Friday, July 20, 2007

Tories Fail to Meet Ealing Expectations

I have just seen the two by election results. This is what Tory by election manager Grant Shapps had to say about the Ealing result...

"It is usual for the party that starts in third place to end up being squeezed out of contention but in Ealing Southall, not only did Tony Lit maintain our proportion of the vote, he increased it too. During the campaign, five Labour Councillors recognised that the Conservative Party is the Party that represents modern Britain and opted to join us, meaning we now have a solid base in Southall for the first time since the 1920s. Labour's majority in Ealing Southall has been cut in half and this is the first time the Liberal Democrats have failed to win at a Parliamentary by-election from starting in second place since 1989."

The words straws and clutching come to mind. I genuinely thought the Conservatives would come a good second here, but let's not pretend this was a satisfactory result. It patently was not. But Grant is also right to point out the LibDem failure to get their by election bandwagon rolling here.

Questions will and should be asked about various aspects of the campaign, not least the candidate, whether the tactics were local enough and if all the literature was appropriate. These are questions which should be asked after any election.

Although this is not natural Tory territory most observers would reckon that in the middle of the third term of a Labour government the party ought to be able to increase its vote share by more than 0.9 per cent. We need to understand why this didn't happen.


Anonymous said...

Surely it would have served the Tories better if they had let their vote collapse and given the Lib Dems an opportunity to embarrass Labour?

Anonymous said...

Results via the er. BBC.

Sedgefield results:

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 results:

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

I couldn't possibly comment.

Anonymous said...

It seems to show that the media who criticise Menzies Campbell along with every other "informed " political commentator are simply ignored by the elctorate

Anonymous said...

The good news is that the Lib Dems will find it hard to get rid of Ming

Anonymous said...

Comical Dave does it again.And where is he when the music stops?Heading for a mud hut in Africa leaving his new hapless chairman to collect the benefits of his candidate selection.This farce has now run long enough.A jokes a joke but this one has now run long enough.Gordo should do the christian thing and call an election.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the ballot paper in Ealing had "David Camerons Conservative Party"

If so the tipping point of just laughing at the guy has been reached

Praguetory said...

Good result for Ming.

Tim F said...

'Not natural Tory territory' is a cop-out. Why isn't it natural? Too many people from ethnic minorities? Too many poor people? If so, does this presume that people from these groups won't vote Tory? So much for Dave's big tent.

The electoral successes of Thatcher and Blair were, in part, down to grunts on the ground taking the message out beyond 'natural territory'. Results such as Newcastle Central in '83 and Wimbledon in '97 show the success of this.

Also, I do agree with the winning Labour candidate that PR stunts backfired in Southall. Turncoat councillors in blue turbans? Yeeeuuucchhh...

Anonymous said...

No one to be charged over cash for honours! (see BBC)


Anonymous said...

Oh dear we are stuck with Piara Khabra Mk2 with Sharma.More neglect of Southall.There is still tension amongst the old guard and new Labour councillors I would not be surprised if you see a few more challenges to Sharma internally at the General election

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Iain, the whole thing signifies a bloody disaster. The Cameron changes are having no affect and we are looming for another disaster in Sept/Oct 2007.
Too many good conservatives are not happy because of the liberal reforms and the electorate are becoming wise to the false gobbing on issues by the Party.
A list Candidates are going to get a drubbing just like Lit.

Anonymous said...

I've often been irritated with your bias, but admire you for being honest here. If ever the Tories are to return to power honesty about the position is the prerequisite.

Ross said...

What makes the implosion of the Tony Lit campaign all the more frustrating is that if his company's donation to Labour and his photo with Blair had been known from the beginning it could have been used as a positive factor by the Tories as a demonstration that they were attracting Labour supporters.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Whilst Cameron ( Tony Blair Mk 2 ) is leader it will get worse.
He reminds the electorate of Blair. The only hope he has is to listen to the right wing of the party and formulate his policies on less tax, less government and returning freedom to us. a promise of a referendum on the EU would help.
Westminster has become so remote from the real country they have to repy on spin ( lies) to try and convince the people.

Anonymous said...

Honesty! I just wish the Conservatives and politicians and political parties could grasp this. The Ealing campaign was disgraceful and said more about the current state of multi-cultural Britain and Dave Cameron's Tories than ANYTHING ever could. Deceitful throughout - how can anyone trust any candidate again. They stand for one thing and one party one day - the next day another party, different 'things'.

Honesty again. This time 'Cash for Questions'. I cannot believe anyone ever thought ANYONE would be charged let alone stand trial. Pathetically naive.

After a day of complete and utter tosh yesterday about FALLING crime and the way forward and who smoked cannabis when, today we'll be bombarded with nonsense about Commander Yates and his failed investigation. NOTHING was ever going to happen - a time wasting exercise with the only people getting excited being politicians, hacks, lawyers and media pundits. Out here in the real world no one gives a toss because no one trusts politics and politicians, a bunch of sleazy pigs with their noses well in the trough (with some exceptions - not many though).

Anonymous said...

Yes it was a bad result-but since the high-water point of the May elections, it has been all downhill. The appalling policy of no more Grammar Schools has crippled the Party and we have found ourselves isolated from of our usual supporters. The local factor in Ealing must have been the revalations of the Candidiate having given financial support to Labour and while the undercurrents in London Asian politics are entirely unknown to me, even that must have had an impact
Sedgefield is far worse. Never was the North/South divide so clear- Ealing commanded all the news even on this blog.
I am concerned over the BNP vote especially in an area which is predominantly "white" whcih Sedgefield certainly is. I refuse to believe that there are two and a quarter racists there.The BNP intervention cost us what would have been a reasonable second but there are concerns over immigration in socio-economic groups C1,C2 and D and we are failing to address the more reasonable of those concerns.

Anonymous said...

Some of us can remember the days when MPs did not play a prominent role in by elections. eg Ilford North, Mithcam and Merton, Ashfield, Walsall North - strangely enough we won those !

Madasafish said...

I'm not surprised. As a natural Conservative I find the Party unappealing. As for it's opposition.. it's a bad joke.

It took the Labour Party 19 years to get back into power.. and about 14 of those years were under reforming leaders: Smith, Kinnock and Blair.

The Conservatives have had 10 years in Opposition and they started change -- 2 years ago.So they are about 3 years behind the Labour Party's program of the 1980s..

I find Conservative policy - what there is - confused, ill stated and frankly opposed vociferously by much of the Party.

It does not deserve to win new seats cos imo it does not give voters any reason to switch.

At least with the LibDems you get tax cuts and opposition to the war in Iraq. The Conservatives have neither.

I despair.

Bob Piper said...

I just popped in to see if those idiots who were screaming in upper case a week or so back.... WE CAN WIN THIS! NO! WE WILL WIN THIS! had returned with a mouth full of humble pie.

It may be sunny in Rwanda... but it's raining in your heart. All that's left now is for Tony Lit to hire PragueTory as his solicitor and he could face public humiliation all over again.

Tim said...

"The words straws and clutching come to mind."

This sentence and any semblance of candour is over a week late, Iain.

The damage is done, and you will never enjoy the same level of credibility again.

Newmania said...

Iain is never biased. I say don`t panic this was obviously in the middle of the Brown bounce and with an electorate that is scarcely representative of the country (although Labour would like it to be ..). The unfortunate last minute Press may not have helped but the crux of the matter is the national position.
We are in what Homer Simpson called that" Glorious period between the telling of a lie and being found out “.
Brown has somehow managed to give the impression he was not here for the last ten years and that he is a moderate almost rightish politician .I have reported on my blog that the continued purring of the left is not for nothing and subterraneously the empire is already attacking academies and privatisation of the NHS. Brown is still a socialist and he will be unable to pretend otherwise for long .The lie told to the people on the EU is starting to unravel with news that our seat at the UN and the security Council may now be occupied by a High Representative but this is not the real story.

Underneath it all is the grand lie , that taxes can be increased passengers carried and noone seems to pay . Our bloated state sector contains thousands if non jobs that brown cannot cut . OCD data tells us the state sector at 45 % is now bigger than Germany’s and Stirling will soon come under pressure . The housing market is set to “readjust “ . We have a current account deficit of 3.45 % when we should not and off balance sheet borrowing of gathering a storm for future generations. The US is looking less clever When the housing market cools the interest rates that have propped up Stirling`s stability will be gone and the magic of the having your cake and eating it will begin to evaporate .
Callaghan’s 14% inflation and Major`s ERM we will not get but at the moment Brown is living on easily borrowed credit in his party and in the country. If he was wise he would go for an early election , as things can only get worse for him and aee bound to do so,. Conservatives must resist undermining David Cameron who may need to stiffen his attack over the Summer but has the strategy right in that Conservative have to stay in the centre.
There are many reasons to be cheerful about the prospects for the future Ealing is an odd constituency at an odd time and it is to Cameron`s credit at this point that things were not worse. There is a simple fact, Brown is able to rule the Labour Party like a War Lord because the left trust that he is misrepresenting his intentions to the electorate. Such a position must be vigorously attacked and with economic wobbles ahead we will soon see that Brown is having a picnic in the eye of the storm .

Newmania said...

Piper - I always said that asking for a win was asking the impossible. With such a swing there would be no Labour Party at all. Disappointing yes but nothing to panic about.
Tim- Rubbish and do please stop sulking its becoming rather pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Iain when you view turnout and see 58% stayed away in Sedgfield, and 57% in Ealing you could tell us whether it was Conservative, or Labour voters who were not turning out.

That is surely the most salient feature - turnout below 50%

Anonymous said...

We have been sold the line by the Dave brigade that the ridiculous recet charade is necessary "to get elected".

If, as these by-elections and recent opinion polls show, Dave can't even do this, then the obvious question is: what is Dave for?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You do talk some shite Newmania.

Look guys, there's one reason why the Tories didn't win these by-elections. It's called Dave. Most people in this country don't want Blair 2.0, we're just happy to have got rid of the last one. The sooner you lot realise that, the sooner we can have some credible opposition again.

Anonymous said...

'We need to understand why this happened' easy Iain Tories=Crap, simple what more do you need to know. Goodbye David, 'The quiet man is hear to stay and he's turning up the vol.....AAAAH '
The IDS solution anytime now!

Anonymous said...

I went for a drink yesterday with my father-in-law and an old friend of his. This friend said that the thing that people don't like about the Tories is that the party seems to be full of upper-class twits. And so what do they do, they go elect an upper-class twit (or "vapid toff" according to Radio 4 yesterday) to lead them.

All Cameron has done is chase votes in the "centre" by abandoning votes (and party activists) who disagree with him.

Somehow I can't see that as being a winning strategy.

There are winning strategies out there, coming out in favour of an English Parliament would be a major vote winner for example, but Cameron seems more interested in being a pale blue version of New Labour and just following (and reacting to) their agenda.


Cameron is a loser.

All the hard work and Councils won have been done by activists campaigning on traditional values and have nothing to do with Cameron.

The only effect he will have is to lose the next General Election to a hung Parliament, thereby handing it over to the inevitable Lib/Lab coalition.

Tim said...

I fail to see what I have to sulk about newmania... or is it your turn to just make stuff up?

The Tories got the result they deserved. Screaming 'dirty tricks' while playing dirty tricks got them nowhere.

(Psst! Check the link for yourself and count the number of people who bought was Dale was selling.)

Gordon's Gofer said...

If you had actually been on the ground you would have seen that the Tory campaign was all fluff. We had the support of the local people and we had all the local community leaders on side.


Tapestry said...

I see it different. Labour's share of the vote has collapsed in both seats, but the votes did not go to Lib Dem as much as you would expect from past experience. The Conservative vote did not stay at home as at Bromley. It was steady performance from the Conservatives.

The way to defeat Lib Dems in elections is to use the John Redwood tehnique. Lib Dems have no idea what their Party's policies are. When they find out, they stop voting. These tactics were not used in either seat as we targeted Labour, which made good media but was not the right strategy electorally.

The arithmetic is especially interesting in Sedgefield where 20% went to Others. The BNP hit 9%, but all of that has come at the expense of labour and none from the Conservatives.

If the BNP are able to operate in more seats, they could eliminate labour's Parliamentary majority without winning a single seat.

The untold story of all polls is the growth of 'others'. They have gone from 8% in 1990's to around 16% now. The reason Brown might go early is to preempt the collpase of his vote in favour of 'other' parties, to which his party seems far more vulnerable than we do.

Chin up chaps.

Anonymous said...

Dave is the worst leader the Tories have yet had. He even manages to do the impossible and make Iain Duncan Smith look charismatic in comparison.

Anonymous said...

I just dropped by to do a bit of gloating and see how hurt the Tory boys are this morning.
Can you people get nothing right?

I mean the candidate had "wide boy" written across his forehead and you also made the mistake of overplaying him.

But which of you Tory boys and girls feel a General Election coming on? From Brown's perspective it is beginning to lok tempting.

Anonymous said...

'But Grant is also right to point out the LibDem failure to get their by election bandwagon rolling here.'

Come on Iain, you're clutching at straws here too. This is bad argument. This was billed as a race for second spot. You thought you'd get it easily, but you got beaten. Simple as that. This is an excellent result for the Lib Dems, which demonstrates the weakness of Dave Cameron.

Anonymous said...

Even if callmedave were to win at the GE which I doubt, it wil not do the Tories any good because he would be a weak version of Ted Heath! He would Inherit an economy in meltdown and the Unions would cripple his reforms (if he makes any) from the get go! The pursuit of power for the sake of power alone will not solve anything! Surely any true Tory can see that it is far better to wait for the economic meltdown and social unrest that WILL follow and if that means giving Gordon Brown another term then so be it! The electorate has to be shown the FULL price of 10yrs of socialist rule! They have to have their noses rubbed in the mess before the full truth of what Bliar & McBrown has done to the UK is understood. Meanwhile the Tories must throw out all the leftwing/liberals and concentrate on what they are trusted for and that is rightwing principles of the free market and personal freedom from the "soviet" state suffocation of our national identity!
Gordon Brown has made his economic bed now let him lie in it!

Anonymous said...

These results are bad for David Cameron and the Tories more generally. Sedgefield shows that without much of a campaign, the Tory vote does not move, even when the MP has shown that he never cared about his constituency, and would rather than been PM without one.

Ealing shows that with a large campaign, when you won the council spectacularly last time, when you can get councillors to defect to you, when you have a fleet of brand-new cars with loudhailers, you still can't get real people to vote for you.

And don't forget Bromley last year. Yes, the Tories held on, but only just. You should have won by miles. The by-election evidence shows that David Cameron's Conservatives are not connecting at all, in new areas, or in areas where the Tories are strong.

A real think is needed about where you go from here.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Cameron hater but as a life long Conservative, I find these results depressing.

We just should be doing better at this stage in the third term of a Labour Government. To delude ourselves otherwise is just denial.

Cameron has tried hard but I am really beginning to doubt if he has it in him to offer any substance rather than simply style (of which he obviously has much).

No other Tory leader has been seen as irreplaceable and Cameron should be no exception

Chris Paul said...

These are fantastic results for Tom Watson and Hilary Armstrong and Gordon Brown. Brilliant for Labour and predictably useless for the Tories (though the guy in Sedgefield impressed in both his speech and in nailing the Lib Dems and BNP in his interviews).

The Lib Dems could hardly have been worse really when playing their joker in their specialist subject.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Good Lord, Iain. The Tories won handsomely in the local elections - let the policy work come through and remind the electorate that the failure in the NHS, Education, Pensions, housing, transport etc is Brown's failure. If the dopes in the headbanging wing of the party were persuaded to shut up, then it would be helpful. Reminding Ken Clark that he came nowhere in the leadership election might be a good idea too.

Hughes Views said...

Reason to be cheerful Iain. Virendra Sharma is fifteen years older than you. There's still just about time for you to find a winnable seat...

Anonymous said...

How long will it take to sink in that Old Etonians and media entrepreneurs are not going to change Tory fortunes? We have had a sea-change in politics, and Dave is going to join the long list of ex-leaders of the Conservative Party pretty soon (when he loses the next General Election in the spring of 2008).

Anonymous said...

Unsurprisingly there are already calls to ditch Cameron. If people believe that by electing a replacement(is there one at present ? - it sure ain't David Davies or Ken Clarke they'd bomb just as badly if not worse with the electorate the Conservatives need to attract)it's madness so near a possible General Election. Having said that if Gordon wins Cameron will join the already long list of Conservatives leaders who have been unable to make inroads against the worst government in living memory and the Conservative party may as well wind itself up with half joining the LibDems and the rest UKIP !

Anonymous said...

The feedback from the doorsteps seems to be that people are not taking the Tories seriously enough at national level. Yes we have done well in the locals - but LibDems have been doing quite well in local for years in pockets of the country, yet they have failed to make this jump at a national election.
Sedgefield was never going to turn Blue, agree. But in Ealing we should have been a (very) close second. Instead we were way off.
They fault does not really lie with the candidate, how many people even at by-elections know their local candidate (although giving Blair a donation some weeks back couldn't have helped!). Dave is not being taken seriously as he (I am a life long tory member, so dont call me NuLab) apprears to have no clear policies. Instead of messing about we must must must get some clear policies - say a handful of clear policies which we can use on doorsteps. At the moment when people ask what do we stand for.... I am lost for words. Even I have no idea what the Tory party under Dave actually stands for.
Is this just my feeling, or is it shared?

Anonymous said...

gs-The local elections were fought by local Conseratives on local issues and DIDN'T have the luxury of dave's name on the ballot paper.

Anonymous said...

Anon-9.20.Didn't realise the Member for MONMOUTH had leadership ambitions-YET!

Madasafish said...

"Even I have no idea what the Tory party under Dave actually stands for"

Don't feel lonely. You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.22

Actually the ballot papers did have DC's name on them. According to the ballot paper, Tony Lit is a member of "David Cameron's Conservatives"

Newmania said...

Oh for god`s sake what a lot of ululating women. We saw the polls at the weekened we know there is a Brown bounce and we know DC has to adjust his attack. There is no news here . This seat is not where the GE will be fought .
It is fought in the marginals where Davids strategy is the only one we can follow.
Brown`s Honeymoon will soon be over and we will get back to the real world in the Autumn.

Anonymous said...

Anon-9.38-The LOCAL elections in MAY!

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

As someone experienced with politics in Southall I was surprised to see Cameron paying so much attention to the bye-election. Its very much a no hope seat for them. It was a case of misplaced political capital on his part.

I hope there was close scrutiny of the elections. The area is known for its political "shenanigans."

Anonymous said...

Ease back folks newmaniac is about to bust a gut.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for insight on the Ealing Southall result I suggest you compare the list of candidates names with the demographic profile of the constituency available at:
White British - 36.44%
Asian or Asian British: Indian - 28.17%
Whilst the hot election topic seems to have been which party best represented the turbaned Sikhs the rest of us were left to decide whether an enviro-loony or just an all round loony would have our interests at heart.
If the Tory Party must obsess itself with 'communities' perhaps it should remember a 'community' that was largely sidelined.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.42

Ahh sorry, my mistake.

Anonymous said...

I hope those 5 Lab councillors who defected to the Tories during the Ealing campaign now have their hearts torn from their traitorous chests.

Anonymous said...

madasafish hits the nail on the head really. I'm basically a Tory but the Conservative party is just so inept I think I may find it hard to vote for unless they get their act together sharpish. I had hopes for Cameron but he is turning out to be exactly the kind of empty suit that people said he was. There really is no reason to vote Conservative apart from the ghastliness of Labour and that will not be enough for most people. The Conservatives are in danger of becoming a kind of British Fine Gael - a party of permanent opposition which takes two steps back every time it takes a step forward.

Tapestry said...

Cameron used the by-election to get maximum media of his 'we're the next government' narrative. He achieved this objective. The media needs theatre, and this was a great media opportunity which Cameron seized with both hands.

Conservatives would have done better in the seat by targeting Lib Dems and trying to make second rather than third, but that's not the narrative we are basically trying to put around the nation, and whatever we get in safe labour seats is pretty irrelevant.

This was amedia strategy not an electoral strategy by cameron, and thanks to Tom Watson it was stunningly effective.

The only arithmetic that was interesting really was the 20% achieved by 'others' in Sedgefield. labour's vote fell from majority of 18000 to 7000, with LDs only geting 2000 extra votes. The damage was done by BNP and by Gittins an Independent.

That would be enough to worry Gordon Brown and deflect him from a quick general election. The support from his own side is looking remarkably brittle.

Anonymous said...

WHY WHY WHY would anyone vote for the tories.

It's not just the non-existent policies, it is, more importantly, a lack of a cohesive VISION.

What do the tories stand for !!!!

Tapestry said...

From ananlysis on Politicalbetting.

In Sedgefield the net Labour to Conservative swing is 7.3%. We often forget to include the Labour drop in the swing (-14.1%). In ES the Conservatives have had a net swing, Labour to Conservative, of 4.2%. Labour’s drop is -7.5%.

Usually the Conservatives are hugely squeezed by the Lib Dems at by elections, but this time it failed, as the Conservative vote actually increased as a percentage in both constituenices. These are in fact the best Conservative by-election results in more than a decade. For example, this is a huge improvement on Bromley, just last year.

Anonymous said...

A truly shocking result for the Tories, however you look at it. The message, such as it is, is just not getting across.
I suppose we're stuck with Dave and probably another 10 years in opposition. If the Tories can't do better than this after Labour's 10 years of tax and waste, they've no chance. A truly depressing outcome.

Peter from Putney

Anonymous said...

"Piper - I always said that asking for a win was asking the impossible. With such a swing there would be no Labour Party at all."

err but that's what happens in by elections, isn't it? Peter Snow's graphic shows the governing party with one MP left if the swing were repeated across the country.When the Tories were in power they would often suffer such by election losses.The Tories in opposition are getting their vote squeezed in by elections and haven't yet come close to taking a Labour held seat.The conclusion is obvious...

Anonymous said...

This is a sad indictment of Dave's 'new' party, and we should stop all modernising, which is clearly out of touch with the electorate, and get back to the election-winning juggernaut that the conservatives were under Hague and Duncan Smith, when we spoke about real issues that real people cared about, like how much we dislike immigrants.

Newmania said...

err but that's what happens in by elections, isn't it?

Has been known but the "New " Brown factor has reset the clock for now and we are not ., in effect , mid term. Tapestry has balanced view . I can`t see how it was ever going to be a lot better than this at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Grim result for the Tories, and no mistake. Best thing we can do is 'fess up and move on.

Graham Robb, the Sedgefield candidate, makes the point on his blog that he declined to follow once the LibDems' campaign went negative in the final week.

I wonder if it's time to stop "love-bombing" the LDs and get back to business as usual?

Anonymous said...

Tapestry - "Cameron... was stunningly effective"

Hahahahaha. Priceless.

Anonymous said...

"Cameron used the by-election to get maximum media of his 'we're the next government' narrative. He achieved this objective."

Oh? being pushed into third place in Sedgefield and coming third in Ealing is all part of Cameron's narrative? I thought 'we are the next government party' usually win by elections, something like this?

Dudley West 1994 Labour win from Tories on a 28% swing
South East Staffs 1995 Labour gain from Tories on a 22% swing
Wirral South 1996 Labour gain from Tories on a 17% swing

Anonymous said...

Spot on Iain, how can the Tories claim progress and use the defence of "we've been this bad since 1989"? They still do not stand for anything other than protest, and the BNP, etc do that just as well as the Tories.
In addition, if you look at Labour the SNP and Lib Dems' successes recently - organisation and running a campaign are the keys - the Conservative machine needs to be better run, maybe not to Blair's level of centralisation, but at least so it appears to be one party. Pre-97, even the left were publicly behind Blair; now all it takes it one comment and a split reappears.

Anonymous said...

The tories dropped from second to third in Sedgefield !

It was a disastrous night for Cameron.

Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting but I'm confused by Newmania's comments.

Why a mid-sized town in central Scotland should come under pressure because of the size of the state sector is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

The good people of Ealing and Southall have spent years NOT voting for "The Conservative Party".

It must have been a pleasant surprise to see, from the ballot paper, that they now had the opportunity NOT to vote for "David Cameron's Conservative".

Anonymous said...

Put David Cameron into any situation and he thrives. He relates to people in a way that few other politicians can. He doesn't have that awkwardness which Gordon Brown suffers from. Like Margaret Thatcher, he has a way of flirting with the camera.

Stunningly well-timed Telegraph article today Iain. Just one minor problem for your starry-eyed vision - "Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives" won elections. I wonder why that was. Something to do with principle, perhaps?

Nich Starling said...

Grant Shapps said

"It is usual for the party that starts in third place to end up being squeezed out of contention"

Ignoring the fact that just 15 minutes before he said this the third placed Lib Dems in Sedgefield had just moved up to second place showing his whole argument to be a load of old bunkum.

I wronte on my blog this morning tha the best thing that can be said aboutr Grant Shapps is that he talks a lot. I stand by this.

Newmania said...

ahem and ooops ....Sterling I mean.

Sir-C4' said...

This is why we lost and why are always losing

Wake Up Iain Dale! Wake Up Iain Dale! David Cameron is our problem.

Anonymous said...

I live a Conservative - Labour marginal and voted for Thatcher all the way. I stopped voting Conservative the day they stabbed Thatcher in the back. I don't really regard myself as a Conservative any more than I think she was - she was a radical free-market libertarian. Conservatives are people like Heath, Clarke, and Cameron.

Ealing was a triumph for the left before a single vote was cast. No matter what party you voted for, you were guaranteed a left-wing MP who believes in higher taxes and state expropriation of private wealth to fund welfare handouts to worthless scum, in a police surveillance state, in selling us out to Brussels, and in England's being ruled by a coterie of Scots. Exactly what colour rosette the socialist statist victor happened to wear was a bit of an irrelevance.

Thatcher recognised that if you position yourself on the right, the centre ground by definition moves rightwards. Labour then positioned itself on the centre ground which Thatcher had moved well to the right of where Labour had always previously been. Cameron does not get this and simply prefers to surrender. He will be yet another failed Conservative leader.

I think the Conservative party has outlived its usefulness.

Anonymous said...

"LIT UP EALING SOUTHALL", nice little earner Iain.

As least "Team Cameron" achieved one thing, it actually managed to get you on the ethnic sound bite tour of East Africa: something that only a handful of Tory MPs were prepared to do

Anonymous said...

It's a pity about the results - I notice that UKIP vote was small - a pity there too. However UKIP's small vote means that the Cameroons cannot blame the 'right' for the abysmal performance.

Unfortunately in trying to get a more personable leader the Party seems to have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. The saddest thing will be that we are stuck with Dave until we loose the next election. And that is a depressing thought.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Dave Chamberlain's "Notting Hill" clique whispered in the ears of their chums in the MSM about the short-comings of the previous leaderships. - How they were extreme and far too right wing to win. How there was a rainbow of middle ground voters bursting to vote for a modern fresh face Conservative.

The country had just woken up to Blair. The very last thing that anyone wants is another Blair.
Chamberlain was extremely lucky that the BNP didn't knock him into 4th at Sedgefield. Ealing's only a few miles from Notting Hill yet the Big tent doesn't work on their own doorstep.

Chamberlain really is useless. But the poor handling of Mr Lit, the leaks, the fact that the oppo always seem to be 2 steps ahead, makes me think that more than just incompetence is to blame.

Their is a traitor(traitors) deep in the heart of Conservative HQ.

Get Peter Wright out of retirement: its time for a bug sweep and lie detector tests to be brought in.

A clean sweep of the party particularly the lazy Press officers who never seem to bother getting counter stories on the news wires at all these days.

There is something rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark and its got fuck all to do with being "too right wing".

Anonymous said...

Ha, Ha, Ha! Ha, Ha, Ha! Ha, Ha, Ha! Ha, Ha, Ha!

you're ripping yourselves apart, the schandenfreude is so sweet!

I'm gonna go donate some money to Cornerstone MPs to make sure they can make the 23rd and fatal stab.

Old BE said...

What is a "community leader" and who is mine?

Do they tell their "communities" how to vote? I thought humans had their own minds to use to decide who to vote for or are some people really that easily influenced? I doubt it somehow.

Anonymous said...

GS said...

Good Lord, Iain. The Tories won handsomely in the local elections - let the policy work come through and remind the electorate that the failure in the NHS, Education, Pensions, housing, transport etc is Brown's failure July 20, 2007 9:14 AM

This is a joke… right. No GS over the next few years the Tories gains at local elections will NOT “work through”. Tory gains at local level will see those councils seeing their local services slashed in the name of low Council Tax rises. Examples, it is Tory councils introducing unpopular forthrightly refuse collections, it is Tory councils who are selling off social housing, it is Tory councils that are obstructing the building of more housing in their districts , it is Tory councils that are closing special schools etc etc etc.

Take Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham a Tory run Council. Sutton is totally blue, 12 out of 12 councillors all Blue noses. Biggest issue in the ward, low cost housing for people from the Sutton area. Guess what; every plan to build some homes on brown sites is rejected by the Tory Council. Sutton Coldfield also had it only swimming pool closed; Sutton Coldfield has also been swamped with inappropriate shopping and road developments, all opposed by locals. My point being that even in a Tory stronghold at local level you still shit on your own. And while all this cash has been spent in Sutton the rest of Birmingham has seen its services slashed.

My tip for the future GS Tory run Birmingham City council returning to Labour in the next local elections

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Ed said...
"What is a "community leader" and who is mine?"

-I am your community leader and I claim my £50 prize and MBE from my local council.

By the way I've just told the local press how angry you are athat the facilities (my office)for the local community are not up to scratch.

Anonymous said...

Can't you see that it was when you did stab thatcher in the back over Europe that the Tories began to die in the eyes of the people.

Newmania said...

Ah yes good old Labour bulding all those new houses in the South I wonder why that would be ...
The Prime Minister trumpets his plans to build three million houses by 2020. What he omitted to mention is one million of these will be for new immigrants, not for existing immigrants who are now a valued part of our community, but for new immigrants." ...
Nicholas Soames, Tory MP for Mid Sussex, told a Westminster Hall debate

If the South wont vote for you , get a new South in.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid the Conservative 'brand' is still a bit contaminated for some of us floating voters- middle class, liberal, high earning- we still can't bring ourselves to voting Tory, and end up either not bothering, or voting Lib-Dem.

When are you lot going to realise the voting system now works against you?? STV now you dolts, and you'll have the Orange booker Liberals with you quicker than you can say Jack Robinson. And... a liberally minded capitalist government would be in power for 2-3 terms plus!

Anonymous said...

'Cameron' relates to people in a way that few other politicians can. He doesn't have that awkwardness which Gordon Brown suffers from.'

I've met Cameron and talked with him. Had to smile at this comment. I found Cameron totally aloof and a very very long way up his own posterior. Didn't stop me betting successfully that he's win the Tory leadership, because I knew the party wouldn't resist the charm, but with hindsight I realise that he was a an aloof old Etonian Tory toff. The Tories don't stand a cat's chance in hell of winning with him in charge.

Anonymous said...

All Cameron has done is chase votes in the "centre" by abandoning votes (and party activists) who disagree with him.
Somehow I can't see that as being a winning strategy.

It worked for Blair, three times in a row.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm a Labour member, so you dismiss this out of hand if you wish, but I think the Tory performance in Southall did show all the reasons why your party is not going to win an election any time soon.

Firstly - no substance. People forget that Blair picked Clause IV because it was the very hardest thing to do. It had wrecked Gaitskill's leadership and nobody - not even John Smith - had tried to fiddle with it since. If Cameron were serious he'd make a big play on Europe or try to outflank Labour on health or private schools (ending charity status?). Fiddling on the margins on grammar schools doesn't cut it - you have to show that the change is deep and fundamental.

All glitz - Tony Lit was a fake Tory and everyone knew it. Big mistake because it left him tarnished. I'm sure he's a good bloke (though possibly a bit thick) but the electorate know when someone is at it.

No issues - what, exactly, was going to happen if Tony Lit got elected? Never communicated.

Poor judgement - played communalist politics in a way that will destroy Ealing Tories. All for short term gain and the electorate could see that. Really quite disgusting really (cf Sayeeda Warsi).

Cameron is all you've got, which is your problem and my joy.

Wildgoose said...

"It worked for Blair, three times in a row."

Blair took his activists with him.

He dropped electorally unpopular policies like nationalisation and unilateral nuclear disarmament but promised his party "social justice" and a bigger role for the Unions.

All Cameron has done is oppose vote-winning policies whilst promising to be just a pale blue/green version of New Labour.

If you can't get a cigarette paper between all 3 main parties, why bother voting for any of them? And for proof of that assertion, just look at the rise in the vote for "other" parties.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, Caroline Spelman was dreadful on the Today Programme this morning, banging on about the 5 defections as if they cancelled out 2 dire by-election performances.

Or perhaps the Tories plan to regain power not through the ballot box but through defections from Labour and LibDem MPs. It all seems rather reminiscent of a football manager planning to win a match through own goals.

jailhouselawyer said...

Yesterday on the BBC News there was a reference to Barack Obama admitting that he had smoked blow (cocaine). Today the Torygraph refers to "Election blow for Cameron". I cannot help but wonder if there is any connection...

SPAM ALERT said...

I fear the Tories chose the handsome, slick presenting, media friendly option just at the time when the public had got fed up with this and seem to quite like the stuttering, dull, boring (and perhaps reliable) option, even if he has spent 10 years robbing many of us blind. Perhaps they should have stuck with IDS all along.. Very depressing for anyone hoping for any chance of real chance from the cycle of tax and waste that now looks certain to escalate after Labour get their next election mandate.

Roger Thornhill said...

I did think the Conservatives had a good chance to win this. It was theirs to loose, I said, and they have lost it. It was not a very pretty couple of weeks. That, and Tony Lit(e) looked a bit shifty.

The Lib Dems might have done better had their candidate not appeared to be a chump, but then again...Lib Dem.

I could have sworn I saw a BNP knucklescraper on the Ealing ballot paper...

Still, I hope Labour would be magnanimous and permit John Cartwright (Loony) to carry out his portfolio in a coalition as Minister for Chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen cchq's usual "were very relaxed" statement so far.

James Higham said...

It's quite simple, Iain.

Just look at David Cameron's performance so far. Run a checklist.

Is there no other talent in the party or anyone of stature?

The problem is in DC's preselection by the same powers promoting Gordon and then, in a more orthodox arena, by the branch and national preselection process which cuts out talent.

He doesn't convince the electorate because he shifts position so often - top Tory leaders have always known what they were about and were able to communicate it to the people.

He can't. Nice enough chap but he's not going to win anything.

That's why the move should be made NOW. Not in two weeks or two months or prior to the election.

Now. So the Tories will have half a chance and so ALL Tories can get behind their leader with confidence.

Anonymous said...

Do I presume that the turnout is higher in both by-elections yesterday than in the last GE.

Anonymous said...

"On the Tony Lit front, I doubt whether the donation has lost him a single vote."

Iain Dale - 15/7/07

How now???

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the sight of Grant Shapps ponsing around Ealing in his porshe really helped to convince voters there both that the Tories have changed and that they understand and represent their views. The backbiting from the right of the Party (which seems only to get excited about Europe and giving tax breaks to well-off married couples) can only have added to our appeal in the last month.

W.W. said...


The problem with the Tories, is they seem to have no one else of even the remotes calibre capable of leading the party.
Tony Blair 2.0 is that really the best we can do, just when the country have had their fill of used car salesmen.

Ken Clarke anyone?

I worry I really do.

Imagine if they got less seats than they do now at the next election, not such an impossible idea.

What to do, what to do.


Anonymous said...

Much that was good about these campaigns has been lost in the appalling background checking of our candidate and, once again, in the disasterous mismanagement of expectations

In B&C CCHQ were told before the campaign started that the result would be tight due to Eric Forth's good personal vote and the collapse in the Labour vote in the local elections a few weeks earlier. With the Conservatives on 24,000 and the LD's & Labour sharing 20,000 votes in 2005 the local view was that it would be down to a few thousand majority.

Instead of managing expectations the next five weeks saw the press briefed that our vote share would go up, that this result would be a vindication of David Cameron and that B&C was safe.

Little wonder then that Conservative voters would not abandon their Barbeques or Winbledon to vote or that holding the seat, despite the total collapse of the Labour vote, was regarded as a disaster for the Party.

In Ealing Southall, starting in 3rd place, we were facing obliteration.

We picked an attractive high profile candidate who immediately got good media attention - tragically (and unforgivably) he had not been checked out properly and this rebounded.

But the main problem was once again expectations, having got a good candidate we got carried away with briefing that we might win. When we didn't the modest increase in our vote share from a 3rd place start looked a failure - when actually it was quite an achievement.

I echo the sentiments above - by-elections require seasoned political camapigners working to an agreed strategy, not the part time leadership of MP's who, however good their own campaigning skills might be, lack the time to be completely hands on and possibly the will to report accurately the problems with our campaigning when those problems lie with our policies or with the image of the leadership.

C- must do better

Anonymous said...

Tony Lit-I said last week that when your candidate becomes 'the issue' you are buggered.Having seen him interviewed on TV afterwards he didn't seem to be able to string two words together.

Unless the Tories learn the lessons from this they may as well give up now...

Anonymous said...

Odd isn't it that the people who want to stop DC doing his modernising bit are all members/supporters of other political parties? Or is that not the case as I think it is?

Anonymous said...

Blair took his activists with him.

No. Labour's membership has fallen from almost half a million in 1996 to 170,000 now. Labour has lost millions of voters in safe seats. You can see if you look at the trend in turnout at elections since 1992. Millions of people have stopped voting.

Tapestry said...

There are lessons to be learned.

It was Francis Maude's decision to run with Lit and ignore the local party. His tenure as Chairman has now ended, so presumably the new Chair would approach the selection of candidates more sympathetically to the Constituency, and less for the image requirements of Head Office.

If Lit was a mistake, he has acquired an excess of media exposure for himself and David Cameron. The result has been average, only a 4.2% swing from labour to Conservative but unlike at Bromley Conservative support held up well, and the Lib Dems achieved little. they trumpet their tiny crawl into second place at Sedgfield, but if that's the measure of the current Lib Dem by-election threat, then really they are big decline.

If we choose better candidacy and don't undermine local activists in future, we could do even better.

Labour were really stuffed at Sedgefield. Majority down from 18,000 to 7,000 - losing out to minor parties and others. That is the biggest story here, that Labour's support is so brittle. Conservative support has held up well despite the approach taken by Francis Maude. It's quite encouraging overall, once you look into the detail and don't jump into despondency from the media narrative, which ignores the main story.

Anonymous said...

House prices are still rising.

So long as property prices keep rising, Labour have a lock-down on government. Enough people are content and besides the Tories aren't promising anything that different...

Anonymous said...

The literature had spelling mistakes, was poorly written and had typo's.

The office was poorly run.

Newmania said...

anon if you look back to my post in which I mispelt Sterling somewhat pitifully you will see that House prices are due for readjustment outside London and there are numerous problems building.
I `m not sure how the timing of this will work but it has been plausibly suggested that we might like Brown to carry the blame for the oncoming difficulties.

I think you are right though the groth in the economy and welll funded services make it look as thought we are having our cake and eating it .Its all perception but it is a desperately difficult hurdle for Cameron to overcome now Blair has gone .

That is the key point about politics where we sit now .We know at least that our time will come at some point

Anonymous said...

as others have pointed out there are positives to take from the ealing result.

Ming at the helm of a slowly sinking ship suits Conservatives just fine. Labour seemingly clinging on to power by its fingernails projects an air of desperation.

if anybody has been to Southall they'll know that it is dominated by the backroom deals of fickle minorities and the whiff of corruption and fraud. i'm a resident so i can tell you this firsthand. unless the lot of them decided to jump on a Tory bandwagon there's not much chance of change here.

Bob Piper said...

So many Conservatives so hateful towards David Cameron. He is your leader, rally around him, give him your 100% support. All this snarling will just show how disunited you are.

You need Dave.... we need Dave, now stop being silly and do what Iain and Newmania tell you, grovel and bow down before 'Dave'.

Anonymous said...

The Tories may have 'not lived up to Ealing's expectations' but the certainly lived up to mine.

Oh, what joy to be alive today.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Dave doesn't do well in byelection, does he? Nor in local elections either.

While the Labour vote goes down, the Tories stays the same or increases by the tiniest amount.

Anonymous said...

The Conservatives were never going to win but...

Ealing comedy anyone?

A Tory candidate who donates thousands to the Labour Party? A big deal made over town hall defections when people on the street want good schools and safe streets and couldn't give a toss about town hall politics.

Until you realise that politics is about issues that matter to the average joe, stop asking why you lost.

Anonymous said...

"Labour were really stuffed at Sedgefield. Majority down from 18,000 to 7,000 - losing out to minor parties and others. That is the biggest story here"

Dear dear dear, I have heard some riciculous spinning in my time but this takes the freakin' biscuit
Let's have some context:

Paisley South 1997 Labour vote - 13.5%
Leeds Central 1999 Labour vote - 21%
Hamilton South 1999 Labour vote -28%
Tottenham 2000 Labour vote -16%
Preston 2000 Labour vote -15%
Falkirk West 2000 Labour vote -15%
Brent East 2003 Labour Vote -28%
Hodge Hill 2003 Labour vote -27%
Leicester South 2004 Labour vote -25%
Hartlepool 2004 Labour vote -18%
Sedgefield 2007 Labour vote -14%

Note Labour won all subsequent general elections and the Tories were not in the running to win a single seat.Get that? The main opposition party has not been anywhere near winning a seat from the governing party in a by election for over 10 years? What was the story again?

Anonymous said...

speaking of Sedgefield what a nice bloke that BNP candidate and ex 'fuel protester' geezer seemed to be during the acceptence speeches, as well as his gum chewing mate..

Anonymous said...

Put it all down to the fine work of that honest, talented and young Labour MP Tom Watson.

C'mon - you can do it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh Iain,

You're just *too* big for me! Oh do behave!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Lindsay said...

Apart from the BNP in Sedgefield, everybody lost.

There could not be two constituencies less alike that Sedgefield and Ealing Southall, yet Labour managed to lose ludicrous numbers of votes (eleven thousand in Sedgefield, even without counting defections to other candidates) in both of them. That by-election turnouts are lower is one thing, but this is just ridiculous.

It could not now be clearer that in areas as different as these two, a new political movement has huge numbers of potential voters just waiting to be reached.

The Lib Dems failed to take Ealing Southall, as did "David Cameron's Conservatives" with their imposed New Labour candidate, so Campbell is in trouble and Cameron's position is now untenable.

Third at Ealing Southall was matched by third (down from second in 2005) at Sedgefield: Cameron has no appeal either in one of the most diverse parts of London or in a ninety-nine per cent White British corner of the North. In short, he has no appeal.

But the BNP kept its deposit at Sedgefield. The traditional Labour vote is crying out for a non-racist (indeed, anti-racist) opposition to the intimately related forces of European federalism, American domination, globalisation, Islamisation, mass immigration, the undermining of the family, and soft lines on crime, drugs and antisocial behaviour. Otherwise, it will just vote for the BNP out of sheer despair.

So look out for the BNP at the 2009 European Elections, when only the movement of which I am part (details from can prevent their breakthrough in Yorkshire & The Humber or in the East Midlands (quite plausible - they'd need only one sixth of the votes of those who felt sufficiently motivated to turn out); in the West Midlands, in the South West or in East Anglia (very likely - only one seventh required to win a seat); in the North West or in London (highly probable - only one ninth required); and, above all, in the South East (practically certain, with only one in 10 of those who feel sufficiently strongly to vote at all needing to vote BNP in order to put them in).

Blair's legacy. And Brown's. And Cameron's.

Colin Campbell said...

Those seeking to Dump Dave need to consider that the Captain was only part of the problem when the Titanic went down. Clearly the message does not resonate with ordinary voters. Getting rid of Dave will not change this outcome in the short term.

That said, when the Australian Labor Party dumped their tried and trusted leader last year for a different face, with only minor cosmetic change to policy, that alone has changed the dynamic of the upcoming election, with Labor holding an election winning lead.

Anonymous said...

"That by-election turnouts are lower is one thing, but this is just ridiculous."

err no, it's actually quite common and has been since 1999.As the figures posted proves...

@molesworth_1 said...
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@molesworth_1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@molesworth_1 said...

...oh well, at least the evaporation of the 'cash-for-honours' debacle is keeping the by-election off the rolling news channels, hee hee hee hee heee hee.
And with the great boris still to hove fully into view... ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho.
it may be pissing down where you live, but in this neck of the woods the sun shine, birds chirrup, skool dog doze fitfully in the shade of the crikit pav and all is well, hem-hem...

David Lindsay said...

The whole of The World At One was devoted to the despicable, but unremarkable, letting off the hook of everyone involved in the flagrant sale of seats in our very legislature, without a peep about the collapse of the Cameron Tories both in the North and in Asian London.

Auntie has very definitely transferred her affections: Dave is her new favourite nephew. What does that tell you?

Still, good to see the "elected House of Lords" (closed party lists) and "State funding of political parties" lot out for the day. State funding must entail some degree of State control, which can often be necessary and beneficial. But for political parties, it would be lethal.

Only parties that met the organisational and political requirements of some committee of Notting Hill and Primrose Hill diners would be able to afford to contest elections.

No wonder the BBC is so keen on the idea.

Anonymous said...

I'm a member of the Conservative Party, not 'David Cameron's Conservative Party'. That is just ridiculous.

We hould have done better in Ealing Southall, in all demographics, and yet we are floundering in third place.

I don't care what it means for Labour or the Liberals, we should be doing better.

Anonymous said...

You must admit Iain, it was a good result for the OMRLoonies

Tapestry said...

anonymous 4.22

The Sedgfield collapse in the Labour vote is different. The BNP held their deposit - over 5% of the vote which is a rare event in a Westminster seat.

Their vote came not from Conservatives where the vote was firm, but from Labour.

The votes for 'others' is growing nationally and it is coming predominantly if not entirely from Labour. It is the untold story.

Labour will have to keep an eye on so many different avenues that their vote is drifting away to.

This is not 1997 or 2001 or even 2005. We're into new territory. It used to be only Conservatives that were hurt by minor party drift. But whatever the Conservatives have suffered could be experienced 10 fold by Labour. Brown's electoral calculations will be all over the place after Sedgfield.

James Higham said...

William Wilberfarce - it's definitely a dilemma but Colin Campbell's comment seems apt:

That said, when the Australian Labor Party dumped their tried and trusted leader last year for a different face, with only minor cosmetic change to policy, that alone has changed the dynamic of the upcoming election

David Lindsay said...

Tapestry, a group of is economically left-wing, morally and socially conservative opponents of European federalism, American hegemony, globalisation and Islamisation are going to stand as Independent candidates at the 2009 European Elections, describing ourselves as "pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, and anti-war".

A full Statement of Principles is available from me at, to be released over the names of the 12 candidates (one in each region) as soon as that list is complete, most preferably by the end of this month, and certainly by the end of this summer.

We could attract the support of huge numbers of traditional Labour and Tory voters, including those who vote for Independent Councillors, and including at least half of those who voted for the UK Independence Party at the last European Elections, i.e., those UKIP voters who do or would ordinarily vote Labour.

We could also attract traditional Liberal Democrat supporters in that party's heartlands of the West Country, rural Scotland, Mid-Wales and elsewhere, where Eurosceptical, and morally and socially conservative, views are widely and deeply held.

And between thirty-four and thirty-eight per cent of respondents to opinion polls now consistently indicate an intention not to vote; this initiative offers the possibility of representation at least for a significant section of those otherwise disenfranchised.

Furthermore, our candidates will be seeking an alliance with Independent Groups (and with small, very local parties) on Councils, undertaking to act as foci for a collective effort to secure one or two policy priorities in each of their respective areas.

The general flavour of this project may be discerned from some of the purportedly abusive descriptions of me on the blogsphere: "the prophet, apostle and high priest of paleo-Labour" (defined as "Old Labour means to High Tory ends"); "the statist, syndicalist, nationalist and theoconservative voice of the provinces"; "a reactionary Catholic and a Little Briton masquerading as a Socialist"; "a pan-Arabist, a pan-Slavist, and a Bolivarian"; "a product of the right-wing Labour machine in its one-party fiefdom of County Durham"; "a ghastly throwback to the days when Constituency Labour Parties were dominated by union closed shops full of Catholic fundamentalists, Methodist local preachers and working-class Tories"; and many more besides.

We are not afraid of the traditional parties. They have almost no remaining members, and they are kept going by large subventions from the State and the super-rich. At the last General Election, Labour won with only twenty-two per cent of the eligible vote, while the Tories limped in with a mere twenty per cent.

The number of those saying that they are going to abstain next time is more than twice the number of those saying that they are going to vote Liberal Democrat.

All in all, the parties are ripe for replacement by a pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war movement. So that's what we're going to do.

Tapestry said...

Cameron has done well in that many feared that BNP penetration outside the cities might be partly at the expense of Conservative support. It seems not.

From the BNP website referring to its 9% of the vote as 'victory' -

'This is a huge leap forward in an area where we have only recently set up local units; the mix of farming and former mining areas of Co. Durham cannot be considered our traditional kind of support base but proves convincingly that the BNP has an appeal beyond those parts of Britain suffering on the fault lines of multiculturalism.'

All Conservatives have to do is to avoid erosion by 'others', and Labour's vote will be the one to be eroded.

UKIP changed the results of maybe 30 seats in 2005 with 2% of the vote taken mostly from Conservative. If BNP start stripping away Labour support at three times that rate, it could lose Labour 100 or more seats, and let the Conservatives in.

If Cameron stands firm on national issues such as the USER referendum, on the West Lothian issue, and so on, he could see Gordon Brown's vote decomiated while he hangs on to his. (Union of Subservient European Regions)

Sedgfield is the moment politics in Britain chnaged.

Not one commentator noticed.

Anonymous said...

Why such disappointment at losing a seat even Margaret Thatcher couldn't come anywhere near to winning in her 1980s landslides?

Has anyone noticed most of the seats Labour have had to defend in by-elections since 1997 have been in seats they have held for decades? No marginals...

W.W. said...

I am not one of the dump the leader as soon as things go wrong brigade, however I have had doubts about Cameron, whether he is to like Blair.
I thought they way he forced his party to give Blair a standing ovation as utterly pathetic.
He seems to be stuggling to define his policies which also worries me.
A conviction politician should know in his heart what he stands for, and that should be the basis for their policies.
The Grammar school fiasco shows he is srtuggling.

As I said previously, I don't see anyone within the Conservitves with even the remotest chance doing any better.
And it's that more than anything that really worries me.
The general lack of quality.
And saying 'our vote held up' is not nearly good enough at this stage of The Parliment, with all the issues that Labour have haunting them.
They should be at least pushing labour close in seats like Ealing Southall at this stage.
And don't give me all this crap about modernisation, it doesn't mean anything to your average voter.
They want people and policies that they can believe in, the Consertitives seem to be threadbare of both at the moment.

The only hope is they can learn from this, though the fact that after ten years of opposition that they still have so much to learn does not bode well.

I am a Conservitive and why it concerns me so much.


David Lindsay said...

Oh, some of us noticed, Tapestry. Some of us have been noticing for quite a while. And not just noticing, but organising.

At least in Scotland, in the three Northern regions, in the two Midland regions and in London, our candidates will organise the huge pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war constituency.

Here in the North East, I as the candidate will also lead the constantly necessary opposition to the massively unpopular, ever-reviving regional assembly scheme, currently being slipped in under cover of the demented proposal that Durham and Northumberland County Councils become unitary authorities.

In Scotland, our candidate will provide a focus for the English-speaking working-class constituency, black and white; for the constituency made up of those who see the United Kingdom as their country, which no one has the right to take away from them; for the constituency now in desperate need of serious action against the Common Fisheries Policy; for the constituency anxious to protect the integrity of the Scottish legal system, already signed away by submission to the European Court of Justice; and for the constituency that is rightly furious the enforcement of Gaelic in historically Norse, and thus English-speaking, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland; among others.

In Wales, our candidate will lead the fight for the English-speaking majority, and above all for the English-speaking working class (black and white), which, exactly as predicted by Leo Abse during the 1970s devolution debates, is experiencing increasing repression by a bilingual elite.

In Northern Ireland, our candidate will give a voice to the broadly or soundly Unionist forty to forty-four per cent of Catholics, as well as giving a voice to all Unionists who believe in the universal and comprehensive Welfare State (including, for example, farm subsidies), and in the strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government, the whole paid for by progressive taxation, and all these good things underwritten by full employment.

In London, our candidate will be a force for black and white English-speaking unity against the racist and anti-proletarian roots and fruits of the Europeanist project, against mass immigration as the importation of a new working class (which understands no English except commands, has no idea of workers' rights in this country, can be moved around at will because it has no attachment to any specific locality here, and can be deported if it steps out of line), against enforced multilingualism's creation of a repressive elite (as in Wales), and against EU-inspired neglect of the Commonwealth in general and of those countries with which we share a Head of State in particular.

At least in London, the South East, East Anglia, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, the North West, and Yorkshire & The Humber, our candidates will prevent the BNP's breakthrough by providing a non-racist (indeed, an anti-racist) alternative for those opposed to European federalism, mass immigration, the undermining of the family, and soft policies on crime, drugs and antisocial behaviour.

In the South West, our candidate will fight against the Common Fisheries Policy, will fight on rural issues generally (as elsewhere), and will fight for Gibraltarians' Catholic values while not only promising to respect the wishes of the Gibraltarian people in relation to their British sovereignty and identity, but also campaigning actively for the retention of that sovereignty and identity, which is very much a cause of the Left in Gibraltar. As I write, I am waiting to hear from our friends there.

And so forth, around the country.

Anonymous said...

"He seems to be stuggling to define his policies which also worries me." by william wilberfarce.

The Conservative policy groups will be reporting over the next few months, and their findings will be debated at party conference. The draft manifesto will be ready in November, unless an election is held before then in which case the process will be speeded up.

I think this will change things - it's not over yet for David Cameron's chances, you mark my words.

Anonymous said...

Gutted really, I honestly expected us to do better in Ealing after all of the campaigning and especially the defection of so many Labour folk.

Always next time, I guess!

Anonymous said...

Maybe time to admit that Brown will win the next general election and start planning the next party leader (DC= Kinnock therefore we need to move onto a Blair)

Anonymous said...


Lots of Tory boys trying to keep they're spirits up.


Anonymous said...


Lots of Tory boys trying to keep they're spirits up.


Anonymous said...


Lots of Tory boys trying to keep they're spirits up.


Anonymous said...

"All Conservatives have to do is to avoid erosion by 'others', and Labour's vote will be the one to be eroded."

Blimey, I'm afraid the Tories need to actually 'gain' votes.I know this may come as a shock to you but the Tories have lost the last three elections and have been stuck somewhere between 30-33% in terms of vote share.If the Tories are only holding their ground they are up the creek without a paddle.Opposition parties are supposed to GAIN ground during a third term mid term spell for the governing party-not stand still. Do continue to sleep walk to electoral disaster though .

As for the BNP,like the LDs they are by election/local election fodder and crumble in most areas when their resources get stretched at a general election.

Anonymous said...

"In Northern Ireland, our candidate will give a voice to the broadly or soundly Unionist forty to forty-four per cent of Catholics,"

wtf? the nationalist vote in NI is around 40%, broadly the same as the Catholic population.Where are these 40 odd % of unionist Catholics?

Tapestry said...

8.33 anonymous - The Lib Dems and the BNP are not one and the same. The Lib Dems are in decline. The BNP are on the rise.

Electoral arithmetic requires us to be first past the post, that's all.

If Labour erode in the face of the BNP, and we don't, the effect of that in marginals which these seats were not, will change results whether we increase votes or not.

Of course by then Cameron should have also won a bigger share. Brown will face a double whammy and get his ba**s crushed.

Anonymous said...

Out of touch

Anonymous said...

.33 anonymous - The Lib Dems and the BNP are not one and the same. The Lib Dems are in decline. The BNP are on the rise.

No they ain't.The BNP recorded a net gain of just 2 Councillors in 2007 despite fielding far more candidates.A third of their entire vote is concentrated in Yorkshire...If the Tories are hoping for a BNP trojan horse to save their necks they are even more stupid than I thought.

Anonymous said...

A Joseph Rowntree foundation study in 2003 found that most of the BNP's vote comes from younger males who do not normally vote.Therefore it is a myth to say take BNP take support from one party or another.That myth has been kicking around for a while.First it was retired Colonels and elderly Tories, then disaffected urban Labour voters.The facts don't support either view.

jailhouselawyer said...

Anyone in the Tory Party feeling suicidal? Call the Samaritans.

Newmania said...

candidates will prevent the BNP's breakthrough by providing a non-racist (indeed, an anti-racist) alternative for those opposed to European federalism, mass immigration, the undermining of the family, and soft policies on crime, drugs and antisocial behaviour.

Are you standing against the Labour Party then, what is this Party I rather like the sound of it .
I detest the Labour Parties desire to undermine the family with skewed disincentives . I abhor the Labour Party’s deliberate attempt to replace the Conservative voting South with a new imported Council house dwelling nations of foreigners to be provided with a million homes ( as recently accepted by Labour as a fact). I am , personally , somewhat conflicted about prescriptive social legislation and state required , “Social” Behaviour
Still, I can’t say fascism doesn’t have its loopy appeal in moments of frustration. I am utterly unimpressed at the gross con perpetrated on the British by the Labour Party over the disguised Constitution and note with sadness that noone in the Labour Party will break ranks . It would not be the same on the Conservative side . Not by a damn long way.
If by working class you mean those working , then I am equally distressed at the way we have suffered above all as our efforts make little if any difference to our lives. If by the working class you mean what the Labour Party usually means , the non working population of 5,500,000 living from them then I feel they are doing well enough.. Yes indeed I support your wish for the working class to regain self respect their own money and their own worth, Clearly this will mean tax cutting at low levels .
This Party could be contained within the Conservative Party certainly . It would be fiercely antagonistic to the Labour Party obviously but it might well dissuade those who might have voted BNP that they have not been betrayed.
What are you going to call your new Party,. Can I suggest “Angels in Marble “ in honour of Disraeli and in memory of the working class abandoned by the left and treated with contempt now . The Conservative Party will be delighted to have such an ally against the bourgeois European anti national Socially Liberal Politically correct New Labour Party traitors.
I have looked on your site and to tell you the truth I cannot work out what your allegiances are but if you are a Labour member then you are selling something you cannot deliver . It would be a gross insult to those you attempt to mislead ..but as I say I cannot work out what the agenda is here ….

Newmania said...

Good Man Tapestry , you are right aren`t you. How very interesting

Newmania said...

David I see Your post above is somewhat more explanatory . Quite interesting , would you call it a sort of "National Socilaism " then ? I think it might well have an appeal and would remove many Labour votes .In fact its an excellent idea and though I dislike your statist illiberal instincts personally I can see such a Party greatly embarrassing New Labour .

(Obviously Conservatives will not vote for an economically left wing Party )

More Power to you

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that the Tory boys still haven't got it! What do they teach them in public school these days ?

'David Cameron's Conservatives' came third in both the northern and southern by-elections because people don't believe that Cameron has liberalised the conservatives and made them nice. They think he's decent, and they nearly believed he'd changed the party and that he might even do something for the environemnt - which is why Tories did well in the May elections - but since then we've had the grammar schools fiasco, punitive taxes on beer and a nod to the religious right on the marriage front (this mixed up with more state intervention in people's lives at tax payers' expense). Dear oh.

Once again: there is no anti-progressive majority in this country, and if the Tories tack to the right yet again in panic, we'll have GB as PM for as long as he wants to be there.

Give me the Lib Dems with their commitment to individual liberty and their 4p off income tax pledges any day.

David Lindsay said...

Newmania -, although your ideas about the Conservative Party are ludicrous, and contrary to all historical experience. They are the biggest Eurofederalists of the lot, and always have been.

Anonymous 8:37pm, every opinion poll (and I do mean every single one, so the usual arguments against such things don't really apply) show a minimum of somewhere between forty and forty-four per cent of NI Catholics in favour of the Union as such.

And why not? A Papal Blessing was sent to William III when he set out for Ireland (I can give you chapter and verse as to why, if you want), there were numerous Cathlic pulpit denunciations of Fenianism, prominent Belfast Catholic laymmen chaired rallies against successive Home Rule Bills, prominent Belfast Catholic priests sat on the platform at those rallies, and on, and on, and on.

Voting has been based on the UUP's links to the Orange Order and the DUP's links to the Free Presbyterian Church, both dissolving anyway. And even that is before this project.

If a candidate who was an orthodox Catholic, a social democrat, and a British patriot (i.e., a candidate such as could not but be returned to Westminster by certain Northern English constituencies) were to contest this STV election in NI, then the result would send much needed shockwaves in numerous directions, including yours.

Tapestry said...

We've had all the theories about who votes for the BNP. We now see from Sedgfield that Labour provide the bulk of it.

I never believed the stuff about it's all young men who don't otherwise vote so we can ignore them.

The BNP used to be operating only in hotspots. They are now appearing in many other places - such as Sedgefield where they didn't operate previously.

They only just opened shop in Sdgefield recently in fact.

They are in the process of a national roll-out from the previous hotspots.

Labour anonymouses want to talk the threat down of course. But if they want a real discussion, and to join in on an intelligent website such as this, they will have to adjust their thinking - as will their great leader - Hair Brown.

Sedgefield shows that the electoral sums are changing. How many other ways are there to be in denial?

I've seen about five Labour anonymouses coming here to gloat only to realise that it is they who are more threatened by current trends.

@molesworth_1 said...

let the BNP be in NO DOUBT that if they ever knock on my door they will get their fascist fucking heads kicked in, AND IF THAT DOESN'T KILL THEM, I SHALL MOVE ON TO ARMED VIOLENCE. Fascists will be killed.

W.W. said...

Of course it's Labour voters who vote BNP.

Only an idiot would vote for either.

Vote dave 6:51, I hope you are right, though the fact he needs policy groups to try and work out which policies will be popular also worries me, how about policies they believe in. Or is that old fashioned nowadays.


Tapestry said...

william wilberforce.

The grammar school rumpus was instructive. The more open the policy discussion was, the more sense the policy achieved. Cameron's popularity wasn't hurt by the discussion, and the media focus was taken away from Labour.

Only if there is real open discussion amongst MPs will there be much respect for policies.

The Cornerstone are insisting on more input into policy. Cameron and his Blairlike machine surrounded by Ken Clarke and William Hague hoping to control every last sentence of policy has got to stop.

It's time to throw the game wide open, and reestablish the power of MPs. The result is that there will be a lot more respect for a party which is based on open debate.

It's like the Duke of Wellington. Why pussyfoot around the media any longer? We're all sick of them and the attempt to control the narrative from the top. Go public and be damned. That is the only route to Matthew Parris's authenticity.

W.W. said...

I have no problem with discussions in public, and agree the behaviour of the media is very counter productive to democracy in this country, and I agree hte best method of dealing with it is to publish.
But it should be based on things they believe in, the problem is I am not sure what they believe in, even worse I am not sure they do.
Though I feel Cameron's Blair in like everything is the real problem at the moment.
Doesn't he get it people are sick to the back teeth of policy by popularity.
I think they should look at France, Sarkozy said what he believed and ignored the consequences, and won handsomly, but he had the basic principles of what he believed in.
But to me politics is not just about winning, (though obviously winning is vitally improtant) it's about princaples.
Thats what excites people and why the turnout in France was so high, and why our's is so pathetically low.
People are not turned off by politics, they are turned off by phonies trying to con them, we have had ten years of it.
Give us honesty and belief, not gimicks and photo oppertunities.
Though it amazes me they need telling, it should be bloody obvious.


P.S. It's Willberfarce, I cannot claim such ,moral high standards as Wllberforce. In fact I stuggle to claim the moral high standards of your average Labour peer.

Chris Paul said...

David Lindsay: wrong wrong wrong. In such seats, at by-elections in particular, the incumbent voters are hard to turn out and form the greater part of the drop in the turn out. Add the drop in the turn out to the Labour vote and you will see status quo and feel it in your very bones. Oppositionists will generally turn out in by-elections and indeed be boosted. Experience in a couple of wards in Manchester, one in a Council by-election, shows that more than half of the BNP vote comes from habitual non-voters and the rest is mostly borrowed from opposition parties who mount half-hearted campaigns (Tories) or mostly go with the same miserable lines (Lib Dems) albeit with a few differences here and there. BNP are not all that Liberal ... but they are bloody miserable.

Pedant said...

In fact the source of BNP votes varies seat by seat be it local or national, For example the proximity of a concentration of "immigrants" will affect the source of the BNP vote depending on who cotrols the authority and who is in power nationally. One reason why there is such a concentration in Yorkshire is the twin effect of large concentrations of "immigrants" in old industrial areas and many hung councils - the push and the pull to vote BNP. Looking at BNP tactics they seem to understand the dynamics of this much better than the other parties. In Sedgefield you have declining old industries, a Labour seat, and the approach of "immigrant" communities in some Teesside areas.

Tapestry said...

The BNP's economic policies tend to put potential Conservatives off supporting them. They are targeted on Labour supporters, it is fairly clear.

Matt Buck said...

I think Ealing and Southall was probably a very good result for William Hague.