In terms of systematic differences such as demography, what connects the regions that turned orange and what connects those that turned red, during the 2019-2024 UK election cycle?

Looking at the demographic maps, it seems the least and most affluent regions voted Labour. The surveys suggest more educated voters vote Labour and Lib Dems more frequently. However, while age, affluence and education of a the regions all seem highly correlated, the map of the election results seems somewhat arbitrary, with Lib Dems winning regions in the South West and Conservatives winning regions on the East.

Are there some other demographic or historic factors that explain the Lib Dems' success in the South West & less Conservative losses on the East?

  • 8
    Look for votes share instead of winnings. Winnings are highly distorted because sometimes the other candidates were split. There is more noise in that. Commented Jul 5 at 7:27
  • 3
    It's a mistake to look for a purely demographic answer. UK politics is much more complicated than that. Commented Jul 5 at 15:11
  • I'm not trying to understand everything right now, just the regional coloring of the map
    – Probably
    Commented Jul 6 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


You've got some baseline regional power bases.

  • Lib Dems: South West
  • Conservatives: Rural Areas - South, South East, East Anglia, Home Counties, Fens
  • Labour: (Former)Industrial North, Towns and Cities. Wales and Scotland will often go Labour when Labour win nationally.

While that looks like it covers a lot of land for the Conservatives and the map can look very blue even with a Labour national win, they're large constituencies with lower populations. There are more constituencies in the towns and cities which tend to lean Labour.

The reason the Lib Dems get so many more seats than Reform despite their lower vote total is this regional aspect of their support. Reform voters are scattered across the country in a more uniform manner where Lib Dems are far more focussed on the South of England.

  • Good point, although not what I was interested in. Clarified the question.
    – Probably
    Commented Jul 5 at 14:14
  • 4
    @Probably you're looking at demographics but those take second place to traditional power bases and FPTP weaknesses. If you want to get rid of your current MP, you vote for the party who came second last time
    – Separatrix
    Commented Jul 5 at 14:57
  • Makes sense but I assume it's not random which party came second
    – Probably
    Commented Jul 6 at 6:37
  • @Probably generally it's the guys who came first a while further back.
    – hobbs
    Commented Jul 6 at 6:41
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    @Probably you just need to go back further in time. The Lib Dems are one of the descendants of the old Liberal (Whig) party against whom Labour are the new upstarts. In a more modern sense, where Labour and the Conservatives don't have a fundamental core demographic it's a more open race, and the Lib Dems have the best campaigners on the ground. They also hold a lot of the local councils in the regions where they've now taken the parlimentary seat.
    – Separatrix
    Commented Jul 8 at 11:05

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