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The General Elections: 2015, 2017, 2019

Fear, Christopher



This chapter explains the backgrounds, the strategies, and the performance of the Conservatives’ three general election campaigns in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Special attention is given to voting patterns and statistics, which (I argue) reveal more about what really happened in these elections than does the popular political history of those years. I have also sought to countermand three popular ‘myths’ about these elections: first, that the Conservatives’ surprise majority in 2015 owed to David Cameron’s ‘disingenuous’ offer of an in/out referendum on membership of the EU; second, that the 2017 election showed that voters did not support Theresa May’s vision of a ‘hard Brexit’; and third, that the 2019 result reflected the greater popularity of Johnson compared to May, and the superiority of his campaign, especially in Labour’s former ‘Red Wall’ in the Midlands and North of England and Wales.


Fear, C. (2023). The General Elections: 2015, 2017, 2019. In Conservative Governments in the Age of Brexit (47-64). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature).

Acceptance Date May 2, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2023
Publication Date Mar 15, 2023
Deposit Date May 24, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2025
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature)
Pages 47-64
Book Title Conservative Governments in the Age of Brexit
ISBN 9783031214639 ; 9783031214660
Keywords Conservatives; General elections; Electoral strategy; Psephology; Red Wall; Realignment
Public URL


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