in some other places -as in the examples you name?

    As for the inability to accurately collect and analyse canvass returns anymore!

    It is noticeable that 10 of the seats we won were already held and the 11th had been a Target a couple of times before and had a good candidate in place for at least 3 years and two GE’s. Time to go back to what is proven to work in my opinion.

  • I think PR is going to gain more support within Labour, because their support base currently over-concentrates in urban areas and thus FPTP will work against them for the foreseeable future.

  • So, if we want to work with another party, it will be Labour, because soon both parties will find common cause in PR. Given the fact that Labout support are packed in cities, they are not going to win power under FPTP in the near future.

  • We do need themes and policies that have a wider appeal. This might include an Affordable Homes strategy and policies to improve Health/Wellbeing. In addition, we need to have a more diverse set of Candidates – income/wealth is often a barrier to standing as a Candidate, as it is in life!

  • My obseevations from the Ashcroft poll

    1. Too much Remain centred. LDs didn’t engage with Leavers – and “bollocks to Brexit” was very disrespectful. Despite all the focus on Remain – only 21% of Remainers voted Lib Dem – 20% voted Tory.

    2. Very transcient support. Only 52% of 2017 LD voters voted for the party in 2019. It was a similar figure for the previous election. The party has an issue with retaining voters.

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