The Campaign Spot

Explaining Red and Blue in Recent Elections

Over in the Corner, Ian Murray, who I’m following on Twitter, notes that in local council elections, “the map of England is turning blue” — meaning widespread Conservative victories. One of my friends, newly moved to the U.K., wondered why, on media election maps, Labour is red and Conservatives are blue, an inversion of each party associated with the left-of-center and right-of-center parties here in the United States.

It seems there’s a new pattern: The exhausted, directionless incumbent party with a hapless leader, disappointed grassroots and an utter inability to deal with a hostile press is signified by red, the opposition party that has few real ideas, recites meaningless happy talk, and doesn’t really deserve to win but will anyway is signified by blue.

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