No Owen, Corbyn’s GE2017 performance didn’t match Blair’s at GE2001
Last night in a discussion on LE2018 on Newsnight the Oxford-educated Corbyn cheerleader, Owen Jones, sought to suggest that his man’s performance at the 2017 General Election was comparable with what Tony Blair achieved in 2001. He did it by taking the national percentage vote shares rather than looking at seat total or size of majority or some other measure. Certainly LAB got 40.3% at GE2017 compared with Blair’s 40.7% at GE2001
It suited Owen’s purpose not to mention that Tony Blair’s LAB won 412 seats compared with just 166 for Hague’s Tories and the 262 LAB MPs that LAB returned on June 8th last year.
The problem with national vote shares is they get messed up when there are other parties attracting sizeable proportions of the vote. In 2001 the Lib Dems were starting to move forward and took 18.3% of the overall UK national vote. Last year that was down to 7.4%.
A better way of comparing the two main party performances is to look at the CON+LAB aggregate which is what I have done with the above chart.