Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Mr Brown

John Howell (Cons) 19,796
Stephen Kearney's (Lib Dem) 9,680
Mark Stevenson (Green) 1,321
Timothy Rait (BNP) 1,243
Richard McKenzie (Lab) 1,066
Chris Adams (UKIP) 843

It's difficult to think how much more humiliating this result could be for Labour. Their vote dropped by 11% to a mere 3%. They came fifth and lost their deposit. Only 16% of those who voted Labour in 2005 did so this time. Ok, its Henley, a seat they were never going to do well in, but even so.

Despite the concerns of quite a few Tories, the Tory vote share increased to 57% and despite a lower turnout, the majority was easily into five figures. The threatened LibDem breakthrough never came despite quite a vigorous campaign from them. They will be sorely disappointed not to have done better. Their vote share went up too, but not nearly by as much as they had either hoped or expected.

On top of this, yet another opinion poll shows a huge Tory lead - 18%. In this poll Labour is up 5 to 28% but perhaps of more interest is that the LibDems are down three at 15.

Happy birthday, Gordon!


Tapestry said...

Labour in poll were up 3%, not 5%.

Surely the real poll at Henley is more significant.

3% of the vote total against Conservative 57%.

hahahahahahahahahahahhahaha -

try and get your head around that statistic.

I cannot. It's like trying to imagine the size of Canada when you live in the UK. Labour's result is so bad that it is quite impossible to take it in.

They're level with UKIP.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mr. Brown !

Please just keep doing what you are doing, it's certainly putting a spring in my step this morning.

P.S. Ian, I've got a spare P if you are short ?

FonyBlair said...

Come on Gordon it has to be time to say goodbye if only so I can pick up my winnings at William Hill - 20/1 on Brown leaving office by the end of 2008!

This result could only have been topped if The Monster Raving Loony Party had come fifth with labour trailing in sixth.

Labour are however becoming a bit of a comic party with their joke of a "leader".

Happy Birthday Prime Minister :-)

Anonymous said...

The Labour Party is now in the last stages of death. It will not even be able to die with honour. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Beth Russell knew when to abandon ship.

Anonymous said...

Chris Rennard:

“We increased our vote…”

LibDem Henley vote 2005 General Election - 12,101

LibDem Henley vote 2008 By Election - 9,680

An increase of minus 2,421!

Newmania said...

Yes the Liberal vote is starting to collapse as well, that is interesting .I think that just as Brown cannot duck the economy having bragged for years so they cannot duck the statist error having been Labour lite throghout the 90s .
They look like shallow opportunists, fair enough really .

Anonymous said...

Polling less than the Nazis is appalling. I don't know how much effort Labour put into this by-election, probably not much, but you've got to do enough to keep yourself ahead of the lunatic fringe.

James Higham said...

The Davis Tories will walk in.

the orange party said...

Have you popped out for a 'p' Iain?

While you're looking for it, you can read my analysis of this very unhappy non-birthday here:

Paul Burgin said...

I think Iain, that even you must be disgusted that more people in Henley would rather vote BNP than Labour. If this was a Labour stronghold that had been kept, then I would have been appalled and disgusted with a certain proportion of the constituents for putting the BNP above any of the major political parties!

Anonymous said...

apologies to the Beatles:::

I heard the news Today...
Monster Raving Loony Party to MERGE with Labour.

Richard Nabavi said...

An excellent result, especially considering that John Howell had the difficult task of following Boris. And turnout seems to have been quite high considering the circumstances.

Nice to see that the LibDems aren't picking up the anti-Labour votes to any great extent.

As for the BNP - I wonder how many of their votes are due to ex-Labour voters responding to Harriet Harman's 'British jobs for anyone other than British white males' initiative? (I know that is not quite what she proposed, but I think it is how it will been perceived).

Kcila said...

Oh happy days! Did you hear the weasel Bradshaw trying to claim that it was just another bye-election blip and not nearly as bad as some of Labour's other election catastrophes? Keep it up Ben, if you really think that I suggest you start packing up your Exeter office now!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Chris Rennard:

“We increased our vote…”

LibDem Henley vote 2005 General Election - 12,101

LibDem Henley vote 2008 By Election - 9,680

An increase of minus 2,421!

I think he meant to say that the LibDems increased their share of the vote.

Their share increased from 26.0% in 2005 to 27.8% yesterday.

The Conservative share also increased but they had 5,000 fewer votes than in 2005.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
apologies to the Beatles:::

I heard the news Today...
Monster Raving Loony Party to MERGE with Labour."

Merge? Don't you mean take over?

Anonymous said...

A Labour minister just said on R4 'it's a disastrous result, but we shouldn't read too much into it'.

It's beyond satire.

(Iain, I know you have a cold but I first thought your initial spelling of 'happy' was an ironic insult to the birthday boy. Honestly. Even DES doesn't cock it up that badly. Perhaps it's an easier mistake on a Blackberry)

Anonymous said...

It is a bit worrying when more people are prepared to back the Nazis than to support the party of Government. Henley was never happy hunting ground for Labour, but to allow the BNP to push them into FIFTH place is deeply humiliating for them.

We need to remember that when the first BNP councillor was elected in East London it made the headline news. Today there are dozens of Councillors all elected on the Blair / Brown watch.

Anonymous said...

What a great result! Well done Labour!

Anonymous said...

The problem for ALL political parties is the rise of the BNP vote.It's not just dis-enchanted working class Labour voters in areas such as Barking or Stoke on Trent it goes more deeper than that.

I hold no torch for Labour and I am pleased that they were soundly beaten but I take no pleasure in seeing them come behind BNP particularly in such a place as Henley where you would have expected that people would have shied away from such an odious party.

The Labour vote "melt-down" is a serious worry for everyone in politics be they either Labour,Conservative or Lib-Dem. There is a growing number of voters, both in local and national elections,it seems that would prefer to vote BNP than for Labour or one of the other mainstream parties. It may be that come a general election the loyalties of "Labour's Core Vote" will re-assert itself but the trend is worrying - in a vacuum the "far-right parties" make "political hay".

Anonymous said...

***I think Iain, that even you must be disgusted that more people in Henley would rather vote BNP than Labour. If this was a Labour stronghold that had been kept, then I would have been appalled and disgusted with a certain proportion of the constituents for putting the BNP above any of the major political parties!***

I think it's more a case, Paul, of fewer people voting Labour than BNP, not more people voting BNP than Labour.

Mind you, you only have to look around at your fellow citizens not to be surprised that people vote Nazi in this country.

Anonymous said...

But the BNP and Labour are essentially and increasingly the same.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Gordon, no more boom and bust. Ha ha what a joke, looks like the economic myrical has found its natural path.

Anonymous said...

What worries me is that 1066 people voted Labour. They can't ALL be on the Government payroll, so what's their excuse?

Meanwhile, to avoid the possibility of an embarrassing defeat in a by-election for a Scottish Parliamentary seat, the UK Government is stalling on the starting date for the new High Commissioner in Malawi(Jack McConnell, MSP), to take up his post (he was appointed months ago).

Why are the Malawians being deprived in this way,and why are we being deprived of another nail in Brown's coffin (yes, I know he's an MP, not an MSP, but he has this delusion that he rules Scotland).

Anonymous said...

It's a bit quiet in here. The Labour trolls dare not show their dirty faces here today. Even the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri, like Mavis Boothroyd and D.EuroSoc are absent.. or is it that they are not let out at this time of the day?

I am very pleased that yet again the nasty NeuLab odyssey is melting into history. They can farck orf, and stick their agenda where it belongs. Yippee.

Armchair Sceptic said...

Is 1066 perhaps prophetic? Is this the point at which Gordon Brown (รก la Harold) has been mortally wounded politically?

Anonymous said...

At both the Crewe and Nantwich byelection and this one the Liberal campaigns used thoroughly unpleasant black propaganda. On the whole people don't want to be governed by nasty people who won't fight fairly. Also their financial backers have paid them to attack the popular Tories at every opportunity which is a ridiculous tactic. Jumping up and down saying we're not the Tories and we don't like the Tories is never going to win them any seats while the Tories are riding 45% in the polls..

Oscar Miller said...

Despite or because of the desperate fortunes of Labour the BBC News at 10 managed to project a huge backdrop behind Hugh Edwards of Gordon Brown captioned with a large 46% next to one of David Cameron captioned with a huge 28%. (take a look at BBC Bias who have the picture). Proof that the BBC really does live in a parallel universe.

Anonymous said...

paul burgin: whatever our feelings about the BNP, we should be concerned about why voters are turning to them, not about whether enough commentators are flapping their hands to dispel the smell under their noses.

If you ignore 'ordinary' people's concerns for too long, you get a backlash, as Margaret Hodge has discovered in Barking. 'Ordinary' voters won't analyse BNP policies, they will simply perceive the apparent pro-UK, anti-immigrant message being very skillfully presented, and will use their vote as a protest.

The electorate has been patronised for too long by the Islington chatterati, and NuLab is now paying the price.

Scary Biscuits said...

Even at the top of Blair's popularity, I (like many Tories) thought it was a hollow victory. And so it has prooved. Labour won three elections by effectively borrowing from the future. I don't mean just financially. Now these debts need to be paid and the Labour party can't pay them.

Labour movement of Great Britain: 1904-2010. RIP

After the election there will be some sort of re-organisation of left wing parties, involving the LibDems and a genuinely new left wing movement (as apposed to Blair's fake version).

neil craig said...

It is about as humiliating as possible for Labour. Note howevever that the vote for the 3 "non respectable" parties is 3,400 which shows how disatisfied people are with all mainstream parties.

I'm sorry that the Greens did relatively well - they are advertised on the BBC as the cuddly protest vote but I consider them much more destructive than the BNP.

Anonymous said...

Liverpool Walton by-election, 1991: Conservative share of vote = 2.9%. In many ways this is a good comparison to Henley - a safe seat for the opposition party at a time when the Government is unpopular.

And in many ways the result is the same - the Government poll around 3%.

And the moral of the story? Don't count your chickens. Less than a year later the Government were returned at the 1992 general election...

Anonymous said...

Astounding result.

85% of previous ZaNuLab voters abandoned them yesterday.

A figure for all to savour.

Happy anniversary McBogey!

Time for a re-launch?

Anonymous said...

"You and I know that by-election results like this are meaningless" . . . 13 year old ex journo Ben Bradshaw on Radio Five Live. Dinna fash tha'sen Gordie.

Old BE said...

Where is my friend David Boothroyd?

Anonymous said...

***A Labour minister just said on R4 'it's a disastrous result, but we shouldn't read too much into it'.***

Are you sure he wasn't talking a0about the Irish referendum, DaveH?

Patrick said...

I see there are a few worried commenters bemoaning the rise of the BNP and the 'far right'. One thing that is now clear to me is that the old split of 'left vs right' doesn't really mean anything anymore.

An old style member of 'the right' would be for a small state, strong independent defense and be socially conservative. A'leftie' would be for a big state, multilateralism and social laissez faire.

That old view counts for diddly squat these days. The real splits are now between libertarian vs authoritarian, consumer choice vs state paternalism, central control vs delegation of powers, self determination vs EU, etc.

The BNP are big state, nanny control socialist authoritarians just like Labour - only they just manage to ape the Nazis by combining that with a totalitarian social / racial standpoint. They are not of the 'right' - whatever that is anymore.

Anonymous said...

The LibDems legendary by-election bandwagon has hit the ditch because others have found a way to counter it.

Previously the received wisdom was that it was best to ignore their misrepresentation, dodgy statistics and downright lies on both sides of the same street because it was felt this would give them a bigger profile.

Bad move. It just allows them to continue killing swathes of the Amazon with their claims and gives them momentum.

Now the strategy is to use their leaflets against them by (1) remain positive but allow a sidebar column in newsletters to highlight how they are misleading the voters with quick bullet points; and (2) to do a big hit on them misleading the voters, misappropriating people's support in photos and using misappropriated quotes but to move on quickly back to a positive campaign. Sometimes this doesn't require the party to do the work as there are often many local campaigns, businesses and newspapers that will raise it first. You just give it more profile.

It destroys the USP the LibDems try and present of "not being like the other political parties" and stalls their momentum as they have to bin leaflets because they become counter-productive - "oh that's the leaflet where the LibDems are telling lies".

The Tories never did this in Bromley which is why they nearly screwed up but seemed to have learnt. But it wasn't the Tories that developed this it was the SNP in Moray following the Dunfermline by-election where the LibDems managed to convince voters they were the repository for votes on tolls on the Forth Bridge despite the fact a LibDem was Transport Minister in the Scottish Executive.

Lord Rennard's days of sharp practice and downright lying to the voters are coming to an end as his tactics are now counter productive and actually self-defeating when the opposition gets them raised as an issue in a by-election.

Anonymous said...

wrinkled weasel said...

"Even...D.EuroSoc [is] absent"

Iain has, rightly, banned the foreign dirtbag.

English people are currently, rightly, banning the English-hating Labour Party. After that they will ban the rest of the conlibs.

Anonymous said...

As someone once said......oppositions don't win elections - Governments lose them....n'est-ce pas?

Anonymous said...

I'm thoroughly fed up with New Labour and want a change, any change. But Tories shouldn't rejoice just yet. Many people making their way to the Tories for the first time would love to think they're all like David Cameron or Boris. But when one reads blogs like this and sees comments from natural Tory supporters, then one starts to think again. Do we really want all of this nastiness? Don't be surprised if the most Tories manage to deliver next election is a hung Parliament, with Labour as the largest party, but with no majority. All that the opinion polls are saying is that we're fed up with Brown and his cronies. Cameron is brilliant but the jury's still out on the entire Tory party.

Anonymous said...

Yes I recall John Mayor doing equally badly in by elections before 1993

Lets see what happens when the election is fought by PR

your not singing anymore

Anonymous said...

Lets see how Davis does in his by elction

just where does he stand on rape and DNA database

Anonymous said...

the trend is worrying - in a vacuum the "far-right parties" make "political hay"

Sorry, Anonymous, WRONG. The BNP are not right wing and we should stop going along with the lazy "right-wing" label that the BBC, George Gall(ons of Saddam's oil)away and the Labour Party use.

The BNP are a big-government anti-trade racist party. We should refer to them as the National Socialists.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10.24 a.m.

I disagree. The rise of the BNP should be seen for what it is - a protest vote by a section of the electorate who are despised, reviled and, eventually, ignored by those in power.

You may not like it but many of these people are being advsersely affected by mass immigration. And yet mass immigration continues unabated. They will vote for those who support their view and, as no mainstream party will currently do so, the obvious solution is to vote BNP.

Until their concerns are being met by the mainstream parties, the BNP vote will continue to grow. It's called democracy - may be you would rather go and live in Zimbabwe.

David Lindsay said...

Yes, Labour coming fifth is a story, although Labour losing its deposit there is not.

But there are rather bigger stories here: the low turnout (aren't people itching to come out and vote for Cameron?), the failure of the Lib Dems to make any headway, the hopeless failure of Cameron's Blue-Greenery, the rise of the Greens (also strikingly apparent in nearby Oxford and elsewhere) among the ever-leftish section of the bourgeoisie, the total collapse of UKIP, and the success of the BNP among people who might be white but are certainly not working-class.

Those are the real ones to watch.

Bill Quango MP said...

Wow. Even Nick Robinson is giving Brown a kicking.
Admittedly he's got his slippers on, but its still a kicking.
Radio 4 news. I expect it will be on the 10 o'clock too.

Anonymous said...

It's worse than it sounds.

They lost 76% of their voter proportion. OK, an 11-point drop in support would be bad for Labour, repeated across the country. But that was 11 points in a constituency where they only polled 14 points. A loss of 11 out of every 14 voters is an absolute catastrophe!


Where is all the nastiness? That is just a BBC myth, that the Conservatives are the nasty party.

cassandra said...

Nulabour seem to in a state of complete denial about their richly deserved fate!
They are going to be destroyed at the next election, utterly destroyed and they have no one else to blame but themselves have they? Perhaps they banked on the UK being sucked into an EU serfdom where they could cling onto some power or perhaps they banked on unlimited immigration to bring in Nu waves of NuLabour voters? Perhaps they came to rely on their complete domination of the media/lobby and its many NuLabour sympathisers? More likely they are so stupid and so cut off from reality and have lied so often and got away with it so often that they now inhabit a kind of strange fantasy land!
I predict that the in next Parliament the Libdems will be the main opposition and labour will be a close third untill they split into factions and become fringe parties. David Cameron will have a truly massive majority and will be able to force thru some truly radical policies and I predict that the BBC will be sold off and a grant system introduced. Cameron simply must destroy the BBC at the get go because they will try to destroy him!
There is no hope for Gordon Brown because he has shown his true self to us and we hate and despise what we see, he is a cheat and a coward and a liar and a bully and quite frankly a bit of a weirdo, the carfefully crafted smokescreen has been blown away and he truly is the naked emperor where even the basest of proles laugh and point at him!

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay said...
"...there are rather bigger stories here: ... the total collapse of UKIP."

You have a funny idea of what constitutes a total collapse. Their share of the vote was down by 0.07%.

Anonymous said...

Richard Dale said...
"Where is all the nastiness? That is just a BBC myth, that the Conservatives are the nasty party"

It was Theresa May who said that the Conservatives were seen as the 'Nasty Party'.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Richard Dale said...
"Where is all the nastiness? That is just a BBC myth, that the Conservatives are the nasty party"

It was Theresa May who said that the Conservatives were seen as the 'Nasty Party'.

Exactly. She didn't say SHE saw it as such, just that certain others did - and we all know who they are don't we?

David Lindsay said...

Anonymous 9:25 PM, those upper and upper-middle-class people who are so minded are now clearly more inclined to vote BNP (as they always used to shy away from doing) than to vote UKIP (as they always used to do).

The BNP is, alas, already on course for at least one European seat in every English region next time. But based on this result, I predict rather more than those nine BNP seats, and the loss of every UKIP seat.