Brexit Party Saved Labour Seats in 2019 Election, New Research Finds

8 November 2021

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party may have saved up to 25 Labour seats in the Midlands and the north of England at the 2019 general election, denying Boris Johnson a landslide majority of 130, according to analysis by Trinity Politics Fellow Stephen Fisher in a new book.
 
The British General Election of 2019 was published last week, and is the latest edition of what is widely viewed as the definitive academic guide to general elections, with the first edition published in the wake of Labour’s landslide victory in 1945.
 
Working with election experts John Curtice and Patrick English, Fisher’s research analyses constituency-by-constituency results, and responses to the British Election Study internet panel, covering 30,000 voters. Their results show that Brexit heavily skewed the outcome in contests right across the country, and suggests that by attracting Leave-supporting former Labour voters who might otherwise have backed the Conservatives, Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party significantly cut the scale of Labour’s defeat.
 
Professor Fisher and his colleagues note of their analysis: 'The Brexit party may have cost the Conservatives about 25 of the seats that Labour managed to retain – most of them Leave-voting seats in the north of England and the Midlands – and thereby enabled Labour to avoid an even heavier loss of seats. 
 
'Brexit heavily skewed the election outcome in constituencies across the country, disrupting much of the existing geography of party support. This meant that all of Britain’s parties often recorded some of their best performances in relatively unfamiliar territory.'