Lib Dems secure victories in Eastbourne, Lewes and Mid Sussex

Lib Dems secure victories in Eastbourne, Lewes and Mid Sussex

A Conservative Loss as Much as a Labor Gain – Analysispublished at 07:30

Dr. Sam Power
Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Sussex

Image source, Dr Sam Power, University of Sussex

The polls were pointing to a very tough night for the Conservatives in the south-east, but this morning they represent a complete and utter reshaping of the electoral map.

There were always seats that were likely to change in Worthing, Hastings, Guildford and East Thanet. That said, almost all the seats I had pinned as ones that would be lost to the Conservatives on a bad night – think Chichester, Dorking and Horley, Surrey Heath and Gravesham – also fell.

The results are particularly stark in Kent, where I had seven “bad night seats”, of which the Conservatives have lost six so far.

This also suggests something about how the Conservatives lost this election – and we should think of it as a Conservative defeat as much as a Labour gain.

I calculated seats as likely to flip, or those that might flip with a simple question. Is there only one genuine challenger to the Conservatives?

Where there was an obvious place for the anti-Tory vote to fall behind, the challenger lost more often than not. This suggests a) a lot of tactical voting and b) an electorate more focused on kicking the Tories out than supporting Labour.