A niche subject for some, bloody fascinating to someone like me! To be honest, nationally, not sure what to make of the results overall. Whether it is Brexit, voter fatigue, general indifference or two party politics restating itself similarly to the 2017 general election it is hard to tell.
What isn’t hard to tell is Labour easily won in Coventry. 13 seats out of 18 went to Labour with increased majorities in some of our heartlands. That though maybe where the clue is when it comes to understanding the national picture and our challenge going forward.
Voter patterns, whether based on demographic trends or opinion shift in Coventry, I would argue this time they broadly matched the national picture.
In Coventry South, a ward like Wainbody was historically quite close whereas Westwood, whilst closer than Wainbody, eluded us. It has a much wider working class demographic which for years voted Labour but seems content to vote Conservative. Woodlands in the North West based on this years results makes it the safest Conservative seat in the city! Swing ward Cheylesmore narrowly stayed Tory whilst Bablake in Coventry North West resolutely stayed Conservative.
Is this similar to patterns across the country? Areas that voted leave supporting the Tories. Swing seats which have aspirational and professional voters not convinced by Labour yet? Take Nuneaton and Bedworth as a local example perhaps?
What about Earsldon though. Surely that defeats the argument? Earsldon has always had a strong base Labour vote which most clearly identifies itself at General Election time. This year thanks to a brilliant campaign, Labour beat the Tories to the punch. Earlsdon without doubt was a remain area which might give us a clue as to the thinking there too.
As for our strong Labour areas such as Foleshill, St. Michael’s and Longford, we romped home. A mixture there of both remain and leave but demographically quite different to the seats I mentioned earlier.
So where does this all leave us? If I knew that, I could tell you the result of the next General Election. Politics and the country is in flux. How we will be and where we will be in 18 months is anyone’s guess.
What seems clear to me though is we need to improve to win the country. This isn’t a commentary on any individual’s performance. What is needed though is for the party nationally to be united. Without that, our task is ten times harder.