Labour’s Lost Seats – Causes

It Wasn’t Because Labour Was Too Left

Gwydion M. Willliams

Below is the full list of seats lost by Labour in the 2019 general election, as given by ‘Labour List’.[A]  I added the gains and losses from 2017.  Also Labour gains compared to 2015, when the Labour Moderates were not challenging Austerity and Brexit was not a major issue.[B]

In many cases Labour got more votes in 2019 than they had in 2015.  But in 2019, most of the Brexit vote went to the Tories.

Seats Leave Remain Tory Gain (%) Labour Loss 2017 gain from 2015 Special Factors
Ashfield 70.5%   -2.4 18.1 1.6 “Ashfield Independents” 2nd
Barrow and Furness 57.3%   4.8 8.2 5.2  
Bassetlaw 68.3%   11.9 24.9 3.9 No UKIP / Brexit in 2017
Birmingham Northfield 61.8%   3.6 10.7 11.6  
Bishop Auckland 60.9%   6.8 12.1 6.7  
Blackpool South 67.8%   6.5 12.0 8.5  
Blyth Valley 60.5%   5.8 15.0 9.6  
Bolsover 70.4%   6.9 16.0 0.7  
Bolton North East 58.1%   3.2 6.1 7.7  
Bridgend 50.3%   3.3 10.3 13.6  
Burnley 66.6%   9.4 9.9 9.1  
Bury North 53.7%   1.8 7.6 12.5  
Bury South 54.5%   2.3 10.2 8.2  
Clwyd South 59.9%   5.6 9.4 13.5  
Coatbridge   61.2% -3.6 7.6 8.7 Scottish Nationalist gain
Colne Valley 50.1%   2.2 7.7 12.8  
Crewe and Nantwich 60.3%   6.1 9.7 9.4  
Darlington 58.1%   4.8 10.1 7.7  
Delyn 54.4%   2.2 10.8 11.6  
Derby North 54.3%   0.8 8.7 11.9  
Dewsbury 57.2%   1.3 7.3 9.2  
Don Valley 68.5%   1.4 14.8 6.8 Caroline Flint.[C]  Anti-Corbyn and voted Leave.
Dudley North 71.4%   16.6 14.9 4.7 Previous MP quit Labour
Durham North West 55.1%   7.5 13.3 6.0  
East Lothian   64.6% -6.6 3.1 5.5 Scottish Nationalist gain
Gedling 56.3%   2.6 7.8 9.6  
Glasgow North East   59.3% -2.4 3.5 9.2 Scottish Nationalist gain
Great Grimsby 71.5%   12.7 16.7 9.6  
Heywood and Middleton 62.4%   5.1 11.6 10.2  
High Peak 50.6%   0.5 4.9 14.4  
Hyndburn 65.8%   8.9 11.8 11.2  
Ipswich 56.5%   4.6 8.1 10.3  
Keighley 53.3%   2.0 2.6 8.4  
Kensington   68.8% -3.9 4.3 11.1 Liberal-Democrat vote doubled
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath   56.7% -3.2 4.2 3.5 Scottish Nationalist gain
Leigh 63.3%   9.4 15.1 2.3  
Lincoln 57.4%   3.2 6.9 8.3  
Midlothian   62.1% -3.7 6.7 6.2 Scottish Nationalist gain
Newcastle-under-Lyme 61.6%   4.4 12.3 9.8  
Penistone and Stocksbridge 60.7%   4.7 12.5 3.8 Previous MP quit Labour
Peterborough 61.3%   -0.1 6.7 12.5 Ignoring a 2019 by-election
Redcar 67.7%   12.8 18.1 11.6  
Rother Valley 66.7%   4.8 16.0 4.5  
Rutherglen and Hamilton West   62.4% -4.5 3.0 2.3 Scottish Nationalist gain
Scunthorpe 68.7%   10.3 15.3 10.3  
Sedgefield 59.4%   8.4 17.1 6.2  
Stockton South 57.8%   3.8 7.4 11.5  
Stoke-on-Trent Central 64.9%   5.6 8.2 12.2  
Stoke-on-Trent North 72.1%   7.0 14.3 11.0  
Stroud   54.1% 2.0 4.9 9.3  
Vale of Clwyd 56.6%   2.3 8.7 11.9  
Wakefield 62.8%   2.3 9.9 9.4  
Warrington South 51.1%   1.3 6.1 9.3  
West Bromwich East 68.2%   8.5 16.7 7.8  
West Bromwich West 68.7%   10.9 12.5 4.7  
Wolverhampton North East 67.7%   11.4 13.0 6.7  
Wolverhampton South West 54.4%   4.1 5.1 6.1  
Workington 61.0%   7.5 11.9 8.8  
Wrexham 57.6%   1.7 9.9 11.7  
Ynys Mon 50.9%   7.7 11.8 10.8  

There were also some seats where Labour got more votes when losing in 2019 than they had when winning in 2015.  It was in part the Tories getting Brexit or UKIP votes:

ct Derby shiftct Dewsburyct High Peak

ct Wolverhampton South West

Except in Scotland, the bigger the Leave vote, the better for the Tories and the worse for Labour.  The table below is sorted by Leave vote.

Seats Leave Remain Tory Gain (%) Labour Loss 2017 gain from 2015 Special Factors
Stoke-on-Trent North 72.1%   7.0 14.3 11.0  
Great Grimsby 71.5%   12.7 16.7 9.6  
Dudley North 71.4%   16.6 14.9 4.7 Previous MP quit Labour
Ashfield 70.5%   -2.4 18.1 1.6 “Ashfield Independents” 2nd
Bolsover 70.4%   6.9 16.0 0.7  
Scunthorpe 68.7%   10.3 15.3 10.3  
West Bromwich West 68.7%   10.9 12.5 4.7  
Don Valley 68.5%   1.4 14.8 6.8 Caroline Flint.  Anti-Corbyn and voted Leave.
Bassetlaw 68.3%   11.9 24.9 3.9 No UKIP / Brexit in 2017
West Bromwich East 68.2%   8.5 16.7 7.8  
Blackpool South 67.8%   6.5 12.0 8.5  
Redcar 67.7%   12.8 18.1 11.6  
Wolverhampton North East 67.7%   11.4 13.0 6.7  
Rother Valley 66.7%   4.8 16.0 4.5  
Burnley 66.6%   9.4 9.9 9.1  
Hyndburn 65.8%   8.9 11.8 11.2  
Stoke-on-Trent Central 64.9%   5.6 8.2 12.2  
Leigh 63.3%   9.4 15.1 2.3  
Wakefield 62.8%   2.3 9.9 9.4  
Heywood and Middleton 62.4%   5.1 11.6 10.2  
Birmingham Northfield 61.8%   3.6 10.7 11.6  
Newcastle-under-Lyme 61.6%   4.4 12.3 9.8  
Peterborough 61.3%   -0.1 6.7 12.5 Ignoring a 2019 by-election
Workington 61.0%   7.5 11.9 8.8  
Bishop Auckland 60.9%   6.8 12.1 6.7  
Penistone and Stocksbridge 60.7%   4.7 12.5 3.8 Previous MP quit Labour
Blyth Valley 60.5%   5.8 15.0 9.6  
Crewe and Nantwich 60.3%   6.1 9.7 9.4  
Clwyd South 59.9%   5.6 9.4 13.5  
Sedgefield 59.4%   8.4 17.1 6.2  
Bolton North East 58.1%   3.2 6.1 7.7  
Darlington 58.1%   4.8 10.1 7.7  
Stockton South 57.8%   3.8 7.4 11.5  
Wrexham 57.6%   1.7 9.9 11.7  
Lincoln 57.4%   3.2 6.9 8.3  
Barrow and Furness 57.3%   4.8 8.2 5.2  
Dewsbury 57.2%   1.3 7.3 9.2  
Vale of Clwyd 56.6%   2.3 8.7 11.9  
Ipswich 56.5%   4.6 8.1 10.3  
Gedling 56.3%   2.6 7.8 9.6  
Durham North West 55.1%   7.5 13.3 6.0  
Bury South 54.5%   2.3 10.2 8.2  
Delyn 54.4%   2.2 10.8 11.6  
Wolverhampton South West 54.4%   4.1 5.1 6.1  
Derby North 54.3%   0.8 8.7 11.9  
Bury North 53.7%   1.8 7.6 12.5  
Keighley 53.3%   2.0 2.6 8.4  
Warrington South 51.1%   1.3 6.1 9.3  
Ynys Mon 50.9%   7.7 11.8 10.8  
High Peak 50.6%   0.5 4.9 14.4  
Bridgend 50.3%   3.3 10.3 13.6  
Colne Valley 50.1%   2.2 7.7 12.8  
Stroud   54.1% 2.0 4.9 9.3  
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath   56.7% -3.2 4.2 3.5 Scottish Nationalist gain
Glasgow North East   59.3% -2.4 3.5 9.2 Scottish Nationalist gain
Coatbridge   61.2% -3.6 7.6 8.7 Scottish Nationalist gain
Midlothian   62.1% -3.7 6.7 6.2 Scottish Nationalist gain
Rutherglen and Hamilton West   62.4% -4.5 3.0 2.3 Scottish Nationalist gain
East Lothian   64.6% -6.6 3.1 5.5 Scottish Nationalist gain
Kensington   68.8% -3.9 4.3 11.1 Liberal-Democrat vote doubled

You get the same picture if you sort by the severity of Labour loss.

Seats Leave Remain Tory Gain (%) Labour Loss 2017 gain from 2015 Special Factors
Bassetlaw 68.3%   11.9 24.9 3.9 No UKIP / Brexit in 2017
Ashfield 70.5%   -2.4 18.1 1.6 “Ashfield Independents” 2nd
Redcar 67.7%   12.8 18.1 11.6  
Sedgefield 59.4%   8.4 17.1 6.2  
Great Grimsby 71.5%   12.7 16.7 9.6  
West Bromwich East 68.2%   8.5 16.7 7.8  
Bolsover 70.4%   6.9 16.0 0.7  
Rother Valley 66.7%   4.8 16.0 4.5  
Scunthorpe 68.7%   10.3 15.3 10.3  
Leigh 63.3%   9.4 15.1 2.3  
Blyth Valley 60.5%   5.8 15.0 9.6  
Dudley North 71.4%   16.6 14.9 4.7 Previous MP quit Labour
Don Valley 68.5%   1.4 14.8 6.8 Caroline Flint.  Anti-Corbyn and voted Leave.
Stoke-on-Trent North 72.1%   7.0 14.3 11.0  
Durham North West 55.1%   7.5 13.3 6.0  
Wolverhampton North East 67.7%   11.4 13.0 6.7  
Penistone and Stocksbridge 60.7%   4.7 12.5 3.8 Previous MP quit Labour
West Bromwich West 68.7%   10.9 12.5 4.7  
Newcastle-under-Lyme 61.6%   4.4 12.3 9.8  
Bishop Auckland 60.9%   6.8 12.1 6.7  
Blackpool South 67.8%   6.5 12.0 8.5  
Workington 61.0%   7.5 11.9 8.8  
Hyndburn 65.8%   8.9 11.8 11.2  
Ynys Mon 50.9%   7.7 11.8 10.8  
Heywood and Middleton 62.4%   5.1 11.6 10.2  
Delyn 54.4%   2.2 10.8 11.6  
Birmingham Northfield 61.8%   3.6 10.7 11.6  
Bridgend 50.3%   3.3 10.3 13.6  
Bury South 54.5%   2.3 10.2 8.2  
Darlington 58.1%   4.8 10.1 7.7  
Burnley 66.6%   9.4 9.9 9.1  
Wakefield 62.8%   2.3 9.9 9.4  
Wrexham 57.6%   1.7 9.9 11.7  
Crewe and Nantwich 60.3%   6.1 9.7 9.4  
Clwyd South 59.9%   5.6 9.4 13.5  
Derby North 54.3%   0.8 8.7 11.9  
Vale of Clwyd 56.6%   2.3 8.7 11.9  
Barrow and Furness 57.3%   4.8 8.2 5.2  
Stoke-on-Trent Central 64.9%   5.6 8.2 12.2  
Ipswich 56.5%   4.6 8.1 10.3  
Gedling 56.3%   2.6 7.8 9.6  
Colne Valley 50.1%   2.2 7.7 12.8  
Bury North 53.7%   1.8 7.6 12.5  
Coatbridge   61.2% -3.6 7.6 8.7 Scottish Nationalist gain
Stockton South 57.8%   3.8 7.4 11.5  
Dewsbury 57.2%   1.3 7.3 9.2  
Lincoln 57.4%   3.2 6.9 8.3  
Midlothian   62.1% -3.7 6.7 6.2 Scottish Nationalist gain
Peterborough 61.3%   -0.1 6.7 12.5 Ignoring a 2019 by-election
Bolton North East 58.1%   3.2 6.1 7.7  
Warrington South 51.1%   1.3 6.1 9.3  
Wolverhampton South West 54.4%   4.1 5.1 6.1  
High Peak 50.6%   0.5 4.9 14.4  
Stroud   54.1% 2.0 4.9 9.3  
Kensington   68.8% -3.9 4.3 11.1 Liberal-Democrat vote doubled
Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath   56.7% -3.2 4.2 3.5 Scottish Nationalist gain
Glasgow North East   59.3% -2.4 3.5 9.2 Scottish Nationalist gain
East Lothian   64.6% -6.6 3.1 5.5 Scottish Nationalist gain
Rutherglen and Hamilton West   62.4% -4.5 3.0 2.3 Scottish Nationalist gain
Keighley 53.3%   2.0 2.6 8.4  

The media want Labour to do a panicky retreat from all of its socialist policies.  Not really justified by the facts.

[A] https://labourlist.org/2019/12/the-60-seats-labour-lost-in-the-2019-general-election/

[B] Voting percentages from the Wikipedia entry for the seat.

[C] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Flint