To mark the launch of ‘Britain Votes 2017’, the first major study of the 2017 general election, five of the book’s contributors - including polling guru Professor Sir John Curtice - outlined their findings at an event on 20 March at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Here are the evening’s top tweets.
The panel take their seats
“Hung parliaments are now more likely”
@whatukthinks on good form for the #BritainVotes2017 debate. Argues future hung parliaments may depend on small territorially-defined parties, and that current cleavages in electorate can get more pronounced if no reform of electoral system— Sara Hagemann (@sarahagemann) 20 March 2018
Sir John Curtice: The return of two party politics was slightly exaggerated: there was still success for smaller parties, as long as they had geographically concentrated support #BritainVotes2017pic.twitter.com/MXL7CFpfs2— UK in a Changing EU (@UKandEU) 20 March 2018
Sir John Curtice: key to understanding why hung parliaments are more likely is the long-term decline in the number of marginal seats. This is because Britain has been polarising geographically since 1955 #BritainVotes2017pic.twitter.com/eZ2WRWwlpp— UK in a Changing EU (@UKandEU) 20 March 2018
“Getting my psephological geek on!”
Getting my psephological geek on!— Craig Beaumont (@craigie_b) 20 March 2018
Surprising swings, biases and other historical insight from @whatukthinks re the 2017 General Election votes, electoral system and results. @ProfTimBale now taking apart the different ‘ground games’#BritainVotes2017@HansardSocietypic.twitter.com/oTeW8wokOr
. @ProfTimBale argues the party can do something about its leader and its policies - the structural problems with the party membership and organisation, identified by @ESRCPtyMembers - are more diffixult to address #BritainVotes2017pic.twitter.com/9ir5fwRg0z— UK in a Changing EU (@UKandEU) 20 March 2018
. @Eugoes 48% were in favour of higher public spending, which was a change in mood that worked in Labour's favour. Public spending cuts and wage stagnation had a real effect. The ideal backdrop for the Labour manifesto and its core retail offers in 2017 #BritainVotes2017pic.twitter.com/u5IkiYDiFx— UK in a Changing EU (@UKandEU) 20 March 2018
Digital “not as revolutionary as sometimes thought”
Now our 4th speaker Dr Kate Dommett @KateDommett on the digital campaign. Digital important, but maybe not as revolutionary as sometimes thought. Quotes a party worker: 'Digital is just the new typewriter'. Just a new tool to do what parties have always done #BritainVotes2017 17/— Hansard Society (@HansardSociety) 20 March 2018
Dr Kate Dommett @KateDommett: Facebook does add new sources of data. Lab tried to integrate this with more traditional types (doorstep). But all still reliant on skills & scale of resources at party HQ - to be able to do something effective with the data #BritainVotes2017 19/— Hansard Society (@HansardSociety) 20 March 2018
#BritainVotes2017@KateDommett says digital was important in 2017, esp grassroots genuine sharing - but overall it was not revolutionary; key thing this time is about change of control, as organisations doing the most interesting work weren’t parties but others— Craig Beaumont (@craigie_b) 20 March 2018
Dr Kate Dommett @KateDommett: But digital platforms also offer opportunities to organisations other than parties. Can allow party material to be spread more widely than otherwise. But also leaves parties vulnerable if something goes rogue #BritainVotes2017 20/— Hansard Society (@HansardSociety) 20 March 2018
Which party benefited from Brexit?
Q&A now. And it's our 1st mention of #Brexit! @Eugoes says remainer vote boosted Lab somewhat, but issue maybe not decisive. But John Curtice says Brexit did make a difference - more to Cons than Lab. Cons picked up some Leave voters but lost more Remainers #BritainVotes2017 21/— Hansard Society (@HansardSociety) 20 March 2018
On potential Con leadership succession, @ProfTimBale suggests it'd be hard for a Remainer to get into final 2. Johnson's time probably passed. If he could get past parl party, Rees-Mogg would be popular among members, so it's probably him + AN other #BritainVotes2017 25/— Hansard Society (@HansardSociety) 20 March 2018
On leader Q, @ProfTimBale says having to do a competitive l'ship election in 2016 would have exposed May: lesson for parties. John Curtice: May even worse than Gordon Brown in this respect; @ProfTimBale points out Brown also didn't fight a l'ship election #BritainVotes2017 29/— Hansard Society (@HansardSociety) 20 March 2018
During Q&A time one of our scholars posed the question about the future of Conservative party leadership, even asking the panel if they could speculate! @ProfTimBale gave the best answer he could! #BritainVotes2017https://t.co/9jLR539YlO— Hansard Scholars (@HansardScholars) March 20, 2018
Grab a copy of ‘Britain Votes 2017’
*‘Britain Votes 2017’ is the 2017 edition of the regular Parliamentary Affairs publication on each UK general election
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