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Paul Goodman: I name Britain's "progressive majority"

by Paul Goodman

Less than a week ago, John Denham, Chris Huhne and Caroline Lucas joined together to suggest that Britain has a natural left-of-centre "progressive majority" - and that AV would empower it.  The phrase was also used by Vince Cable.

You may agree with this view.  Or you may, like Tim, disagree with it.  My own take is that, in the wake of yesterday's referendum result, we now know exactly how large this progressive majority is.

All we have to do to get a sense of its size is examine which polling areas supported AV - as left-leaning Labour and Liberal Democrat voters banded together to defeat the wicked Tories.

The smoke has cleared.  And we can now see that, according to the Guardian, 11 polling areas voted Yes - out of a total of 440.  Elsewhere, however, it seems to list only ten, as follows -

  • Oxford
  • Cambridge
  • Glasgow Kelvin
  • Edinburgh Central
  • Camden
  • Harringay
  • Hackney
  • Islington
  • Lambeth
  • Southwark
  • Plus somewhere else I can't remember, and can't be bothered to look up.

Anyway, you get the point.  So the progressive majority turns out to consist of two English University seats, two Scottish constituencies which - I'm told - contain a large number of students, plus a number of central London boroughs.

Whatever one may say about these places, they aren't typical of the rest of Britain.  As the rest of yesterday's referendum results proved.  Chris...Vince...What was that you were saying about Britain's progressive majority?


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