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By-election upsets

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5129524.stm

Blaenau Gwent remains in Independent hands after Labour fail to win back the seat Peter Law took from them at the last election following the all women shortlist debacle.

And in my constituency of Bromley & Chislehurst the Tory majority is slashed from 13,000 - being one of the safest Conservative seats - to just 633 after a lot of local campaigning. Labour came a poor 4th after UKIP.

Can we infer anything from the two, or are by elections always going to bring up anomalous results?

Will either hasten Tony Blair's departure? Who, if anyone, can turn around the Tory party's fortunes?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't tend to read into by-elections. A lot of the results do depend on the popularity and personality of the contenders and not the party as a whole.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wouldn't read too much into them. Blaenau Gwent seems to be very much local issues - though I wouldn't be suprised if it remained independent after the main election. That said whilst its independent, its still held by people who are basically Labour (albeit not Blairites).

    Bromley looks more like Tory voters deciding to stay at home, as they thought the seat was safe rather than a serious threat. According to the BBC the Tories were down close to 12,000 votes, but the Lib Dems were only up 1600, with Labour down 8000. We can assume I think that some of the Labour voters went to the Lib-Dems as the party most likely to knock out the Tories, but to loose it at the General election it would need all the Labour voters to switch to the Lib Dems to overtake the Tories general election figures (assuming turnout remained the same as 2005)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd say the Blaenau Gwent result is pretty significant. It was not so long ago Labour's third safest seat (IIRC) with a 19000 majority. The issues there are mainly local but to lose a seat like this in Labour's "heartland" twice is a disaster. I'm sure people in other South Wales seats are feeling the same "abandonment" as well as in the North of England.

    It was nice to see Trish Law get a seat in the Assembly, it's about time there were more "real people" involved in politics than the faceless lawyers and businessmen/women we get now. It'll be interesting to see how her vote affects Morgan's minority government.

    Cameron really needs to sort out what he stands for, he seems like a nice enough bloke, but so did Blair all those years ago. It may sound naïve, but I have faith the British public won't make the same mistake twice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A by-election is a by-election, not much to read into really.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bromley was a combination of factors. LibDem activists are despised by their Tory and Labour counterparts, especially in by-elections the LibDems run desperate, dirty campaigns. Nothing new of course, gay LibDem MP Simon Hughes got into Parliament thanks to a homophobic campaign against the Labour candidate, Peter Tatchell. In this latest by-election in B&C the LibDems were running some bollocks campaign about the Tory candidate being on the London Assembly (you'd think experience representing the area on the London Assembly would mean he was more qualified for the job than say the LibDem candidate who is a Westminster lobbyist). The LibDems were also rattling on about the Tory candidate having worked as a barrister (funny but people that pass laws have often worked in law...) And I guess the LibDems forgot that their barrister (and leader) Menzies Campbell has 'occasional practice as Queen's Counsel in his parliamentary register of member's interests. :rolleyes:

    That said, in a solid Tory seat the Tories got lazy and ran a badly organised campaign that had little input from Tory HQ but was entirely coordinated by a local constituency that wasn't geared up to counter negative LibDem campaigning. The Conservatives will probably learn from the B&C result and perhaps ensure future by-election campaigns are more centrally organised. (It remains to be seen if Labour and Tories will sink to using the US style dirty campaigning the LibDems favour though).

    Blaenau Gwent is pretty insignificant. Basically an Independent Labour candidate won, a few local Labour grassroots were alienated by despicable all-women shortlists and they've stood up to the Labour party. It's not much more than an internal Labour party dispute, it's pretty hilarious for the LibDem leader Menzies Campbell to call Blaenau Gwent 'a complete rejection of the Labour government' when the fact that Labour lost had nothing to do with the Labour government but due to the Labour party alienating a few ardent Labour party supporters. Blaenau Gwent had nothing to do with government policy, just internal party politics.. But anyway Ken won as an Independent and rejoined Labour - if Labour can swallow their pride it might not be any different for the independent that won Blaenau Gwent.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i think the people are telling the politicians that local issues and even national issues are what concerns them the mostest.
    NOT ...invading foriegn countries and supporting right wing american agendas.
    the big parties have shit on all of us ...they could be becoming a t5hing of the past.

    the good news is ...it's not just me who is disilusioned with the fucking lot of them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But we all know that people don't vote like this in general elections - usually.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But we all know that people don't vote like this in general elections - usually.
    watch this space as they say.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    in B&C the LibDems were running some bollocks campaign about the Tory candidate being on the London Assembly (you'd think experience representing the area on the London Assembly would mean he was more qualified for the job than say the LibDem candidate who is a Westminster lobbyist).
    He lives miles away in East London- I think that had a lot to do with it. Who would want to be represented by a man who doesn't live in your area and who spends his time on other things? The LibDem guy at least was local-ish.
    The LibDems were also rattling on about the Tory candidate having worked as a barrister (funny but people that pass laws have often worked in law...) And I guess the LibDems forgot that their barrister (and leader) Menzies Campbell has 'occasional practice as Queen's Counsel in his parliamentary register of member's interests. :rolleyes:
    'Four Jobs Bob' they called him, and I think that is an entirely valid point to make in an election. The man wants to represent this constituency and apparently has already been sitting on the GLA for this area, yet he lives in East London. :confused: And he does 3 other jobs, which he intends to continue. More than enough reason to vote for the closest contender.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    By-elections are not good indications of a general election outcome, however, these are quite intereating.

    The results reflect the general public's opinion of mainstream politics. they're all the same, there isn't anything different.

    Labour has had a hammering, not surprised, everyone is fed up of this government, it's in melt down and continuing decline.
    The Conservatives won their seat which is good news but with a massive reduced majority. However, the turnout had dropped which suggests many tories stayed home and UKIP had made some decent gains. Cameron better look carefully at this result. As for the Lib Dems, they only added 1,000 extra votes, nothing fantastic with their sort of campaign. Maybe tories voted for them because Ming said he would cut income tax by 2 pence? Who knows.

    Labours commentary of this result is laughable. They criticise the conservatives for loosing a huge majority but fail to mention that they came 4th and failed to win back their seat in Wales. This suggests they dam well know they are on the way out and just don't want to admit it. Blame it on the tories again they think.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How can you say the Tories are coming in when they got less results? Come election time people will have seen right through Cameron and his old fashioned conservative friends. I dont want to live in a Conservative run country. If they win im going to Scotland or Wales!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Renzo wrote:
    How can you say the Tories are coming in when they got less results? Come election time people will have seen right through Cameron and his old fashioned conservative friends. I dont want to live in a Conservative run country. If they win im going to Scotland or Wales!

    Given that Scotland and wales are still part of the UK you will remain within a Conservative controlled country.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Renzo wrote:
    How can you say the Tories are coming in when they got less results?

    It was a by-election, the Conservatives reacted badly to well orchestrated negative campaigning by the LibDems. By the time of a general election the Tories will have recovered their comfortable majority in a safe seat like B&C. And overall polling looks good for the Conservatives, yougov puts the Conservatives on 39%, Labour on 33% and the LibDems on 18%. Of course electorally the Conservatives are significantly disadvantaged due to the underrepresentation of the South and overrepresentation of Scotland and Wales - and to a lesser extent the North as well. To win an election therefore they need to poll more than 39%.
    Renzo wrote:
    Come election time people will have seen right through Cameron and his old fashioned conservative friends.

    Sounds like wishful thinking. Brown is unpopular in much of England. Most English people are also uncomfortable with the idea of an MP representing a Scottish constituency being Prime Minister. Since Scotland has its own Parliament Brown would be making policies and decisions that have no effect on his constituents.
    Renzo wrote:
    I dont want to live in a Conservative run country. If they win im going to Scotland or Wales!

    Plenty of Tories said they'd emigrate if Labour got back in. Most never did.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    NQA wrote:
    Given that Scotland and wales are still part of the UK you will remain within a Conservative controlled country.

    Devolution my friend at least it isnt all Tory run! The Conservative Party are essentially the English party anyway. They never give two fucks about any other region.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They're officially the Conservative and Unionist Party. With the exception of the Speakers seat they are only party which stands in every UK seat
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Renzo wrote:
    Devolution my friend at least it isnt all Tory run! The Conservative Party are essentially the English party anyway. They never give two fucks about any other region.
    I'm perfectly happy for Wales and Scotland tyo have a labour run government as long as England has a conservative run one. We'll see who comes out top. Oh yes remove the barnet forumla as well. ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Plenty of Tories said they'd emigrate if Labour got back in. Most never did.
    Wasn't Peter Stringfellow one of them? Or was it Andrew Lloyd Webber?

    Either way, damn shame he didn't keep his promise :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    By-elections. Interesting things, but always analysed to death. Here's what will happen now. Labour, Tories and that other insignificant little party they call the LibDems, will make mild platitudes about how they "must learn the lessons from this result" before going back to Central London and carrying on exactly as they did before.
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