There’s no denying the entrenched Conservative devotion of our parliamentary constituency but in contrast to their large gains elsewhere, Fareham folk bucked the trend, with the Lib Dem vote more than doubling.
The marginal growth (0.7%) in the Tory share of the vote was underwhelming given that they must surely have benefited from former UKIP voters (2.7% in 2017) who this time had no Brexit Party candidate to absorb their anti-EU angst.
Certainly not all former Labour supporters shifted to Green or Yellow – our gains together (9.1%) well exceeded Labour’s 7.1% loss – and some of these gains surely came from the Tory ranks.
The overall result was entirely as expected – the Conservative majority for Fareham remained about equal to the number of voters who chose not to vote. Allied to the feedback from our engagement with the community the shifts do, however, reflect a very high regard for the Libdems’ work within Fareham Borough Council.
Whatever happens in national politics, our communities will need to find a way through diktats from Whitehall. Across Fareham’s local communities we take heart that we have a growing number of folk with their feet on the ground and the good sense to curb the Cons.
Note also that, at last, growing awareness of the climate crisis is beginning to be reflected in voting patterns. The doubling in the Lib Dem vote came after Fareham Lib Dem councillors “walked the walk” by introducing a Climate Emergencey motion adopted by the Council, and there was also a small increase in the Green vote.
This General Election coincided with a Spring Tide. Regardless of Whitehall’s lobby-constrained incapacities, our coastal communities know very well that major shifts in all our lives will be needed.