Monday, 5 June 2017

What historic numbers tell us about Broxtowe come Thursday

My 14 May blog looked at the likely outcome of the general election in Broxtowe, now just three days away, from a historical perspective. I headed it 'The erosion of the Labour vote in Broxtowe does not look good for 8th June'. I included some tables which were devoid of totals from the 2017 county council elections because Broxtowe Borough Council were dragging their feet in providing data which they could have provided in five minutes. The data finally arrived this morning, which has enabled me to update the tables, which you can see below (click on tables to enlarge):

What the data tells us quite plainly is that in the May County Council election just gone, the Conservatives were the main beneficiaries in the collapse of the Liberal and UKIP votes. Their vote went up from 27.7% in 2013 to 43.2% in 2017. Labour's share of the vote only increased from 28.5% to 29.8%.

In my 14 May post I wrote:

When I was younger and running elections I used to identify the core vote early, then work it. I was the view that I could win any local election with 10% of the vote as Labour by election day. As far those firmly against Labour were concerned there was no election taking place. I simply didn't contact them and as a strategy it worked. I am pretty sure the Conservatives in Broxtowe are doing this. 

This has been the Conservative strategy in Broxtowe. I have not had a leaflet from them, nor have others I have spoken to. I lay odds they are working their core vote and all Labour banging its drum does is to make that core vote more determined to vote.

I want to be wrong and, as some politician famously said, 'Seven days is a long time in politics' (or was it a week?). The London Bridge attack appears at this moment to be playing out to Theresa May's disadvantage and perhaps Labour has to find a way of exploiting this moment, but it may be too late.

As for the Broxtowe general election results since 2001, I pointed out that in my 14 May blog that, historically, a low turnout is to Labour's advantage. If you look at the County Council election a month ago it is the lowest turnout I have recorded. It will also be interesting to see what the electoral roll will be in terms of numbers. One would expect it to be climbing as the local population grows, but this does not appear to be the case and missing voters the general assumption is favours the Conservatives.

So where does all this leave us? I fear not in a good place. I will be happy if events prove the historical data wrong.

As one who will be sitting this election out for health reasons, I wish Greg Marshall and the Broxtowe Constituency Labour Party an amazing victory on Thursday — for that is what it will be!

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