UK Labour routed at by-election

May 25th, 2008 at 1:49 pm by David Farrar

A couple of days old now, but have to mention the by-election for Crewe and Nantwich (don’t you love English place names).

In 2005 Labour won the seat by over 7,000 votes – 49% to 32%.

In the by-election, the won by almost 8,000 votes – 49.5% to 30.5%. So that is a 17% swing to the Conservatives. In 1997 Labour won it by 31% – 58% to 27%.

The highlight for me was the candidate for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, a Mr “The Flying Brick” – and yes that is his legal name. He is their Shadow Minister for the Abolition of Gravity.

In nationwide polls, the Conservatives are 14% ahead of Labour, which would give them a 76 seat majority.

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13 Responses to “UK Labour routed at by-election”

  1. Neil (556 comments) says:

    Crewe and Nantwich was 166 in the list of likely Tory gains, at 17% swing lots of Labour ministers are in the gun.
    Just shows that changing leaders is a dangerous act- look at Labour in NZ in 1990. Brown is no Tony Blair, Blair was a strong leader who lead from the front.
    Brown didn’t even campaign in Crewe during the by-election, something about “tradition” that PM’s never campaign in the by-election seat. What a laugh ! Brown sent the rest of the cabinet there. Perhaps he claims his ministers let him down.
    Labour are like Labour here, looking very tired and heading towards splitting between the Blairite-Browns and a swing back to old socialist Labour as advocated by the Compass group.
    Cameron is now showing that he is able to lead a movement thru the whole of the UK to the Tories.
    Shows how good a PM Tony Blair was.
    Oh for a by-election in a constituency seat in New Zealand, perhaps seats like Rotorua,New Plymouth and even Palmerston North.Maybe that is why Steve Maharey is warming a seat in parliament.

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  2. Barnsley Bill (977 comments) says:

    It is telling the similarities between Labour UK and labour NZ.
    A couple of old friends of mine traveled up to campaign for the conservatives and the tactics used by Labour here are almost a carbon copy of over there. Here we have the term “rich prick” over there they were using “toffs” The stories they told me of young labour dickheads following the Tory candidate around wearing top hat and tails and the politics of envy flyers were fascinating.
    The irony of this was amazing when you consider Dunwoody Junior has an entry in Burkes peerage.
    The vile and nasty campaigning along with the fact that the English feel over run and down trodden has seen the unelected scottish PM of Britain suffer two massive defeats in a matter of weeks.
    Your English doppelganger Mr Dale’s blog has made fascinating reading over the last few weeks with the London campaign and now Crewe.
    Labour UK are fortunate in the fact that they have a couple of years to regroup before the election and will probably dump the clunking fist.
    Luckily for us no such event will happen before the end of the year here. Labour NZ have left it too late to shed Clark and Cullen.

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  3. stuarts-burgers (100 comments) says:

    If we look we can see some interesting comparison’s Brown to Blair to a degree is Major to Thatcher. Both of the former leaders have a polarizing effect of the voters, the later leaders come across a very bland boring and their administrations look(ed) inept.

    Cameroon has the world at his feet in the same way Blair did two years out , if he can pick up more by election wins like this one, in the same way that Blair was able to do during the later days of the Major administration the swing to the Conservatives at a General Election will provide a greater than 76 seat majority that this by election indicates.

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  4. Barnsley Bill (977 comments) says:

    Big difference between major and Brown. major actually won an election. Whereas Brooon bottled out of holding a vote.

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  5. ghostwhowalks3 (387 comments) says:

    Boris Johnsons by election for his vacated seat is coming up .
    This Crewe seat is the 8th by election since the last general election, five of which are held by Labour and this is the 2nd loss.

    In Majors term the conservatives lost 8 seats at by elections ( out of 18). PLus Major had barely a parliamentary majority, and lost votes in the Commons constantly

    Looking at previous general elections for this seat it seems to more marginal except for the last time
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crewe_and_Nantwich_%28UK_Parliament_constituency%29

    And its the first tory win off labour since 1978

    This interesting from wikipedia for 1992 general election
    ..With opinion polls at the end of the campaign showing Labour and Conservative neck and neck, the actual election result was a surprise to many in the media and in polling organisations. The apparent failure of the opinion polls to come close to predicting the actual result led to an inquiry by the Market Research Society. Following the election, most opinion polling companies changed their methodology in the belief that a ‘Shy Tory Factor’ affected the polling.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election%2C_1992

    Could there be a ‘shy labour voter’ effect for the polling in NZ

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  6. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Ghostie: so everything’s ok with British Labour?

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  7. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    If gravity is the same seriousness then I am all for the abolition of it.

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  8. TomYum (26 comments) says:

    “…Labour Routed…” Works for me, however it is pronounced.

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  9. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    “Could there be a ’shy labour voter’ effect for the polling in NZ”

    yep, they’re about 480,000 votes shy of a win at the moment

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  10. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,811 comments) says:

    Labour is going to be wiped out in both New Zealand in 2008 and the UK in 2010.

    Nice

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  11. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Maop readinh around the Puddle and Piddle rivers is tricky, its hard to give directions through the giggle from the hysterical place names.

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  12. Ross Miller (1,662 comments) says:

    Bit like National wins Auckland Central.

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  13. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Ghostie does touch on a useful point, which may help explain the 2005 election result where some thought National would win by a point or two instead of losing by a point of two. Under MMP, the outright percentages reflect Parliament accurately, whereas the FPP Westminister system in the UK allows larger margins of victory due to local vagaries.

    In 2005, Labour’s marginal win was attributable to a couple of factors, one being Labour’s last week momentum, and secondly, Labour’s election day turnout of South Auckland.

    That 25,000 vote win by NZ Labour perhaps reflects the fact that Labour were able to successfully overcome a one or two point deficit.

    But there aren’t 400,000 plus “shy voters” in south Auckland. If Labour can’t close to within 10 points (where small parties could theoretically help Labour form a govt over National), then the reverse is likely to happen – haemorraging of support. That loss of support could go to National (to help them govern more efficiently) as well as centrist parties like NZ First or United, as it did in 2002 with National’s core vote.

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