General Election 2017: Introduction
- AQA, Edexcel
Last updated 14 Mar 2019
This study note introduces our series of notes exploring the key features of the General Election in June 2017.
The 2017 General Election was a particularly unusual one. Sometimes it is hard to write about something very recent in the same way we might write about historic events, but it is a fascinating election to compare with others in relation to voting behaviour.
2017 was unusual because it was unexpected, because of the dramatic shift in opinion polls during the campaign and because even the latest opinion polls broadly predicted the results incorrectly. When we look at some of the data in more detail we can also see some very dramatic shifts in voting behaviour. Whether these present long-term trends or are short-term reactions to specific issues (e.g. Brexit) and specific personalities (e.g. Corbyn) only time will tell.
June 2017 was a close election result which led to no one party having a majority.
Although the Conservatives were comfortably the biggest party, the swing was very much in Labour’s favour. Theresa May called this election to increase her majority and instead lost it, meaning that she had to make (confidence and supply) arrangements with the DUP to be able to form a functioning government.