Monday, November 23, 2009

Wade through the "quiet news day" hysteria and the warning signs are still there....

"SNP hails Cameron hint over election", another bewildering headline in The Scotsman.

"Hails" is surely a bit strong for the SNP merely acknowledging the fact that David Cameron (post the Ipsos MORI poll) reckons an outright Conservative majority is not a foregone conclusion; this wasn't really that much of a hint either:
"I think, frankly, anything is better than another five years of this Labour government."

"I've never believed the next election is either a shoo-in or a foregone conclusion."

Conservative Party Leader in "Another five years of Labour is not really what we're after and don't take the electorate for granted" shocker.

And as if to prove the party faithful shouldn't take that last phrase as just a soundbyte, here's three not very impressive local government election results last Friday; a warning provided by real people actually going out (or not, as the case may be) to the polling station and not voting in nearly enough numbers for the Conservatives.

The fourth result provided even more of a puzzle:

Rossington ward, Doncaster

Lab - 637 (27%, -10)
Eng Dem - 551 (23%, +23)
Ind - 506 (21%, -22)
Ind - 420 (18%, +18)
BNP - 101 (4%, +4)
Lib Dem - 78 (3%, +3)
Ind - 76 (3%, +3)
Lab gain from Ind

So, not even a Conservative candidate here, leaving the English Democrats a free run to come within 87 votes of taking the seat from Labour? Do I smell the whiff of a bizarre pact (between a Unionist and nationalist party!) here? Or were there other local factors involved? All very strange.


wildgoose said...

Rossington (or "Rosso" to those of us who know the area) is one of those areas that traditionally would have been nearly 100% Labour.

If you remember watching kids rioting on TV during the Miner's Strike - that was Rossington Comp.

So, no, definitely no Tory candidate. The Lib Dem was also wasting his time. With Labour's abandonment of the white working classes the ward has gone independent - the people that Labour arrogantly assumed had "nowhere else to go" have just got up and left.

The English Democrats are providing them with an alternative. Realistically, the only other party that could compete would be the BNP, who market themselves as "the Labour Party your Grandad would have voted for".

So yes, just "local" factors - albeit writ large across huge swathes of working class England.

Increasingly your choice in these areas is going to be between a completely discredited Labour, the BNP or the English Democrats.

fair_deal said...

Everyone has got a bit excited by one poll, better to wait and see. My hunch is they'll be a narrowing from about 14% lead to about 10%. My hunch is the margin of error applies to this poll so the tory lead should be at 9%.

While the Tories obviously want to create a mood of 97 the electoral data doesn't yet sustain it - people certainly don't like Brown but they just haven't been sold on Cameron.

I'm one of those sad people who regularly reads the local government by-elections results on conservativehome and the general picture has not shown a groundswell towards the Tories.

O'Neill said...

"Increasingly your choice in these areas is going to be between a completely discredited Labour, the BNP or the English Democrats."

If that's the case, then I think it's a very short-sighted approach on the part of the Conservatives and LDs. If the follow that logic through then they won't be competing in many of the northern and urban English seats and almost all of the Scottish seats. Not good for democracy.