Half of previous Conservative voters stayed at home

Labour just won Wycombe with about 16,000 votes to my 11,000.

In 2019, there were about 25,000 Conservative voters and in 2017, 27,000: I lost 2000 voters to the LibDems over Brexit.

In 2024, even allowing for the loss of Hazlemere and the gains of Reform, that’s about half of Wycombe’s Conservative voters staying at home. That level of abstention was not survivable and is unlikely to be related to my record since 2019 or my local campaign, which was extremely active. More likely the national picture deterred our voters.

Meanwhile, the number of votes for Labour fell from about 20,000 to 16,000. I imagine that reflected losses to the Gaza candidates plus picking up former Conservatives furious with me over Brexit from the LibDems: a “loveless landslide” indeed.

I went into this election expecting to win if Conservative voters turned out. They didn’t.

It was an honour to represent Wycombe and I am grateful to everyone I worked with, but I am glad it is over. I will not stand for election again and this is a longstanding, firm and final decision. I may continue in public life some other way, but that is for another day.

More on Wycombe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wycombe_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

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