Simply "getting the vote out" (chasing up known labour supporters) in those marginal constituencies would have easily won them. Labour HQ completely misread what was about to occur and used their resources extremely defensively. Eg on polling day activists were instructed to go to seats already held rather than go to ones with a tory majority. The result was a waste of energy in seats that increased their majority, and no resources used whatsover in seats that turned out to be on a knife edge.Alex Holowczak wrote:
This "Labour were within 2000 votes of being the largest party" statistic, which I've seen banded about a few times, is misleading at best, and nonsense at worst.
One of the possible assumptions is that if you took the seats that Labour lost by least, and gave them extra votes from people who didn't turn out, they would win the election. This assumes that 100% of the people who didn't turn out would vote Labour. I don't believe that assumption works.
The alternative basis would be Conservative voters who would vote Labour. I can't immediately find a news item that says that for Labour, but here's an equivalently poor Telegraph article making the same comment about being 400 votes short of a majority: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06 ... -majority/
The reason that I think this is poor, is that in order to persuade people, there might have needed to be a different policy, or a better explanation of some policy. That's fine, and it may win votes in certain seats. But that might lose votes in other seats.
Labour were about 750,000 votes behind the Conservatives. If they were going to be the largest party, then they need to overturn much nearer to 375,000 votes to have a reasonable mathematical chance of being the largest party. Yes, it's mathematically possible with 2,000 votes, but I'd suggest winning the lottery, or being killed by an asteroid, are much more likely.
This wont happen next time.
There have been many occasions when the winner of the popular vote ends up with less seats, so i dont think the inclusion of an arbritrary figure of general votes required means much at all.