So according to the headlines and some of the people being invited onto the TV and Radio it would appear as if the whole country has endorsed the Tory Party, rejected Labour and the Lib Dems and that Brexit is the main reason. There is also a great deal of statistics based on the ages of the people that voted, that young people voted for Labour and old people, particularly in the North voted for the Tories. Certainly based on my own conversations with the people I know who all live in the South and are mostly middle aged, the sense of acute sadness regarding the result is very high. I have no access to the age data but I have spent some time collating the results and the following are my reflections. I have looked at Surrey, Kent and of course my own County area (albeit two Counties and a Unitary Authority).
More comments regarding Sussex will appear on Monday as they are used to write a column for the Argus. However in broad terms the Tories lost 0.5% of their votes but gained one seat, the Labour Party lost 18% of their votes but retained the two seats whilst the Lib Dems increased their votes overall by 50% but lost their seat. The Greens gained 33% of their votes and retained their seat. This seems to agree with the reaction towards the Labour Party across the nation but is at complete odds with both the extra support for the Conservatives or indeed the rejection of the Lib Dems although the Tories did gain the Lib Dem seat in Eastbourne which happened with a 6% increase in the Tory votes but a 16% drop in Lib Dem votes which was a unique challenge in one constituency. Perhaps some Lib Dem voters rejected Stephen due to his decision to support our departure from the EU!
In Kent unlike Sussex and Surrey, the Conservatives have seen a major increase in their votes with almost as many extra votes as the party lost in Sussex and Surrey. It represents a 5.2% growth. The Labour drop in Kent was the most significant across the three areas at nearly 22% although in Canterbury which is the one seat that Labour has won in the last two elections, the increase of the Labour vote was 13.4% and although the Tories increased their vote by more than enough to beat the 2017 Labour vote, their increase was only 7% and so the gap actually increased. However across the County the Lib Dems had a 90% increase in votes and the Greens a 46% increase!
Surrey proved to be very different from Kent and Sussex, in one sense because all of its MPs who had departed from the Conservative Party were defeated or at least their seats were returned back to the Tory Party. However this is only one aspect as the Tory votes dropped by 7.2%. The Surrey Labour vote was also the biggest crush with a drop of 39% although the numbers are comparable to Sussex and smaller than Kent because in Surrey the Labour Party is less accepted. The Green gain was much less at 18% but in part this is because they stepped away from two seats compared to 2017. Partly as a result of this the Lib Dems gained 117% which is the largest number of votes in the three areas and nearly 180,000 across Surrey without a single seat.
So over the three areas we have had 1.35million Tory voters which represents 39% of the electorate and 41 of the seats which represents 91% of those available. Then we have just over half a million Labour voters representing 15% of the electorate which has allowed three seats or 7% of the seats available. The Greens have done very well in one sense as they only got 109,579 votes which is a mere 3% of the electorate and yet they have one seat or 2% of the seats available. The real losers are the electorate however as the three areas had 430,372 Lib Dem voters and this was 12% of the votes and yet not a single seat was delivered. This is very clear evidence that our democracy is entirely unfit for the needs we have as a society!
As a final comment the reduction of Surrey votes for Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Jeremy Hunt indicates that our new Parliament is not as well liked as the press implies although Kwasi Kwarteng and in Sussex Nick Gibb and Nusrat Ghani both got modest increases in their votes.