David Cameron has said the midterm blues and tough economic conditions are not enough to explain last week’s results, and that he will not take refuge in the familiar excuses. This is good to hear, though he probably does take some comfort in the fact that bad local elections are hardly a shock for a mid-term government. Nevertheless, it is worth making some observations about what happened.
Some claim core Conservatives stayed at home or voted for someone else. Yet the figure of 31%, the party’s vote share last Thursday, has a familiar ring to it. This may be because 31% was the party’s average score in published polls between 1997 and 2005. That suggests to me not that core Tories did not vote Conservative last Thursday, but that they were the only ones who did.Read more