General election results for Cornwall broken down by constituency

Let me start with three quotes  from three different local party activists reflecting on the outcome of  the election:

Green party campaigner:

Had LibDems  stood down in Camborne/Redruth and in Newquay/St Austell and had Labour stood down in St Ives and in N.Cornwall, the Tories would have lost 4 seats and Jeremy Corbyn would now be leading a minority government with a good chance of a PR election next time.

Only MK and the Greens made the brave decision to stand aside despite being offered ‘absolutely nothing’ in return. And that decision has cost us dearly: financially, in vote share and yes, even in membership losses.

I’m afraid I just don’t see an alliance happening (much to my immense frustration) as Labour and LibDems are too bloody short-sighted to act in the best interests of the country. Always putting their own needs first.

Until Labour and LibDems in Cornwall can open their eyes to the bigger picture, the result we saw on Thursday is the absolute best they can EVER hope for. The ball is in their court, but they seem determined to keep whacking it into the net.

Liberal Democrat campaigner:

The narrative from the election – which seems increasingly to be accepted as fact – is that the Lib Dem and Green votes collapsed, whereas the reality is surely that many people across the country from both parties lent their votes to Labour. Sadly, the progressive alliance only seemed to work in one direction! The Lib Dems and Greens may not be so keen to give their support to Labour candidates next time.

Labour party campaigner:

Whilst canvassing I met a lot of Libdems and Greens who were tactically voting for us. The problem is convincing my fellow  Labour Party activists 

None of these people know each other. All were campaigning in different constituencies in Cornwall for different parties yet all got the strong sense that tactical voting was a key factor in this election, one that could have changed the outcome in Cornwall and nationally – had the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties  followed the example of the Greens.


Pie chart showing the proportion of votes to each party


Cornish Vote broken down by constituency

This is divided into two sections:

  • the progressive vote vs Conservative
  • the actual breakdown of votes for each party.

Progressive vote: armed with better quality polling data and a willingness to do deals, progressive parties could have taken four out of the six constituencies.







The actual breakdown of votes for each party are as follows.

Please note that the increase/decrease symbol refers to the size of the voting cake in a given constituency. For example Labour in St Ives increased their vote well over 50% but their  share of the overall constituency vote only increased by 4.9% compared to the 2015 elections. That is because the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats also increased their share of the votes







Concluding remarks

This website wrongly directed people to vote tactically based on the Tactical 2017 website. This cost vital votes for Labour particularly in Truro and Falmouth.

The advice given on this website was based on the Tactical2017 website. Not all tactical votes went to the wrong party but clearly some did.

Had Labour and Liberal Democrats responded to the leadership shown by the Green Party, a nationwide Progressive Alliance could have seen Corbyn as PM with an estimated 100 seat majority

Jeremy Corbyn fought a brilliant election and Theresa May a very bad one. That, and the grassroots mobilisation spearheaded by Momentum helped a dramatic Labour surge. However this overlooks the  decisive role of the Green Party in standing down in 24 Marginal seats to avoid splitting the vote and allow Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates to be the main challenger to the Conservatives. In Cornwall they stood down in three seats. In either case they got very little in return.

Here is what the New Statesman had to say:

The Conservative majority in St Ives was just 312 and in Richmond Park (for the loathsome Zac Goldsmith) a paltry 45 votes. In both seats, where it has never been victorious in its 177 year history, Labour accrued more than 5,000 votes in vain. If a tenth of those votes had gone to the Liberal Democrats, Theresa May would no longer be in Downing Street. With just two fewer MPs she would’ve been short of a majority regardless of DUP support.  

And here is what the Telegraph had to say:

If Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens had formed a perfect non-aggression pact in the general election, Jeremy Corbyn would be Prime Minister.

The idea of a liberal or ‘progressive’ alliance is one that has been championed by Caroline Lucas, co-leader of the Green Party, for the past couple of years.

In essence, it would involve Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens agreeing not to field candidates against each other in certain seats in an effort to have as many liberal MPs in Parliament as possible.

While such a pact would not have prevented a Conservative government in 2015, an analysis by The Telegraph shows that it would have made a difference this time round – even if UKIP had stood aside for the Conservatives as well.

And finally the Guardian

In seat after seat, progressive votes were wasted, because of our broken electoral system. If every progressive voter had placed their X tactically to defeat the Tories then Jeremy Corbyn would now be prime minister with a majority of over 100.

Tactical voting is here to stay – until we get PR

Tactical voting will not go away. Labour are rightly elated at the mortal blow they have  struck against the abhorrent policies of a heartless government. People are desperate for change and will vote tactically again – but they will be wary of their vote being taken for granted, and alienated by poisonous party tribalism that sees Labour and Liberal Democrats attack and undermine each other at a time of great national need.

The Conservatives will play a better hand next time round

Do not underestimate the tenacity of the Conservatives to hold on to power. They won an election in 2010 on the back of a banking crisis that should have seen an end to  neoliberal economics and an unregulated financial system. Instead they cleverly positioned  Labour  as the party to blame for the recession, a myth still believed today by a significant proportion of the public. They won again in 2015 despite  five years of punishing austerity and cuts to public services and the welfare state. And they won just enough votes in the June election despite an awful manifesto and a dire performance by Theresa May.

Next time round, a general election will be fought by a more confident and charismatic Conservative leader, armed with a more attractive and carefully costed manifesto, who will seek to win back  the UKIP vote and play on the discord between centre left parties. Nothing can be taken for granted, least of all those from other parties who worked to help Labour win – and from tactical voters who expect something in return.

source of stats in table by Britain Elects  here>>>

see also Cornish Constituencies spreadsheet from 2015 election


8 thoughts on “General election results for Cornwall broken down by constituency

  1. Hi Gavin, First of all – big thanks to you for all you did to try and get the Tories out, through a sensible alliance. From my perspective, as a genuine centrist LibDem, the problem was that I could never, given Labour’s unwillingness, once they saw that Corbyn was able to mobilise the far left, to even consider voting tactically. For me, at the next election, which may be sooner than we might wish, I have to vote with my conscience, given a Marxist Shadow Chancellor and am afraid that, much as I would wish it otherwise, it will be LibDem, whatever. I blame the incalcitrant Labour left, but they would no doubt blame me. That’s politics, I guess. Go well, I wish you the best. H


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amused by my friend Howard Hollingsbees excuse for not voting for Labour tactically and blaming Labour. For many elections Labour supporters have been holding their nose and voting tactically for Andrew in St Ives, in fact he has been elected by these votes, and for Lib Dems in Truro. The fact is that Lib Dems are much closer to Tory values than they are to Labour and there is a substantial number who will never vote Labour.


    2. I am curious as to who you mow vote for, given the dangers of this potential chancellor you speak of and, well, maybe someone like George Osborne. What will you do to keep,him out of number 11 if there is no Lib Dem Candidate in you area? Would you maybe vote Conservative?


  2. Great work Gavin.
    Its really depressing to see so many people voting for the Tories after what they have put ordinary people through.
    Its like turkeys voting for Xmas !!
    I did my bit to try to get tactical voting going in St Ives but the Local Labour Party are entrenched and unresponsive.
    If local Labour voters have voted tactically in the past I couldn’t see why they wouldn’t this time.
    Of course Labours Brexit policy is a shambles and the Tories are positioned as the best option for Brexit negotiations.
    Perhaps that still played a larger part than analysts are yet prepared to admit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, some tentative ideas on the table. Some people are meeting up locally or in contact via Facebook. Where do you live?


  3. Firstly, it’s great to see someone prepared to admit that the tactical vote information that they gave out during GE17 was wrong. It would be nice to see all tactical vote websites and all newspapers that also gave out the wrong guidance to also admit that it was wrong, although I guess anyone who is interested enough would be able to see that for themselves when they look at the numbers. It’s a pity that despite efforts made to get this advice altered during the campaign, as people on the ground in the constituencies knew from their experiences that the advice was wrong, that the websites ignored those efforts and continued to give out the wrong advice.

    Much respect has to go the the Greens, who not only promoted the idea of a progressive alliance, but also acted on it by standing aside in some seats. It’s a real pity that neither Labour nor Lib Dem were prepared to do the same. They were happy to see the Greens stand aside, but weren’t prepared to do it themselves, which they both must take blame for and both should reconsider their positions in the future!

    I’d just like to point out something that needs to be made clear when looking at the voting numbers for each party. With the exception of Cambourne and Redruth, the tactical vote advice throughout the election campaign in each Cornish constituency was to vote Lib Dem. There were many websites advocating this advice and indeed, also an article in the Daily Mirror. The Lib Dem candidate in my constituency (Stephen Gilbert) actually based a large portion of his campaign on tactically voting. He continually claimed Labour had no support and no chance of winning, basing those claims on past results and using the tactical vote websites to justify it. He was successful in managing to convince many people, including Labour members/voters to vote tactically for him, as I am sure many other Lib Dem candidates in Cornwall were. Despite all of this Labour still won more votes than the Lib Dems in many constituencies and the point is that the numbers are not therefore a true reflection, as many more people would have voted Labour if they had not been mistakenly convinced to vote tactically for Lib Dem.

    With this in mind and looking at the results, surely this means that Lib Dem should not be standing in Cambourne and Redruth, Truro and Falmouth, nor St. Austell and Newquay? If Labour can win significantly more votes than Lib Dem in these constituencies even in the face of so many sources telling people to vote Lib Dem (except Cambourne), then this clearly demonstrates who should be standing aside.

    Likewise, Labour should stand aside in St. Ives and Penzance as well as North Cornwall. As for South East Cornwall, that is more open to debate, but again I would suggest that since the odds were in the Lib Dems favour and they still didn’t get the votes that Labour did, that perhaps they should stand aside here too.

    I only hope that both Labour and Lib Dem wake up and actually participate in a progressive alliance. I for one will be urging both parties to do so.


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