Pundits have been asking themselves over the last days how did Theresa May’s gamble fail? Although the Conservative party received 42% of the vote, Labour received 40%, and all the other parties received 18% between them. The Tories lost their parliamentary majority in an election they purposively called when they were 20 points ahead in the polls.
Two year ago, in the previous general election, Conservative beat Labour by 37%-30%. And the time before, the Conservatives beat Labour by 36%-29% of the vote.
The polls were certainly off, and the higher turnout seems to have favored the Labour party this time. But the inconvenient conclusion from my preliminary analysis is that the Conservatives would have received at least 20 fewer seats, so taking them well below the required majority, if Labour, Lib Dem, and SNP voters had coordinated.
This is not voters’ fault, however. It is very difficult to communicate with all voters supporting several different parties to get them to adopt a strategy. In fact, this is a known failure of First-past-the-post voting systems. Other voting systems would accomplish the strategic outcome automatically, but perhaps would impose new concerns as well.
The data were collected from The Economist’s Infographics following the steps put forward by Thiemo Fetzer, and further stored as a CSV file. I didn’t upload it anywhere, but I’d be happy to share it with you if really needed, just send me an e-mail.
Load the data:
Labour’s weakest seats
So, among seats won by Labour, how many might Con + UKIP have won if their voters had coordinated? Just 13 more seats.
How many seats would have been won by a margin of 1000 or more votes?
Which seats are these?
Conservatives’ weakest seats
So, among seats won by Conservatives, how many might Lab + Lib Dem + SNP have won if their voters had coordinated? The number of 52 seats is surprisingly high.
Similarly, how many seats would have been won by a margin of 1000 or more votes?