didn’t imagine it at first. It has taken a very long time to soak up and perceive it. It appears so opposite to every part we’ve got at all times identified about politics in Britain that it requires a giant adjustment of our world view. The hyperlink between class and voting has been reversed. Folks at the moment are extra prone to vote Tory if they’re working class than if they’re center class – and the opposite manner spherical for Labour.
It was not till the elections final week that this reality instantly turned a staple of political evaluation. However when Hartlepool, a reputation that may as nicely imply “All the time Labour” in historical Norse, fell to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, everybody knew that one thing was up. And when Labour gained Chipping Norton within the native council elections on the identical day, and the mayoralties of the West of England and of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, we knew that the world had been turned the wrong way up.
Realisation had been dawning for a while. When Labour gained Canterbury and Kensington in 2017, it felt as if the bottom was transferring beneath our ft; and when it misplaced so many working-class seats within the north and Midlands in 2019. I knew that the affiliation between class and voting had weakened since 2005. At every election since then the correlation declined, till it appeared to vanish altogether in 2019, with some pollsters akin to YouGov suggesting it had gone into reverse.