The game-changing manifesto, the galvanised youth vote a number of factors combined to create the worst Conservative campaign for decades Support our journalism by becoming a Guardian supporter or making a contribution
Youve got to love it. A political system in which theres no winner. Almost everyone, from some angle, is a loser. Nobody can work out wholl be prime minister in the morning. Everyones muttering darkly about another election in October. Weve come down to wondering whether Sinn Fin will drop its absentee policy. And all any progressive can feel is triumphant, unbridled joy. I mean, youve got to love it. Even when you hate it, youve got to love it.
What delivered this almighty blow to Theresa Mays magnificently misplaced self-belief? In no particular order or rather, I believe all these factors to be of equal importance.
1) Jeremy Corbyns manifesto
The strategically magical thing about the manifesto was ending tuition fees, which was simultaneously a brilliant, simple, persuasive bid for the self-interested allegiance of a very large and coherent body of voters, and an iteration of his authentically held belief, that tertiary education is a public good.
2) Jeremy Corbyns campaign
I read in November as part of the dazed explanation for Donald Trumps victory that stans were more important than supporters. I had to Google what a stan was: it is a wild enthusiast, an off-the-charts believer, a person who will bore the pub down. Corbyn has these, and no other British politician does. If Im honest, I read that and I still didnt believe it, but when our Wales correspondent Steven Morris said this morning: Corbyns crowd was so big in Colwyn Bay that nobody could believe that many people lived in Colwyn Bay, I thought, stans.
3) The youth vote
This is not simply about student fees: it is about Brexit; about pensions as somehow being exempt from the toxic benefits narrative; about the housing crisis; about the dovetailing of so many issues in which the status quo was seen to serve the old; about the radical, the young.
4) Voter registration among the young
From the National Union of Students; from civic tech entrepreneurs, building apps and websites of dazzling innovation; from celebrities too cautious to endorse a party but feeling it enough to push the importance of representation. One million 18- to 34-year-olds have registered to vote since the election was called. It is seismic.
5) Turnout helps
All progressive parties pin a lot of their hopes on the people who traditionally dont turn up. In the few seats that have declared as I write this, turnout has been much more like referendum levels than 2015 GE levels.
6) The Green party
They have taken a hit in vote share. Numbers in the north-east are down to the hundreds. This is because they took a moral decision to stand aside in some seats, campaign together in others, form non-aggression pacts across constituencies to prevent a Conservative landslide at any cost. The cost, to them as a party, has been pretty great. Typically, it will hit them in university towns, where their vote share was high for reason of a concentration of educated people, thinking about things. In Newcastle-upon-Tyne East, they were down nearly seven points. The very least the Labour party, and all of us, can do is to acknowledge that this was the result of decisive action on their part, and not just an unfortunate loss of interest in the environment.
7) That coalition of chaos (or progressive alliance, as we prefer to call it)
While the Greens were the only party to pursue it officially, local activists in huge numbers, from the Liberal Democrats, Labour, the Womens Equality party, the National Health Action party, worked together to maximise their chances.
8) The internet has finally done something useful
The Conservatives ran their banner ads on Facebook as usual, but this time the progressive wing came back: Crowdpac raised money for candidates and campaigns; networks built up between British progressives and Bernie Sanders campaigners, which yielded new activism in the squishy meat world; tactical voting found online organisation that turned it into tactical campaigning.
Psephologists and commentators will spend the next few days talking about technicalities and tactics: how did the SNP lose what to whom? Why didnt the Liberals bounce? When will the Conservatives turn against May? Who will seek allegiance from where, to demand what kind of dominance? But never forget that this was the power of the swarm, people in huge numbers voting in ways that even the bookies told them they never would.
And just as an afterthought: it was the worst Conservative campaign in living memory. And thats even if you remember Michael Howard.