ELECTION 2017: Young and older voters were a potent combination

Three out of 11 constituencies changed hands across Derbyshire last week.

Friday, 16th June 2017, 11:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 3:19 pm
Three Derbyshire constituencies changed hands in last week's general election.

Conservative Lee Rowley won the Derbyshire North East seat from Labour with a comfortable majority of 2,861.

Conservative gains were also seen in Mansfield, Notts, and early evidence suggests that former UKIP supporters swelled these numbers.

In the High Peak, a high turnout of almost 74 per cent saw Labour’s Ruth George gain a seat from the Conservatives.

Dr Helen Brocklehurst, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social and Political Science at the University of Derby.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Derby North, the second most marginal seat in the country, also returned to Labour after plenty of national party attention.

In each case a range of factors were relevant, from the impact of the Brexiteers to the presence and performance of MPs in their constituencies.

However, there are also broader social and political trends at work that can be identified.

Jeremy Corbyn has galvanised support for the Labour party but more significantly a genuine interest in left leaning politics or Socialism (shhhh...) is apparent.

The new Parliamentary political map of Derbyshire.

This is an age of precarity, fear, austerity and terrorism.

His arguably considered and compassionate narrative on issues that impact on security and stability in all our lives may have helped steer voters away from the shrill sirens of UKIP. It also offers evidence of a much needed level of intellectual rigour in the arena. Politics has been represented as little more than entertainment since the arrival of spin doctors and the explosion of new media alongside new labour.

The shift in how the public now respond to politicians as much as political parties is mirrored in France and the USA where communication styles, mind sets and life experience can seemingly trump traditional political experience: authenticity of any shade, even orange can yield results. But perhaps the underestimation of the young, and no doubt the old(er) voters, was a potent combination.

As first time voters tuned into the world of politics presented to them, the Conservative campaign seemed little more than choreography for a bride, ready to walk down the aisle after the shot gun arrangement produced by David Cameron.

Dr Helen Brocklehurst, Senior Lecturer, Department of Social and Political Science at the University of Derby.

In contrast, the gravity of the political future ahead, and the complex, interconnected and volatile world we live in, would have motivated many to get out and tick where they think Britain’s really got talent.

The new Parliamentary political map of Derbyshire.