Did the Tories do well in the North?
Cameron says they did, so I went and calculated the numbers of seats changing hands by standard government region:
South East - Con +240, Lab -105, LD -84
South West - Con +181, Lab -43, LD -55
East - Con +125, Lab -47, LD -57
East Midlands - Con +102, Lab -121, LD +2
West Midlands - Con +105, Lab -55, LD -39
North West - Con +82, Lab -48, LD -27
Yorkshire - Con +36, Lab -15, LD -13
North - Con +25, Lab -56, LD -11
I think that is a bit of a pattern - 62% of the Tory gains were in the 3 southern-most regions, grossly inflated by large numbers of gains in districts with tiny wards where they were in straight fights with the LDs and which have absolutely no relevance to the next General Election - that's why they suddenly picked up another 500 gains during Friday afternoon as these areas counted.
Just 15 of these kind of councils accounted for 240 - 27% of the Tory gains nationwide:
Bournemouth (23), New Forest (11), North Devon (12), North Somerset (18), North Wiltshire (16), Shepway (16), South Norfolk (20), South Oxfordshire (10), Tonbridge & Malling (12), Torbay (16), Uttlesford (14), Waverley (25), West Berkshire (9), West Wiltshire (9), Windsor & Maidenhead (19).
Where there were Tory gains in the north they were concentrated in a handful of councils with a rural or suburban character or special issues like the Blackpool casino bid:
1 council - East Riding - accounted for 18 of the 36 gains in Yorkshire (50%)
3 councils - Blackpool (13), Ribble Valley (8), South Ribble (24) accounted for 45 of 82 gains in the North West (55%)
This wasn't the Tories making a broad thrust into the territory they need to win the General Election - it was a massive coming home by their core vote in the deep south, a very patchy performance in marginal areas (notably good in North Kent and the East Midlands) and rubbish anywhere urban.