The Labour Party Has won the Oldham and Saddleworth with a majority of
Labour: 14,718 (42.1%)
Lib Dems: 11,160 (31.9%)
Conservatives: 4,481 (12.8%)
UKIP: 2,029 (5.8%)
BNP: 1,560 (4.5%)
Green Party: 530 (1.5%)
Monster Raving Loony Party: 145 (0.4%)
English Democrats: 144 (0.4%)
Pirate Party: 96 (0.2%)
Bus Pass Elvis Party: 67 (0.1%)
The 2010 result was
Labour 14,186 31.9 −10.7
Lib-Dem 14,083 31.6 −0.5
Con 11,773 26.4 +8.7
t BNP 2,546 5.7 +0.8
UKIP 1,720 3.9 +1.8
Christian 212 0.5 N/A
I'm looking forward to Peter Black and Subordinate Centre commenting because I am certain they and every other LibDem Bloggers will be trying to spin that they vote held up. But less be realistic this was a By-election that was called after the Labour candidate was accused of Dirty tricks this should have been a walkover for them .
However much they will try and claim that they did better than expected and thier vote held up it is already clear this was because of the collapse of the Conservative vote who lost nearly 7000 votes in an election where they were also close in 2010.
Obviously we do not know these votes went , but it has been claimed that the Conservatives fought a lackluster campaign in order to ensure the Lib-Dem vote didn't collapse for fear that a humiliated this party and they would then would turn on Nick Clegg and the whole idea of being in coalition.
It is highly probable that most of the lost Tory votes went to the Lib-Dems and that this helped the latter them from a even bigger embarrassment.
I am sure many will think that the Lib-Dems deserve their second place over their betrayal when we consider their betrayal over tuition fees etc. But we must remember the reason why the By-election was called the individual Labour candidate Phil Woolas has been punished in that he is no longer a MP but many more Labour members were involved in the disgraceful dirty tricks and they deserved to lose the seat.
However the voters of Oldham and Saddleworth faced with the option of a Lib-Dem party that has betrayed it's principals for Ministerial cars did not think so. In Wales and Scotland they would have had a choice of Progressive parties in Plaid and the SNP they clearly did not feel they had the option here in another party.
What is clear is that the Lib-Dems in Oldham and Saddleworth were dependent on the Conservatives sacrificing themselves but I doubt they will continue to do so in the long run, and when it comes to the crunch will hang them out to dry.