Err, umm, on legitimacy (again) and how the facts prove very little

Further to yesterday’s post on legitimacy, here is an interesting table. It shows the winning party at each General Election since universal suffrage, with the average number of votes per seat.

General Election Winner Votes divided by seats
2015 Conservative 34347
2010 Conservative 34979
2005 Labour 26908
2001 Labour 25968
1997 Labour 32340
1992 Conservative 41943
1987 Conservative 36598
1983 Conservative 32777
1979 Conservative 40407
Oct 1974 Labour 35916
Feb 1974 Labour 38690
1970 Conservative 39834
1966 Labour 35981
1964 Labour 38504
1959 Conservative 37674
1955 Conservative 38694
1951 Conservative 39438
1950 Labour 41988
1945 Labour 30452
1935 Conservative 25972
1931 Conservative 24206
1929 Labour 28045

I thought that this data would provide an insight into a broken democracy, but now wonder whether my efforts were an exercise in futility. It is an interesting table, largely because (as far as I can discern anyway) it actually proves nothing.

There are no trends, except, perhaps, that we are back to where we were some eighty years ago.

The factors which need to be taken into account are population size, turnout, number of parties standing, as well as the details about seats won.

On the cusp of failure, the Labour party in 1950 has the distinction of the largest number of votes per seat average for the governing party. The other end of the scale are the Conservatives in 1931, for whom their huge tally of 470 seats made their respectable vote look small.

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