Still Pissed… [DOT 16/12/19]

I’m no math whiz like everybody’s favorite Uncle Milton…but I can do basic fractions most of the time if I have a pencil & paper handy & I’ve been trying to make sense of the results in the UK for a couple or three days or so now…& it’s kicking my ass…

2019 votes for the Conservative Party totaled 13,966,565 from a turnout from 67.3% of a total electorate of 47,587,254…& that netted them 365/650 seats in the House of Commons.

Meanwhile the Labour party only caught 10,269,076 measly voters attention for a pathetic 202 seats worth of also-ran status that cost their leader his position.

That’s how it went this time.

& yet…in 2017…with a turnout rate of 68.7% of 46,843,896 (where that percentage point would seem to indicate a greater increase than the extra few hundred thousand voters on the 2019 roll) Labour’s loss was accounted a sort of win in that it was not so great as had been forecast…& denied the Tories a majority they’d previously held by a thin margin under May…

& netted one Jeremy Corbyn MP some 12,877,918 votes…

That’s how it went last time.

So he lost a little over 2.5million voters for his party in the course of the last two years, at least on a cursory reading of the numbers.

Where it gets weird is that those <3million voters are apparently worth 60 seats in that house.

Which would suggest that a parliamentary seat would be a matter of about 50,000-odd votes…

except that doesn’t track with anything about the weird & wonderful ways of the mother of all parliaments’ fucked up first-past-the-post approach to burying the lede…

At 50,000 votes per the nigh 13million votes Labour received in 2017 would have been worth 257 seats while the Tories’ haul of 16,636,684 would have given them 272 seats…

in reality the Conservatives had some 316 seats to Labour’s 262 leaving them still 10 shy of that 326 magic number that spells a majority…& down on bended knee before the parliamentary “might” of the DUP.*

[*note for anyone unfamiliar with the subtext – the DUP are what you’d get if the Tea Party only got together on St Patrick’s Day…well, all right – not exactly…but fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke…which we all know they can’t…so…fuck ’em…]

Yet here we stand much less than 5 fixed-term parliamentary years later with a “historic” majority of 365 seats to 202 based in equal parts on Corbyn’s Labour party losing some 2.5million voters along the way…& bizarrely enough also on some 2.5million+ LESS VOTES FOR THE GODDAMNED TORY PARTY & THEIR FECKLESS B-LIST MUPPET REJECT OF A LEADER &-oh-yeah-this-isn’t-that-meeting-sorry-folks-where-was-I-now…

As an object lesson in how not to run an election or a campaign if you want your electorate to hold up (or even comprehend) their part of the arrangement as per the theory on which the mechanisms in question are based…you could do a lot worse than the last two or three national votes in the UK.

As an example of an election (much less a result) that achieved any semblance of the many, many miracles the associated rhetoric would have you believe…

This is not – I repeat NOT A TIME for the US to get all “hold my beer” about the election thing…y’all hear me?



  1. I Tweeted this last week, but:

    Work colleague Thursday: “I’m voting Lib Dem. I know I’m throwing my vote away, but I don’t like either of them.”

    Work colleague Friday: “I can’t stop crying. I’m so fucked.”


    Also: Hi, everybody. Nice to see you.
    Also: Twitter sucks.

  2. I thought I just commented, but nothing appeared. So this is a test, I guess.


    • This comment, I can see. I don’t know.

      Anyways, Hi everyone.

      • Welcome home! You’re definitely not in the greys.

    • I would want the name changed. And I don’t think they’re giving those students enough credit about knowing that PA = the Prince Andrew from ‘those news stories.’ Look at the level of awareness and activism of high school students today.

  3. It’s Conservative Math; we’ll never understand it.

  4. I know nothing about UK politics but as soon as I saw the results, Russia came to mind. It is amazing how much Russia has figured out how to buy & influence elections world wide now. I am terrified for our next election w/ Moscow Mitch trying to hide all the facts about Russia funding Trump & the whole GOP & not allowing securing voting machines. Can someone tell me how you vote in the UK? Electronic or paper ballots? Anyway, I found this interesting:

    • …that would be paper ballots – which are then shipped to a centralised location for the counting bit for reasons that are somewhat opaque

      …theoretically there’s an audit trail of paper marked with X’s but I don’t even know how a recount would operate because essentially they’re far too British to admit anything ever went wrong enough to get to that

      …I think someone might have tried to get a recount on the referendum but if so I’m pretty sure that fizzled out pretty quick?

  5. This might be my ignorance, but is there a way to just view all the posts in reverse chronological order? When I go to the home page I get kind of a mixture of stuff and I feel like I’m going to miss things.

    • I wouldn’t call it ignorance exactly…we’re (most of us anyway) still learning as we go, I’m afraid…but I do know that the top three or four posts might be “pinned” to the top of the feed & everything below those should be the list you’re expecting…
      I’ll try to put up something in tomorrow’s DOT to explain the way things don’t quite work as a kinja-native might prefer…
      that said…
      hooray for seeing you around here…

      • Ah ok thank you!

        And you should see more of me around once I get through the holidays.

  6. Is there going to be math ever day? I just got here and there is MATH. Can we have drawing, if we have to have math? I am better at the drawing.

    • I’ll be smoking in the bathroom

    • …well, not EVERY day
      …not unless Uncle Milton returns to the fold
      …& he always warned folks up front about that kind of thing

  7. Do you have gerrymandering in Britain? Do you know what that is? In America every ten years following the census the voting districts are redrawn. You have 650 seats in the Commons, we have 435 in the House of Representatives. But, because we have states the 435 seats shift around, so New York, for example, keeps losing seats because we keep losing people, or at least we’re not keeping up, and the south and west keep gaining, because that’s where the population is moving.

    This matters for a lot of reasons in the US but say I live in Village X, County Y. After a British census, would my electoral district change somehow? Could the borders shift, or would my district basically be the same as it was, say, a century ago? When I read about election results is seems like the districts are pretty much set. For example, Tony Blair’s district went Con this time, which was very embarrassing for Labour, but is it the same as it was in the 90s?

    Anyway, the way gerrymandering works is two-fold. The party in power at the state level draws the new districts. Let’s say the state loses a seat. They have to figure out which Rep. they want to get rid of, first of all. That’s a bipartisan affair and fun to watch from the sidelines. Then, the party in power goes over the poll results. They do two things. They lump everyone who didn’t vote them in one district, so that district becomes overwhelmingly one-party. That’s fine, but that’s only one Representative. Then, to maximize their chances, they distribute the population so that the chances are 70% of the folks in that district will vote for the party in power and 30% will not, so they’ll win those seats. If there are 100 seats done this way Party A will win all of them, even though Party B got 30% of the overall vote.

    This is a very long-winded way of saying, maybe that’s what happened this time around? But no, the districts couldn’t have changed that much in two years, could they have?

    • This is a very long-winded way of saying

      believe me when i tell you that you’re going to fit in quite well with the person who wrote this post.

    • They might call it something else – or never speak of it & pretend it doesn’t count – but there is absolutely a form of gerrymandering in the UK.

      There’s no other way to explain the way that it takes less individual voters to elect a Conservative than a member of another party…& why, much like in the US, the greater density of population in significant urban populations like London or Bristol or Liverpool or Manchester is off-set by rural constituencies that get the same MP but have markedly fewer voters to represent.

      I forget the scheduling but they do also get redrawn & the boundaries &/or name or even existence of a constituency is not guaranteed to be the same from polling day to polling day. Oddly, when this happens it never seems to make a dent in the baked in Tory advantage.

      Funny that.

      Mainly what happened this time around in the UK is that for years now Boris has been making himself out to be the Brexit messiah – it’s really the only reason Nigel Farage started throwing his toys out of the pram & whining about spoiling his ballot – whilst not getting noticeably closer to admitting to what Brexit is so as not to have to admit that he couldn’t deliver it.

      Clearly he knows he can’t deliver on the many, many lies he’s told anyone willing to listen about his mythical fairytale land where Britain gets it’s Imperial game back & everything’s groovy for everyone…because he may be an asshole of colossal proportions but he isn’t a complete fucking moron…just beholden to a lot of them.

      Meanwhile “the opposition” chose to view the open goal the Conservative front bench was so kind as to present them with as some kind of test of the sort of moral character that has no place in modern politics…by abjectly failing to provide any actual opposition…or a manifesto for the election with a clear stance on the burning issue of the day they preferred to claim wasn’t the focus of the election…namely Brexit.

      So the Remain vote was effectively split while the Leave vote went in the vast majority of cases to the Tory candidate…& there were generally more remainers in the lots-of-people-less-MPs seats than the more-MPs-for-less-people seats…

      …so you wind up with cheese-brained, hair-wafting bag of wind announcing he has “a stonking mandate” the like of which hasn’t been since since the days of dear old maggie thatcher
      …because apparently comparing himself to fucking winston churchill just wasn’t hubristic enough

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