Philosophers hold their seats

With most of the UK general election results now in, we can see that the philosophers standing have done well in some ways, not so well in others. (See yesterday’s post for details of the candidate’s philosophical backgrounds.) All four of the candidates standing for the major parties won their seats.

Oliver Letwin (Conservative) held his West Dorset seat with a 1.1% increase in votes compared to 3.9% for his party nationally

Jon Cruddas (Labour) held his Dagenham seat with an 8.9% fall in vote compared to a 6.3% fall for his party nationally

John Pugh (Liberal Democrat) held his Southport seat with a 3.3% increase in vote compared to 1% increase for his party nationally

Jesse Norman (Conservative) was elected as the member for Hereford and South Herefordshire, a seat previously held by a retiring member of his party. He was elected with a 5.2% increase in vote for his party since the last election compared to 3.9% nationally.

Alas, that means that even though it would have been meaningless anyway, due to the small sample size, we can’t have any fun talking of swings for and against philosophers, as it all pretty much evens out – unless someone else can spot a spurious statistical pattern.

There were also three Green Party candidates who didn’t stand much chance of winning their seats.

Shahrar Ali won 668 votes in Brent Central, 1.5% of votes cast, 2.2% down on his party’s showing last time.

Chris Fox (won 909 votes in Harwich and North Essex, 1.9% of those cast, 1.8% down on his party’s showing last time.

Ben Foley (a.k.a. Fairweather) won 393 votes Bedford, a 0.9% share, up 0.9% on last time ( i.e. there was no Green Party no candidate last time)

Nationally, the Green Party’s share of the vote was almost identical to last time, around 1%.

(Note: national results are not final yet, so all national figures are provisional. I hope to update when all results are in)

  1. John Preston (Reading) has emailed me to say “Penny Mordaunt, who studied Philosophy at Reading during the early 1990s, took the Portsmouth North seat for the Conservatives.”

    I hadn’t listed everyone with undergraduate degrees as that would be a pretty long list, but please do add any you know in comments.

  2. A correction, if I may, re Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire). This was a seat that had been held by the Lib Dems’ Paul Keetch since the retirement of Colin Shepherd 13 years ago; so it’s a return to the Conservative fold. Such was Jesse’s personal quality that a number of Lib Dem councillors came out publicly in his favour a week or so before polling, which must have helped: they declared him the best man to represent the area. Perhaps in these times of negotiation, it’s a positive sign that people can put traditional party allegiances to one side and go for the choice that they think is best for their community…

  3. I can report that two recent philosophy graduates from Cambridge were also standing: Henry Vann failed to get elected as MP for Bedford, while Sophie Erskine was elected as a council for Fortis Green. Both were running as Liberal Democrats.

  4. “…it all pretty much evens out – unless someone else can spot a spurious statistical pattern.

    Just hand it to a political journalist. Easy!

  5. Alas, that means that even though it would have been meaningless anyway, due to the small sample size, we can’t have any fun talking of swings for and against philosophers, as it all pretty much evens out – unless someone else can spot a spurious statistical pattern.

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