A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Friday, July 20, 2007

By-election Blues

Yesterday's by-elections seem to prove a pattern. That New Labour is just ahead in a crowded field. The last straight fight by-election was years ago. I think from memory it was Widnes in the 1960's. Now it is unlikely that any party in such a contest will get more than 50% of the vote. Not only does Labour, as the governing party, face two opposition parties, the Tories and LibDems, but a range of smaller parties that can eat into majorities as well.

Yesterday saw the BNP in Sedgefield take a sizeable chunk and the Independent didn't do too badly either, both saving their deposits. And there were still 1419 voters who opted for one of the rest taking a combined 5.07%.

Ealing-Southall was an election that the media hyped, or the LibDems hyped, and BBC News24 teased us by suggesting the LibDems might win. The result was a different thing. Labour did better in Southall than in Sedgefield. The minor parties in Southall managed a combined 8.42%.

The message is that we are in a system whereby the governing party can govern on a diminishing support basis. The smaller parties are not going away. The Tories and LibDems are fighting each other as much as Labour. It's all a bit like a point-to-point race. Anything could happen!

Sedgefield result

Phil Wilson (Lab) 12,528 (44.77%, -14.11%)
Greg Stone (LD) 5,572 (19.91%, +8.02%)
Graham Robb (C) 4,082 (14.59%, +0.19%)
Andrew Spence (BNP) 2,494 (8.91%)
Paul Gittins (Ind) 1,885 (6.74%)
Toby Horton (UKIP) 536 (1.92%, +0.36%)
Chris Haine (Green) 348 (1.24%)
Stephen Gash (Eng Dem) 177 (0.63%)
Tim Grainger (Ch P) 177 (0.63%)
Alan "Howling Laud" Hope (Loony) 147 (0.53%, +0.15%)
Norman Scarth (Anti-Crime) 34 (0.12%)

Lab majority 6,956 (24.86%)
11.06% swing Lab to Lib Dems

Ealing Southall result

Virendra Sharma (Lab) 15,188 (41.48%, -7.28%)
Nigel Bakhai (LD) 10,118 (27.63%, +3.19%)
Tony Lit (C) 8,230 (22.48%, +0.91%)
Sarah Edwards (Green) 1,135 (3.10%, -1.52%)
Salvinder Dhillon (Respect) 588 (1.61%)
Dr Kunnathur Rajan (UKIP) 285 (0.78%)
Yaqub Masih (Ch P) 280 (0.76%)
Jasdev Rai (Ind) 275 (0.75%)
John Cartwright (Loony) 188 (0.51%)
Sati Chaggar (Eng Dem) 152 (0.42%)
Gulbash Singh (Ind) 92 (0.25%)
Kuldeep Grewal (Ind) 87 (0.24%)

Lab maj 5,070 (13.85%)
5.24% swing Lab to Lib Dems


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