I just watched the first two announcements. Labor win both.
In the second, Labor got 16,000 and Conservatives 13,000. But two parties, Brexit and UKIP got enough votes that together they and Conservatives got way more than Labor.
Seems like they split the vote to give Labor a seat.
“It’s looking like a conservative landslide.”
But then there is your post. My concern was a split vote that did exactly what you described.
That was once an extremely safe Labor seat. These were solid working-class labor constituencies since the 1930’s.
What happened was that Brexit (probably) appealed to old Labor voters in a way that the Conservatives could not. Labor, the party, contrariwise betrayed these old Labor voters by opposing Brexit.
Re Labor vs Conservatives, we are talking a century of bad blood and tribalism by social class that are vastly more significant than in the US. Orwell’s “Wigan Pier” scale of bad blood. Voting conservative, its a tough sell.
Brexit as a party and an issue moved these people, up to a third of them, away from Labor by giving them something proletarian they could vote for.
Farage and the Brexit party did good. Without winning a seat they reorganized British politics.