Labour has failed to win back a former stronghold in one by-election and been beaten into fourth in another.
Yup, by UKIP, my new favourite party (and, in fact, it was Farage who was standing).
Independent Dai Davies won the Blaenau Gwent seat in south Wales, which Labour lost in 2005 to Independent Peter Law when he overturned its 19,000 majority.
Hmmm, and why was Peter Law switch from Labour to Independent? As I recall, it was because Labour tried to ensure an all-woman shortlist: see how everyone loves a bit of positive discrimination (or plain old sexism as I like to call it, of the sort that is illegal under various employment acts, I believe).
Still, tall of the above is merely satisfying; it's this next bit which is rather suspect.
Meanwhile the Tories held Bromley and Chislehurst, in south-east England, but their 2005 majority was slashed from 13,342 votes to 633 by the Lib Dems.
Er, no, not really. I'll let the excellent (and prolific) Snipe explain this one.
The Tory majority was slashed by 11,000 because it was a by-election in a safe seat, the 2005 turnout was about 20,000 more voters than this time and that accounts for 11,000 Tory Votes and 8,000 Labour votes rather nicely don’t you think?
The Snipe then lays into Hazel “Squirrel faced, rat woman, shite talking” Blears rather beautifully after her pronouncement that it was a "absolute disaster" for the Tories.
When you compare these results to the last ones, the Lib Dems have increased their vote by 1,620 yet Labour’s vote has decreased by 8,316. So it would appear that only about 1 in 5 of those people who “tactically” withdrew their vote from Labour got in behind the candidate who could most likely beat David Cameron’s nominee”.
Incidentally you squirrel-faced toadying moron, the conservative candidate wasn’t nominated by David Cameron, he wasn’t on the A-List, he was chosen by his local association in a fair and democratic way. Just like you weren’t when you got on the all women shortlist.
See the Peter Law affair above.
The trouble is that this isn't actually terribly good news for the Tories. Yes, it was a safe seat, but so many people felt that they couldn't be bothered to turn out that it was close to being lost. After all it went for a recount.
One would hope that, were people so enamoured of Spam, they would have gone to the polls and shown their approval. This didn't happen.
It is hardly surprising really, since Spam has yet to announce any policies that are likely to appeal to the sort of people who live in Kent. It has all been touchy-feely shit about gay marriages, people who live and fuck in the same house and other airy-fairy wank that the government should not be getting involved in anyway. Added to this, Spam has alienated a lot of the Tory faithful, e.g. my father (and me), with his refusal active campaign against Eurosceptics.
The man is sounding more and more vacuous; one knows that he has to attempt to appeal to the vast number of voters on the NuLabour payroll, but he is in serious danger of losing stalwarts. Besides, my problem is that even if—please god!—he is a true-Blue underneath, when he gets into power and starts to implement traditional Tory policies, he will be seen immediately as a liar. If he doesn't implement them, the Tory Right will see him as a liar.
It's not an enviable position.
Me, I'm going to concentrate on my single-issue party, and maybe suggest some measures that build on the "let's leave Europe" mantra...