Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Eastleigh; A Victory for Democracy >

Much as been made of the result of the Eastleigh By-election and the surge in support for Ukip but there has been little made of the fact that the Liberal Democrat was elected with just 32 06% of the vote on a 52 .08% turnout
Eastleigh by-election, 2013
Liberal DemocratMike Thornton13,34232.06%-14.44%
UKIPDiane James11,57127.80%+24.20%
ConservativeMaria Hutchings10,55925.37%-13.93%
LabourJohn O'Farrell4,0889.82%+0.22%
IndependentDanny Stupple7681.85%N/A
National Health ActionIain Maclennan3920.94%N/A
Beer, Baccy and Crumpet PartyRay Hall2350.56%N/A
ChristianKevin Milburn1630.39%N/A
Monster Raving LoonyHowling Laud Hope1360.33%N/A
PeaceJim Duggan1280.31%N/A
Elvis Loves PetsDavid Bishop720.17%N/A
English DemocratsMichael Walters700.17%-0.33%
TUSCDaz Procter620.15%N/A
Wessex RegionalistColin Bex300.07%N/A
Liberal Democrat holdSwing-19.32

This of course is as nothing compared to the result in   Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber in 1992
General Election 1992: Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber[3]
Liberal DemocratSir David Russell Johnston13,25826.0−10.8
LabourDavid John Stewart12,80025.1−0.2
SNPFergus Stewart Ewing12,56224.7+9.9
ConservativeJohn Scott11,51722.6−0.4
GreenJohn Martin7661.5+1.5
Liberal Democrat holdSwing−5.3
Py is somewhat ironic that it is the Liberal Democrats the great supporters of proportional representation (PR) who are were there major  beneficiary  from this .

Of course it could be argued that if these elections were to be conducted under the Alternative Vote the Liberal Democrats would have still won

But it is not inevitable .

In Eastleigh there were 2072 vote transfer from the group of "others"   to be dispersed with and the make up of whom would go into the final vote would be unclear .

Though  it would probably be that Mike Thornton still be ahead at the final count . Would the majority of the eliminated  Tory or Ukip vote have switched to hi or would they switch between themselves.

After all we are still looking at only a few thousand votes making the differences/

In the meantime Peter Black has convinced himself that this was an epic victory and his analysis  is laughable

What is important about this victory is that it shows that the Liberal Democrats cannot be easily written off despite the best efforts of our opponents. We showed that we can still win difficult by-elections and that we can do so whilst in government. It will not be easy to prise us out of our strongholds in 2015 and if the economy shows signs of recovery at that time we may even do better than hold our own.
It was a good by-election for UKIP as well. They harvested the protest votes that have benefited the Liberal Democrats in the past, but they did not have the ground campaign to capitalise properly. That will prove their weakness as they seek to win in other elections outside of next year's Europeans.
For Labour and the Tories, it was a disaster. The Conservatives saw themselves beated into third place by UKIP in a seat that by rights they should have won. It was a verdict on Cameron but more so on the quality of their candidate. However, there are now huge doubts that the Tories can ever do enough to win an overall majority in 2015. The pressure on Cameron internally will increase and that will impact even more on his party's electability.
The real loser however was Ed Miliband and Labour. Excuses that this is not natural Labour territory will not wash. The fact is that Labour came a good second in1994 and given the economic situation and the problems faced by the two governing parties, they should have done much better.
Peter Black Friday, March 01, 2013

Well I suppose Goal Difference is everything  but the idea that a Party can lose as many votes as Peters did and only win because the right vote split  and claim a major victory is taking spin to far.


Anonymous said...

Peter Black has been the spinning the LibDem 'success story' in government for some months on his blog.

He's living in cloud cuckoo land.

What the Eastleigh election illustrates is how disillusioned the electorate is with the political and electoral system which gives them little or no choice between three parties which have failed the country for generations. That UKIP failed to get elected is testament to the fact that it not a credible alternative for most people, even in the south of England.

The lesson for us here in Wales is to have a party which does provide a real alternative.

So far Plaid has not made a convincing case, at least not convincing enough to usurp the dominance of Labour, even when it has proved itself, repeatedly, as an incompetent failure in government, both at Westminster and in Cardiff.

The SNP has succeeded in doing just that. Although Wales is not Scotland, I still feel that the lessons haven't been taken on board. I don't see the fire and passion among Plaid's AM's that I see among MSPs, with perhaps the exception of Leanne Wood.

The Party needs to select new, younger, more dynamic candidates who won't be content to sit and who have the capacity to inspire the elctorate with a vision of how Wales can succeed and overcome the problems bequeathed by generations of neglect and lack of investment.

I can think of two or three AMs who need to be deselected, and who sit on their smug backsides, even at times undermining the party by public statements in the media.

Anonymous said...

It was a pretty incredible win by the Lib Dems. You are just letting your clear dislike of them to get in the way (understandable).

And I agree with Black's analysis that Labour were the real losers. Governing parties ALWAYS have a decrease in their vote in a byelection. That was expected and that was what happened. But the voters that left the Lib Dems and Tories went to UKIP rather than Labour, which is what usually would have happened.

Anonymous said...

I think Anon 13:15 is guilty of something all of us are from time to time. We may call Labour in Wales incompetent or a failure but in reality they have simply not made the same mistakes that they have made in Scotland. They've implemented alot of tokenistic policies that are really popular, like free prescriptions. The lessons that Plaid should take on board, around party discipline, focus and organisation, are vital when it comes to winning elections without having a Welsh media. I also agree that Plaid needs to select more dynamic candidates. You can get people then that cut through the media through their sheer local presence.

Plaid has to do alot more to give people reasons to vote for them. Labour hasn't actually been that incompetent in the grand scheme of things, in the perception of the masses. Plaid needs to be an alternative to Labour, because if Labour voters switch to Plaid it effectively counts as a double vote.

As for Eastleigh it should've been a straightforward Tory win, except for UKIP.

glynbeddau said...

I doubt if the Tory vote ever goes to Labour in a big way . Usually disaffected Tories stay at home or vote LibDem this time they went to Ukip. and some LibDems who might have voted Labour stuck with the former realising that if they didn't the Tory or Ukip candidate would win.

Anonymous said...

"I doubt if the Tory vote ever goes to Labour in a big way". Much more than you think. People aren't as attached to 1 party or another as you think. IMO!