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What Britain’s Seismic Election Tells Us About 2020



Photo of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson
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Impeachment is big news — justifiably so — but the battle cries around it have drowned out another momentous event, with important lessons for the 2020 campaign: last week’s seismic British elections.
The simplest way to understand the British results is to look at one fact: Even though the Conservatives ended up with their largest majority in Parliament since 1987, the overall vote for the party went up just about one percentage point from two years ago, when Theresa May was its leader. In the 2017 elections, the Tories got 42.4 percent of the vote; this year, they got 43.6 percent.
The Labour Party, however, went from 40 percent in 2017 to 32 percent, a collapse of historic proportions. Labour ended up with its fewest seats in 84 years. Its famous “red wall” that encompassed working-class areas in the north crumbled, with seats that had voted Labour for more than 50 years going to the Conservatives. Sedgefield, Tony Blair’s former constituency, had voted Labour since 1935. Last week, it went Tory.

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