It’s the relationship with the LAB vote that matters
In the run up to the CON conference at the start of October you are going to hear a lot about about how the Tory national vote share on June 8th went up to levels higher than Mrs Thatcher achieved with the implication that it wasn’t quite as bad as might appear.
This is a desperate effort to try to whitewash TMay’s disastrous decision to go to the country three years early and the fact that that under the scrutiny of a general election campaign she became huge electoral negative.
The increased vote share bragging would have been a big deal except for one simple fact that the apologists try to gloss over – the LAB vote went up by much more.
This was the main reason why the party had 25 net seat losses in England and Wales a figure that was partly ameliorated by Ruth Davidson’s 12 Scottish CON gains.
South of the border the main detriment of seat gains and losses was the CON vote relationship with the LAB share. Only ten of the 572 seats in England and Wales were not won by Labour or the Conservatives.
All this is why it is the CON vote relationship with LAB that matters so much.
The chart, which I’ve presented here in a different form before seeks to look at the relationship between between the two main parties by looking at historical splits in the LAB+CON vote aggregate.
As can be seen on this measure TMay certainly did better than the Tories in the Blair years but worse than David Cameron in both 2010 and 2015.
The big vote move on June 8th was the collapse of UKIP something that was widely thought would help TMay most. It didn’t hence the losses.