Exclusive Labour and Conservative vote share hits historic low in UK general election: Pollster

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The combined vote share for the Labour and Conservative parties in the UK general election on Thursday was the lowest in recent history, according to Joe Twyman, co-founder and director of Deltapoll.

In an interview with Al Arabiya English’s Rosanna Lockwood, Twyman expressed surprise at the performance of smaller parties, noting that the combined vote share for Labour and the Conservatives was “the lowest it’s ever been in modern times.”

“The big surprise to me was … the performance of all of the parties away from Conservative and Labour, the two main parties, and so when you look at the Conservative and Labour combined share of the vote, that was 56 percent. Now that may sound like quite a lot, but actually, by historical standards in this country, it’s the lowest it’s ever been in modern times, and by some distance,” Twyman said.

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“The next biggest figure was 61 percent back in 2010, so a long way behind even that,” he added.

Twyman noted that the polls predicting the election results performed relatively well overall.

“Pretty good, not brilliant, but a strong performance, and certainly in terms of the overall story, spot on. It was indeed the large Labour majority that the polls have been predicting – not just recently, not just throughout the campaign, but actually in some cases, for years,” he said, commenting on the accuracy of the pre-election polls.

Opinion polls had consistently put Labour 20 points ahead of the Tories since the resignation of former Conservative prime minister Liz Truss, creating a sense of inevitability about a Labour victory – the first since Tony Blair’s in 2005.

By late Friday, Labour had secured 412 constituencies in the 650-seat House of Commons – with only one result left to declare – giving it a majority of 174.

The Tories won just 121 seats – a record low – with the right-wing vote apparently split by Nigel Farage’s anti-immigration Reform UK party, which picked up five seats.

In another boost for centrists, the smaller opposition Liberal Democrats ousted the Scottish National Party to become the third-largest party.

Twyman highlighted that this election was marked by widespread dissatisfaction with the Conservatives, from which other parties, especially Labour, benefited significantly.

“It was the Conservatives that were really hit on all sides, which is why their performance was not just low, it was historically low,” he said.

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