, 21 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Hi Twitter, we just released our new paper on Britain's 2019 EP election:

"Resurgent Remain and a Rebooted Revolt on the Right"

Download it direct from my website

Best, Matt
Do follow @olhe @CaitlinMilazzo.
I can't persuade David Cutts to join Twitter

Brexit Party didn't hurt Tories much, picked up 2014 UKIP vote
Lib Dems hit Tories hard
Leavers have turnout problem
Lib Dems not just a Remain backlash, more complex
Farage hurt Lab in left behind areas
Lab 2017 coalition eroding fast
No easy way out for Lab & Con now
It's now clear that one irony of sorts is ever since Britain voted to leave the EU its politics look more European -political fragmentation, polarisation, volatility, challenger parties doing better, a resurgent populism, those things EU member states grappling with we have too
Much of our debate traces this simply to Brexit. But this is very misleading. The deeper pressures on Britain's 2 party system began long ago & look set to remain. 2017 looks like an outlier. For an excellent overview see David Sanders' slides here -> thebritishacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/…
Britain is basically stuck with a two-party system in which multi-party politics is trying to burst through. Labour & the Conservatives, whether at general elections or European elections, are increasingly unable to command the scale of support they had in the past
2019 saw this on steroids; Brexit appears to be accelerating the fragmentation but is not the cause. Last month, support for two main parties plummeted to just 23%, which is the lowest combined share since Lab & Con became main representatives of two-party system
Aside from this 2019 EP election is interesting for a few reasons

1. Parties that unambiguously backed 2nd referendum gained an average of 21 points in each authority. Parties that unambiguously backed No Deal Brexit (Brexit Party + UKIP = BXP+) gained average of 8 points
2. Tempting to say this is because of Brexit but is far more complex. Cons (-15.6) lost much more than Brexit Party (+8.5) gained to the tune of around 7 points. Lib Dem (+12.8) and Greens (+4.0) combined gained much more than Labour lost (-10.3), to tune of 6 points
So be wary of accounts that say Cons lost because not advocating 'hard Brexit' and Labour lost because not advocating Remain, is basically more complicated. Need to think about how deeper divides underpinning Brexit playing out on the two main parties
3. Leavers have a turnout problem. Our analysis suggests pretty clearly that ppl living in areas which had given strong support to Leave in 2016 were less likely to turnout in 2019 than in past even when controlling for range of other factors. Could be problematic for Leave/Cons
4. Farage completely cannibalised UKIP's 2014 vote. There's an incredibly strong relationship between UKIP in 2014 and Brexit Party in 2019. But this is also problematic for Farage; our analysis suggests a 'hardening' of his relationship with Leavers but not much 'widening'
The relationship between Brexit Party & Leave support a bit stronger than UKIP & Leave in 2014. In places where Leave vote 50% Brexit Party gained 4 pts on UKIP but in 60% Leave areas gained 6 pts. So Farage doubling down on strong Leave areas but not widening much beyond
5. Relationship between Brexit Party & Leave stronger than Lib Dem & Remain, which points to fact more is going on with Lib Dem resurgence than "just" backlash among Remainers. Lib Dems prob mopping up "none of the above" sentiment, local issues etc. So they are in good place
6. Conservative vote not impacted hard by Brexit Party, largely bc ppl who'd defected from Cons->Farage had already gone in 2014. Farage held on to them. Sequencing is important. Meanwhile in 2019 stronger relationship between Con vote & Lib Dems who did hit Cons direct. & hard.
7. Cameron's hope that offering EURef would placate Eurosceptic Tories has backfired completely. Con handling of Brexit means this group just walked across street from UKIP -> Brexit Party while Cons have now also alienated another group who appear to have decamped to Lib Dems
8. Lib Dems seem to have done v well in affluent highly educated Remain areas but not as well in diverse/young ones. Noticeable Lib Dem profile closer to places where Tories traditionally strong; white, affluent, older areas not young ones where poss memories of coalition linger
9. For Labour we find significant interaction between Brexit Party vote change & education. In places with lots of grads Brexit Party gains dont hurt Lab but in left behind areas Brexit Party does hurt Lab. Good reason for Lab to reconnect with these areas/BP to target them
10. Lab, like Cons, facing "pincer movement" but of a different sort. Lab did well in diverse areas but lost ground in w.class left behind heartlands while its support also waned in Remain areas where Lab did well in 2017. Lab now alienating electorate it put together in 2017
11. Said this before but looking ahead Lib Dems could get revenge for Lynton Crosby's "decapitation strategy" in 2015 when Cons offset losses by exploiting Lib Dems. But now Lib Dems appear to be poaching "one nation" Tories, opening up 2nd flank (+ Brexit Party) against Cons
12. Brexit ambiguity served Corbyn well in 2017 but now have evidence (and not only us) that patience on both wings of Labour's 2017 electorate is running out. Labour is now risking full frontal attacks on 2 fronts; Farage in left behind Brexit heartlands, Lib Dems in Remainia
13. Whereas a clear move in either direction – be it getting behind a 2nd ref or getting on with Brexit - may alienate one group, doing nothing and staying silent could end up alienating both. No easy way out now for Britain's 2 main parties. Or the 2 party system /ends
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