Sign in: Staff/Students
Professor Jon Tonge (centre) launches Britain Votes 2017
Narrow or non-existent majorities may become the new norm, according to analysis of the 2017 General Election published by the University of Liverpool’s Professor Jon Tonge and Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg.
Their book, Britain Votes 2017, also co-edited by Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira at the University of Leeds, highlights key aspects of the election:
Despite losing its majority, the book makes clear that the difficulties experienced by the Conservative Party should not be overplayed.
According to the analysis, 2017 was the fifth consecutive election at which the party increased its vote share; reaching the highest level it has achieved since 1983, and the highest for any party since 1997.
But Labour also significantly increased its vote share; winning the majority of vote switchers from 2015 and the majority of those undecided when the election was called.
Professor Tonge was joined at the launch by leading pollster, Professor John Curtice (left)
In terms of each campaign, the book identifies the Tories’ biggest problem as its reliance on voters becoming conservative as they grow older. The party did retain a big majority among the over-65s, suggesting the damage caused by the so-called ‘dementia tax’ was limited.
Interestingly, Professor Tonge, found that Conservative activism dropped on all indicators, including social media activity, when compared to 2015.
This is in sharp contrast to Labour, which benefitted from effective grassroots mobilisation; delivering traditional door step campaigning, innovative tools like ‘My Nearest Marginal’ and also providing opportunities for favourable media coverage by motivating large crowds to attend election rallies.
The analysis shows there was significant evidence of mobilisation among young voters registering to vote and, although there was little change in turnout among 18-24 year-olds, Labour secured a much improved share of the youth vote.
Those who voted UKIP in 2017 were largely party loyalists, as it lost its position to the Conservatives on Brexit. The Green Party lost votes to a Labour Party now occupying territory further to the left, and is unlikely to regain that ground unless Labour moves back towards the centre.
The launch took place at The Hansard Society
For both UKIP and the Greens, media interest declined, membership and finance fell and fewer candidates were fielded than in 2015.
The analysis also found that broadcast media, and particularly TV, remained very important as information sources. Although social media grew in influence, it served largely as an echo chamber rather than a game changer.
Professor Jon Tonge, from the University’s Department of Politics, said “Britain Votes 2017 is the most comprehensive account yet produced of one of the UK’s most dramatic general elections”.
Britain Votes 2017 also appears as a special supplementary issue of the Hansard Society’s quarterly journal, Parliamentary Affairs and is published by Oxford University Press. To order your copy, please visit https://global.oup.com/academic/product/britain-votes-2017-9780198820307?lang=en&cc=nz
You must be logged in to post a comment.
All recent news
Institute of Irish Studies’ first Artist in Residence, Fion Gunn brings exhibition to VG&M
Without a fresh new vision, the next Conservative prime minister risks leading their party to election loss
Student Excellence Awards launched by The Pandemic Institute
Social Value Project provides new look for the Greenbank College Canteen
There's still a few days left to see our own Professor Tom Solomon @RunningMadProf performing his 'Covid for Kids' show at #EdinburghFringe!
All the details + booking info for the final few tickets here ➡️ https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/covid-kids#overview
“I expect them [dog bites] to keep increasing. Unless there is a fundamental change in our relationships to dogs or some sort of over-arching legislative change that will come in," says Dr John Tulloch @JT_EpiVet https://inews.co.uk/news/mystery-over-dog-bite-increase-as-incidents-double-in-the-past-20-years-1778116
An important new project funded by @ukhomeoffice led by @LCritical and @LivUniPsyc researchers lworking with @NCA_UK are developing online child protection tools supporting law enforcement agencies to safeguard children. Read more at @livuninews here: https://tinyurl.com/livunisafeguardchildren