So, I’ve been managing my anxiety about the world with some therapeutic spreadsheeting, and, in the apparent absence of anyone else having attempted this particular “what if?” yet, I thought I’d have a go my self. Here’s what I came up with.
- This is based on every single vote from Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Greens going to the most popular candidate from that group in each constituency.
- “2015 Rules” is what would happen if the choice of who would stand aside in each constituency was based on which party ranked first in the 2015 General Election results.
- “2017 Rules” is what would happen if the same decisions to stand aside were made based on the 2017 election results, in some hypothetical near-future election where neither side gained or lost votes.
- “Left Alliance” excludes the Lib Dems, in line with Farron’s most recent “No Deals” tweet and debates over whether they would be eligible as “Progressive”.
- I have used the Britain Elects data, so Northern Ireland is ignored for the purposes of the calculation but added to the total. I have done the same with the Speaker’s seat in Buckingham.
- I have excluded UKIP for simplicity, since (to my knowledge), there is nowhere where their vote would exceed the Conservative, Alliance and Lib Dem one.
- I have no specialist expertise in this and may have made many glaring mistakes. You can see the spreadsheet I used here. If anyone wants to use / improve / make a cool map out of or inspired by my work then please do, just ping me a credit.Initial thoughts: this is quite astonishing in terms of the opportunity that’s been missed, and could be taken again in the event of another election. The Progressive Alliance would have left the tories with 50 less seats than they have now, and Labour WOULD STILL HAVE GAINED EVEN MORE SEATS. Going forward, the “Left Alliance” could form a working majority even without a single Lib Dem vote. Any votes lost due to voter dissatisfaction or rogue local parties standing would surely be massively outweighed by combined campaigning, resources, etc, and likely extra downward slide in vote share for the tories.
Let’s make this happen – if you’re a Labour / Lib Dem member, talk to your MPs / local branch and show your support for this. Never has there been a clearer case for working together.