A smaller proportion of LEAVERS appear to be participating in current elections than at EURef
Whenever any forthcoming UK election is being discussed at the moment an almost knee-jerk assumption is being made that the LEAVE-REMAIN split will be exactly the same as happened in the BREXIT referendum.
We’ve seen it this week as we looked at the chances in the Greater Manchester Mayoralty as well as since yesterday at the intriguing Copeland by-election where the bookies have the Tories as odds on favourite to take the seat from LAB.
Just because 60% voted LEAVE in Copeland in the very high turnout referendum doesn’t mean that we can project thar 60% of by election voters will be BREXITERS
At Copeland on June 23rd the turnout was 70%. Since then the average turnout in parliamentary by-elections has been in the mid-40s and the signs are, judging by the results, that LEAVE supporters have been a fair bit less likely to participate than REMAIN ones.
This isn’t surprising. The reason that BREXIT won was that the overall referendum turnout was substantially higher than at general election levels because LEAVE managed to reach groups of electors who don’t usually participate in other types of elections.
The pattern is not confined to Westminster by-elections. In the weekly run of local council by-elections the Tories and UKIP have had lower retention rates compared with other parties.
Last Thursday, in the LEAVE-strong region of SW England, the LDs took three CON seats on huge swings.