At just past 22.00 hours, as the exit poll prediction was announced, I stared at the screen in disbelief. I went to bed in the early hours before the results were announced for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle - the seat where I canvassed, as part of a large and dedicated team, nineteen times in five and a half weeks - around two hours plus travel each time - for the admirable Paul Farmer, the Labour candidate. I had chosen to devote my energies in this marginal constituency where the Tory MP was only 1500 or so votes in front at the last election in 2017 rather than my own St Ives, Penzance and Helston neck-of-the-woods where the battle was between Tory and Lib-Dem candidates with the Labour candidate out of contention. Yesterday, I woke up to find that the Tory MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle had been returned with an increased majority. Paul had amassed 18,064 votes. The sitting Tory MP had gained 26,764. The Tory majority is now 8,700 votes.
I am gutted - but the resistance starts straightaway. Objectively, from an academic perspective, it is fascinating and remarkable to observe how on one day in one country a meme becomes manifest. Across the country, a swing to the Tories is apparent, varying between around 5 to 10 per cent on average but still a consistent feature throughout England and Wales. It is a swing shaped by people not voting for the Labour Party and often choosing to vote Brexit rather than Tory in Labour-held seats. Why had people abandoned Labour?
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An email arrived from the United States yesterday morning. One of my American contacts from my research into the life of Jago Stone - Christopher Michas - was asking: 'What the hell happened? How do the Tories win today. I just don't understand.'
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